CAN­DI­DATES PON­DER DOWN­TOWN ACE SER­VICE

Ev­ery Mon­day through Oct. 29, the Man­teca Bul­letin is pos­ing a ques­tion for the can­di­dates in the Man­teca mu­nic­i­pal elec­tion on Nov. 6 elec­tion run­ning for mayor and the two coun­cil seats. This week’s ques­tion: “Man­teca is sched­uled to have ACE train ser

Manteca Bulletin - - Front Page -

David Bre­it­en­bucher

ACE pro­vides a won­der­ful op­por­tu­nity for com­muters to travel to the Bay Area. As op­posed to sit­ting in grid­locked traf­fic, com­muters can work or even catch up on needed sleep. Ser­vice to our down­town tran­sit cen­ter is a goal ful­filled and will give Man­teca com­muters greater con­ve­nience.

Train ser­vice will spur the down­town econ­omy and should be a great boost to down­town re­vi­tal­iza­tion. How­ever, in­fra­struc­ture needs that in­creased park­ing and traf­fic will de­mand, must be ad­dressed now. Fed­eral and state grants are avail­able to help sub­si­dize the in­evitable costs of ACE ser­vice and com­mer­cial ex­pan­sion down­town, we need to take ad­van­tage of them.

Dou­ble track­ing will also re­quire long-term plan­ning. We must ex­plore ev­ery pos­si­ble av­enue to elim­i­nate at grade cross­ings and cre­ate “quiet zones” to pro­tect our qual­ity of life. Many of th­ese train is­sues are re­gional in na­ture. I in­tend to work with fed­eral, state and county rep­re­sen­ta­tives to en­sure Man­teca is not dis­pro­por­tion­ately bur­dened and we have the re­sources to sus­tain our qual­ity of life.

While I wel­come ACE ser­vice to Man­teca’s down­town, I be­lieve as a city our goal must be to pro­vide bet­ter pay­ing jobs here, not send our res­i­dents and tax dol­lars to the Bay Area. San Joaquin County and Man­teca in par­tic­u­lar have many ad­van­tages for Sil­i­con Val­ley com­pa­nies, in­clud­ing dis­tance from the earth­quake fault zone and close prox­im­ity to a large body of wa­ter via the Delta. We must be ag­gres­sive in at­tract­ing new bet­ter-pay­ing jobs and en­sure our stu­dents have the ed­u­ca­tion Bay Area com­pa­nies are seek­ing.

As a fa­ther I know the value of time with my fam­ily. It is un­for­tu­nate that the cost of liv­ing in Cal­i­for­nia means many fam­ily mem­bers have to work fur­ther from home, for longer hours. This added sac­ri­fice steals qual­ity time from our loved ones. As your rep­re­sen­ta­tive, I will work hard to shorten and sim­plify your daily com­mute while work­ing to bring more sat­is­fy­ing ca­reer jobs to Man­teca.

Ben Cantu

This is a fa­mil­iar mat­ter be­cause I am a long­time rail­road en­thu­si­ast, so I un­der­stand the op­er­a­tion of trains; and, un­like the in­cum­bent can­di­date, I have lived in this com­mu­nity for well over sixty years, so I was a res­i­dent when trains were an ac­tive part of our down­town. There were sev­eral pack­ing sheds within down­town that pro­cessed thou­sands of tons of lo­cal fruits and veg­eta­bles for ship­ment across this coun­try and the world. And, of course, can’t go with­out say­ing, this com­mu­nity was born from a rail­road milk stop lo­cated at Yosemite Av­enue and the rail­road tracks.

As for the ACE trains mat­ter, the truth is with­out some ex­ten­sive and com­pre­hen­sive re­vi­tal­iza­tion of down­town over the next four years, the com­ing of ACE trains to down­town will have no ap­pre­cia­ble af­fect to down­town’s cur­rent level of com­merce. It will how­ever gen­er­ate ve­hi­cle traf­fic by com­muters in search of the lim­ited park­ing avail­able at the tran­sit sta­tion; and will likely im­pact the park­ing avail­abil­ity of those busi­nesses lo­cated near the tran­sit sta­tion. Keep in mind, once the com­muters find a park­ing space, their ve­hi­cle or bi­cy­cle will sit parked all day with no hu­man to be found un­til late in day when it is time to go home. (Per­haps the nearby busi­nesses can charge a weekly fee to al­low com­muter park­ing on their cus­tomer park­ing lots.)

In or­der to en­tice any po­ten­tial cus­tomers ven­tur­ing to the down­town ei­ther be­fore or af­ter a pleas­ant train ride, down­town needs to be easily ac­ces­si­ble and con­tain busi­nesses that ser­vice com­muters. My re­search tells me that the fol­low­ing types of busi­nesses “fit”, small bou­tique shops, small re­tail, gro­cery stores, movie the­atres, banks, restau­rants, of­fices, child­care cen­ters, en­ter­tain­ment and cul­tural space, Civic or com­mu­nity meet­ing space, etc. What is not likely to “fit” are strip malls, car deal­er­ships, washes, or stor­age, big-box re­tail­ers, equip­ment sales or rental, com­mer­cial park­ing garages, gas sta­tions, drive thru’s, etc.

Yes, I have a com­pre­hen­sive step-by-step plan “on how the city can lever­age down­town train ser­vice to its ad­van­tage to spur de­vel­op­ment or in­vest­ment nearby”. The first step (not the only step) is to move city hall to down­town to cre­ate and sus­tain a large num­ber cus­tomer base from which an ex­panded cus­tomer base will grow thus be­gin­ning a tran­si­tion over time to an ac­tive pedes­trian ori­ented com­mer­cial district.

As for the dou­ble track­ing, that is likely why ACE trains will be al­lowed at all on the Val­ley main line. With the grow­ing freight train traf­fic we are cur­rently ex­pe­ri­enc­ing daily, the ACE trains would be a hin­drance if it were not for dou­ble track­ing; dou­ble track­ing will al­low the freight trains to pass un­en­cum­bered by stopped pas­sen­ger trains.

It is also im­por­tant for the com­mu­nity to un­der­stand, there will be more train horn noise due to the ad­di­tional trains, and ve­hi­cle traf­fic will be re­quired to stop at the Main Street cross­ing when ACE trains are stopped at the tran­sit sta­tion. And, more im­por­tantly, pedes­tri­ans will have to learn that even if the train is stopped, there may be another train com­ing on the ad­ja­cent track (This will be a new ex­pe­ri­ence in Man­teca, so ex­ten­sive re-ed­u­ca­tion of the com­mu­nity should be un­der­taken now.)

Please contact me at can­tu4­mayor.com, on Face­book at “Ben Cantu for Man­teca Mayor,” and on Twit­ter @bcantu1951.

Steve DeBrum

Rail ser­vice is a grow­ing busi­ness in the world in which we live to­day — whether it be goods move­ment or peo­ple move­ment - ev­ery as­pect is im­por­tant to our ex­is­tence. Here in Man­teca, goods move­ment and rail ser­vice is ex­pand­ing with more trains and longer trains to ser­vice goods to and from the West­ern re­gion of the United States.

Now, while ACE has been a for­ma­tive part of our com­mu­nity, ex­pan­sion will oc­cur to serve the Man­teca Tran­sit Cen­ter, Ripon, Modesto, and Ceres. In the fu­ture, ser­vice will even­tu­ally make its way to Merced to serve the re­gion. ACE ser­vice will con­tinue at the Lathrop/Man­teca site in ad­di­tion to the new site be­ing sched­uled for Lathrop at Sharpe Army De­pot for trans­fers to San Jose and Sacra­mento.

The En­vi­ron­men­tal Im­pact Re­port for Lathrop to Ceres is com­plete, yet more work is left to do for the pro­ject to move for­ward. The Lathrop Wye, a place where the Fresno and Oak­land lines come to­gether, and bridge de­sign work for both the Tuolumne and San Joaquin Rivers must be com­pleted prior to the place­ment of the sec­ond set of tracks.

In terms of Man­teca, no ad­di­tional work will be re­quired for lay­ing the new sin­gle track re­quired to run the new ACE ser­vice to Modesto/Ceres. The work will oc­cur in the Union Pa­cific Rail Road right of way. The plat­form will on the east side of the tracks ad­ja­cent to Tran­sit Cen­ter serv­ing the com­muters.

The one ques­tion I have is about the im­pact on park­ing. Is there enough park­ing avail­able to ser­vice needs of our com­muters? Will ad­di­tional park­ing be re­quired? If so, whose re­spon­si­bil­ity does it be­come to pro­vide ad­di­tional park­ing — Man­teca or ACE Rail? In my opin­ion, the ACE Ex­ten­sion should build the new trans­fer sta­tion and Lathrop and new plat­form at the Man­teca Down­town Tran­sit Cen­ter. Man­teca must plan for ad­di­tional park­ing for the fu­ture as rid­er­ship is likely to grow. The cur­rent rid­er­ship board­ing the four ACE trains stop­ping at the Lathrop/Man­teca Sta­tion is 750-850 per day Mon­day through Fri­day. When the ser­vice starts at the Man­teca Down­town Tran­sit Cen­ter and North Lathrop Trans­fer Sta­tion, it is likely rid­ers cur­rently catch­ing the ACE trains at the ex­ist­ing Lathrop/Man­teca sta­tion will be dis­persed be­tween the two new lo­ca­tions.

Re­gard­ing the tran­sit sta­tion and the pas­sen­gers who will use this fa­cil­ity daily, the city should col­lab­o­rate with a third-party ven­dor where that busi­ness will pro­vide con­sum­ables such as bev­er­ages, snacks, read­ing ma­te­rial and other ameni­ties for the rid­ers of this pub­lic con­veyance.

With re­spect to serv­ing down­town busi­ness core, the op­por­tu­nity ex­ists to help grow our down­town com­mu­nity. We should work with the Down­town Busi­ness Al­liance, the prop­erty own­ers and the busi­ness own­ers to make down­town a des­ti­na­tion point where our ci­ti­zens and guests will fre­quent and con­gre­gate where trav­el­ers dine in our restau­rants and pa­tron­ize our busi­nesses. I en­vi­sion this hap­pen­ing which will help to re-in­vig­o­rate our city’s down­town.

My time spent on the San Joaquin Coun­cil of Govern­ments has been re­ward­ing deal­ing with tran­sit and trans­porta­tion is­sues for both Man­teca and the Re­gion with lead­ers from both our state and fed­eral govern­ments. We’ve ex­pe­ri­enced a great deal of suc­cess while re­al­iz­ing there’s still much left to ac­com­plish. To­day, our ques­tion deals with tran­sit - specif­i­cally ACE Rail, yet I ear­lier com­mented in­creased train traf­fic. In my hum­ble opin­ion, this is a crit­i­cal area for fu­ture con­sid­er­a­tion. We must con­tinue to work to find ways to the mit­i­gate the safety is­sues sur­round­ing stopped trains in our com­mu­nity so Man­teca can con­tinue to move for­ward and our res­i­dents pros­per.

Mike Morowit

ACE train has been a very ef­fi­cient way for Man­teca res­i­dents to com­mute to the Bay Area from the Lathrop/Man­teca sta­tion. I have talked to many rid­ers over the years and they have told me it is much bet­ter and more con­ve­nient than driv­ing their cars or tak­ing BART to their jobs over the Al­ta­mont pass.

Man­teca has a great op­por­tu­nity to have new down­town train sta­tion ser­vice for ACE by 2023 lo­cated in the heart of our city. The State of Cal­i­for­nia has fully funded the 300-mil­lion­dol­lar ex­pan­sion of a dou­ble-track sys­tem from the Man­teca Tran­sit lo­ca­tion south to Ceres and West to the Bay Area. The Cen­tral Val­ley com­muters will fi­nally be able to con­nect to the Bay Area via a safe, re­li­able and af­ford­able al­ter­na­tive in­stead of driv­ing hours to and from their jobs. What this will do for our down­town Man­teca sta­tion is in­crease eco­nomic growth for sur­round­ing busi­nesses and res­i­dents.

The Man­teca Tran­sit Sta­tion will in­crease the num­ber of RTD buses that cur­rently have routes that ar­rive and de­part more fre­quently to ac­com­mo­date the new ACE train ser­vice. The City Coun­cil has al­ready be­gun plan­ning for ad­di­tional park­ing east of the sta­tion with the an­tic­i­pa­tion of this new ACE ser­vice. As a Coun­cilmem­ber, I feel that we must find the most con­ve­nient meth­ods of trans­port­ing rid­ers from their homes via pub­lic trans­porta­tion to the ACE sta­tion. This must be a pri­or­ity. Ad­di­tion­ally, rid­ers who pre­fer to drive can park their cars in a safe lo­ca­tion and in rea­son­able prox­im­ity to the train sta­tion. The sur­round­ing area which in­cor­po­rates down­town Man­teca will need to have more restau­rants and en­ter­tain­ment for rid­ers who travel through our city. The city has an Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment com­mit­tee which will be tasked with find­ing new op­por­tu­ni­ties with the new rid­er­ship to max­i­mize the ben­e­fit to our com­mu­nity with this new Ace ser­vice.

I would an­tic­i­pate that sur­round­ing va­cant land would be de­sir­able for ad­di­tional new multi-fam­ily res­i­den­tial hous­ing to ac­com­mo­date those that would use the ACE train to com­mute to their jobs as well. Our cur­rent and fu­ture res­i­dents are look­ing for so­lu­tions to im­prove their qual­ity of life which in­clude in­creased pub­lic trans­porta­tion. In turn, they could spend more time with their fam­ily and friends and not on the road­ways. The newly added ACE ser­vice from our down­town loca- tion cre­ates a more de­sir­able Man­teca for all.

Jose Nuno

Trains, it’s com­mon to hear them around town and be­ing stopped at the tracks is a com­mon oc­cur­rence shared by many. But when the Al­ta­mont Cor­ri­dor Ex­press (ACE) train ex­tends its ser­vice to the Tran­sit Cen­ter Down­town, I see it as a win for the city of Man­teca. Specif­i­cally, in the fol­low­ing ways: An op­por­tu­nity for smart growth, eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment via tourism and com­mer­cial busi­ness, and an av­enue to cre­ate a state of the art sys­tem for pub­lic trans­porta­tion.

First, a trans­porta­tion hub spurs growth so we can plan for hous­ing for per­sons that want to live in a down­town set­ting but also want to have quick ac­cess to pub­lic trans­porta­tion to sur­round­ing com­mu­ni­ties, specif­i­cally the bay area. The type of hous­ing de­vel­op­ment I en­vi­sion would be built around the tran­sit cen­ter, a mixed de­vel­op­ment con­sist­ing of con­dos and apart­ments build­ings two to three sto­ries in height with some build­ings hav­ing the first floor as com­mer­cial space.

This would be the cat­a­lyst to bring much needed busi­ness and pub­lic im­prove­ments to Man­teca’s Down­town that would at­tract new busi­nesses to make down­town their home and spruce up ex­ist­ing busi­nesses. Th­ese busi­nesses would then be able to serve a new clien­tele cre­ated by th­ese im­prove­ments in close prox­im­ity to the ci­ties core.

Sec­ond, eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment would be spurred by down­town busi­nesses to com­ple­ment the Bass Pro Shops, AMC Show­place Man­teca 16 Movie Theatre, Prom­e­nade Shops at Or­chard Val­ley and tourism to the fu­ture fam­ily at­trac­tions like Great Wolf Lodge. Due to our city’s ac­ces­si­ble lo­ca­tion we are able to at­tract per­sons from sur­round­ing com­mu­ni­ties. Hav­ing the ACE train will only make it eas­ier for in­di­vid­u­als and fam­i­lies to come to Man­teca to shop re­tail stores and for en­ter­tain­ment thus in­creas­ing the ci­ties sales tax rev­enue and cre­at­ing job growth. This could lead to per­haps spark­ing a re­verse com­mute for work­ing in­di­vid­u­als to our city. I know per­sons who have done this pre­cisely, com­mut­ing from Fre­mont to Man­teca, for ex­am­ple. So this is not a far­fetched idea.

Third, state of the art sys­tem pub­lic trans­porta­tion sys­tem: Our cur­rent free­ways in­clud­ing High­way 120 are con­gested, cre­at­ing high wear and tear on the roads and ve­hi­cles. ACE train would as­sist with the thou­sands of in­di­vid­u­als that com­mute on a daily ba­sis to neigh­bor­ing com­mu­ni­ties and the bay area. Con­nec­tiv­ity to the Bay Area Rapid Tran­sit (BART) would be ac­com­plished by rid­ing the ACE train di­rectly from Man­teca and avoid­ing the only op­tions of tak­ing ACE train from Lathrop or driv­ing to the near­est BART sta­tion in Dublin. In line with cre­at­ing a state of the art sys­tem we must start now to take into ac­count land for un­der and over­passes for ve­hi­cles and pedes­tri­ans. Cur­rently roads are nar­row with peo­ple walk­ing on the edge of the road. We are grow­ing as a city, our in­fra­struc­ture and trans­porta­tion sys­tem must grow with it to make sure it is safe, com­pli­ant to cur­rent Amer­i­cans with Dis­abil­i­ties Act (ADA) code and safe for our chil­dren to walk from one side of town to another.

Man­teca is in the core of San Joaquin County that many have be­gun to call the Greater Sil­i­con Val­ley due to a large num­ber of in­di­vid­u­als that make up the work­force for com­pa­nies based in Sil­i­con Val­ley/Bay Area. As a city coun­cil we need to start see­ing the ways to grow in a smart, sus­tain­able way that takes into ac­count many fac­tors that will be af­fect­ing us, our chil­dren and grand­chil­dren into the fu­ture. www.Nuno­forMan­teca.com Face­book: /man­te­cafor­nuno

Chris Silva

The ACE train has al­ready shown it­self to be a huge ben­e­fit for com­muters to and from Lathrop. Its ex­ten­sion to Man­teca will cer­tainly be a wel­come ben­e­fit to our many res­i­dents that com­mute to work each day.

How­ever, we must be care­ful th­ese com­muter trains do not be­come a method of in­ex­pen­sive travel for va­grants as has hap­pened for some lines and sta­tions of the BART sys­tem. A pub­lic safety pres­ence will be nec­es­sary to en­sure pas­sen­gers re­main safe and com­fort­able dur­ing their trav­els.

As your coun­cil­man, I would seek to max­i­mize any fed­eral and state funds avail­able in im­prov­ing Man­teca’s trans­porta­tion in­fra­struc­ture. Any cost bur­den for Man­te­cans should be ap­proved through a bal­lot mea­sure in or­der to pre­vent stresses on other bud­get pri­or­i­ties such as po­lice, fire, parks and roads.

With proper ac­count­abil­ity, the ex­pan­sion of ACE has the po­ten­tial to ben­e­fit not just Man­te­cans, but res­i­dents from the sur­round­ing com­mu­ni­ties. I look for­ward to rid­ing with you in 2023.

Bre­it­en­bucher

Cantu

DeBrum

Morowit

Nuno

Silva

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