Frederik Venter, the vice president of transportation planning and public works for RBF Consulting, said the unanimous council vote paves the way for Tracy to be better connected when it grows.
The master plan describes the size and general location of roads that will be built during the next 23 years. It also identifies existing roads that must expand to handle heavier traffic because of anticipated residential and commercial development.
Venter said the master plan ensures that future growth will pay for future transportation infrastructure.
“The big thing is, this helps establish the framework for development that comes in,” Venter said following the meeting.
He added that the unified road plan establishes a general standard for street construction, eliminates patchwork planning and integrates different parts of the city, echoing what Development and Engineering Services Director Andrew Malik said during the meeting.
“(The master plan) looks primarily at the new section of town and how it connects with the old,” Malik told the council.
As part of that connectivity, the plan calls for streets to be laid in a grid pattern, instead of in the cul-de-sac pattern Venter said can be seen in Tracy neighborhoods built from the 1980s to the present.
Venter said a grid system between larger thoroughfares — similar to the layout of the neighborhood south of Grant Line Road and east of Tracy Boulevard — provides “better and shorter” travel routes. That, Venter said, encourages more bike and walking traffic and reduces air pollution.
“With a grid system, you have multiple points of entry,” he said.
Individual street lanes will be 11 feet wide instead of the traditional 12 feet, a design Venter said slows the speed of cars but allows enough room for trucks. He said the design has the added benefits of reducing how much pavement needs to be laid, minimizing maintenance costs and environmental impact and increasing the amount of land available for development.
The plan also calls for the larger streets to include bike paths, and all streets will have sidewalks, according to Venter.
Most of the new and expanded roads called for in the master plan, including a new Interstate 205-Lammers Road interchange, are on the western outskirts of the city, where commercial and residential growth are planned.
According to City Manager Leon Churchill, the backers of commercial developments, such as Cordes Ranch and Gateway, and large residential projects, such as Tracy Hills and Ellis, paid for the plan’s completion.
“All of the major developers are contributing to this effort,” he said after the meeting.
Churchill said the special meeting was necessary so the transportation master plan could be approved and projects that are in the works could move forward. He declined to say what those developments might be.
“There are some things we have to take care of by the end of the calendar year,” Churchill said.
• Contact Jon Mendelson at 830-4231 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
At a glance
WHAT: Tracy City Council special meeting
WHEN: 4 p.m. Monday, Nov. 26
WHERE: City Hall, 333 Civic Center Plaza
DETAILS: Mayor Brent Ives, Mayor Pro Tem Michael Maciel and councilmen Steve Abercrombie and Robert Rickman were present. Councilman Bob Elliott was absent.