By Leigh Martinez

MANTECA (CBS13) – The City of Manteca has begun taking out traffic curbs jutting out into lanes on Main Street. The concrete patches, also called “calmings” or “bulbs”, were put in during the early 2000s and created an uproar from drivers and business owners, who said they congested traffic and took away parking spaces.

“Our businesses would get four more parking spots if they weren’t there,” said Mr. Bigg’s Smokehouse owner Sean Aquino.

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The bulbs were supposed to stop alley cut-through traffic. In 2005, the then-director of Manteca District Ambulance, Dana Solomon, said emergency vehicles were getting stuck in bottle neck traffic.

Several Main Street store employees said work is constantly disrupted by the sound of tire blowouts and the sound of skid marks from cars hitting the bulbs. A tree was even taken out after one accident.

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“The tires pop out from this one,” said furniture store employee Jim Ziyadh, who said he hears tire blowouts in front of the store regularly.
“So this thing makes the traffic in the street right here.”

Manteca’s mayor, Steve DeBrum, said by phone that the city already removed one bulb and another is slated for removal. He did not know if water lines run underneath them, but several had visible sprinklers.

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DeBrum said the city doesn’t have a time frame for bulb removal, but said bulbs hit the most often are going first.