Community Columns

Odd split in Sycamore Avenue better than a speed bump

Edgebrook twists off Encina to dead end at a vineyard, yet continues on the other side all the way to El Vista -- where it is offset from its most easterly section by 100 yards.

Perhaps our most famous and deadliest anomaly was the Tidewater Southern train that ran through downtown in the middle of Ninth Street. We always will remember my cousin, William R. Mensinger III, for his collision with that train while driving a truck from the family business in the 1970s. He wasn't hurt. Fortunately, this problem is finally history.

These quirks of the La Loma and Enslen neighborhoods are minor. One even can argue that the house in the middle of Sycamore is an early attempt at traffic calming. It is less annoying and more picturesque than a speed bump.

Consider the neighborhoods in south and west Modesto that were allowed to develop on septic tanks and with inadequate roads, ineffective or no storm-water drainage and no curbs, gutters or sidewalks.

Mooney has noted that because of the complete lack of street lighting in some of these neighborhoods, you can appreciate the brightness of the night sky. The city of Modesto and Stanislaus County are working on cures for these historical deficits and have made progress, but much remains to be done -- the sooner the better.

Those who want to avoid these problems can move to new neighborhoods that have been master-planned to perfection, such as Village I. No, nothing like the split on Sycamore would be allowed today.

Mensinger is a Modesto businessman and former

visiting editor. Contact him at