Click here for a key to the symbols used. An explanation of acronyms may be found at the bottom of the page.
The definition of this route is unchanged from 1963.
The following freeway-to-freeway connections were never constructed:
In October 2015, the "Lets Go LA" blog proposed removal of the long ramps from Colorado to Route 134. Although that removal is unlikely, the blog provided a pointer to an interesting historical discussion. These ramps are leftovers from an early interim terminus of Route 134, when the state planned to run the freeway through Eagle Rock rather than the through the hills above it. In the 1950s, plans to complete Route 134 Freeway (then referred to as the Colorado Boulevard Freeway) started to take shape. At this point, the freeway portion of Route 134 already ran through Burbank and Pasadena, but it did not yet go through Glendale or Eagle Rock.
Initially, there were a few routing configurations being considered for
the portion through Eagle Rock. One proposal had the freeway running south
of Colorado Boulevard along Chickasaw Avenue, while the other two placed
the freeway north of the boulevard, with one along Las Flores Drive and
the other on Hill Drive. These routes were immediately opposed by a
substantial portion of the neighborhood, including local elected officials
and the Chamber of Commerce. In 1960, a group of residents formally
organized the “Northeast Skyway League” to fully advocate for
routing Route 134 as far north into the hills as possible. The Skyway
League argued a freeway in the hills would provide a more pleasant and
scenic experience.Highway engineers criticized the Skyway League’s
proposal, telling the community that a route far up into the ridge of
local foothills would cost $15 million more than the engineer-favored
routes and that the Skyway League’s route would not provide
sufficient service. Despite pushback from engineers, Assemblymember John
Collier defended the Skyway League’s proposed route in the
foothills. By 1960, to the delight of the North Eagle Rock
Homeowner’s Association, the state highway engineers formally
favored routing Route 134 along Las Flores, which was planned to have two
access points for on- and off-ramps. The engineers claimed this route
would provide the best service, be the cheapest to construct and afford
the most benefits to the community. This route would require nearly 400
homes be removed to build the freeway. The Skyway League’s route, by
comparison, would only require the removal of 12 homes and the
organization insisted no on- or off-ramps were necessary in Eagle Rock
because Colorado Boulevard could provide all the access people need.
Additionally, the Eagle Rock Citizens Protective League preferred a route
just north of Hill Drive. This route was estimated to require the removal
of about 150 homes and was considered to be a compromise between the
Homeowners’ Association and Skyway League. Lastly, the Eagle Rock
Freeway Association opposed any freeway through Eagle Rock but would favor
a route south of Colorado Boulevard if a freeway was deemed absolutely
necessary. Shortly after the Freeway Association entered the discussion,
the Highway Commission picked the route preferred by the Citizens
Protective League. At this point, the Skyway League dropped its opposition
due to fear that further discussion might lead the Highway Commission to
change its decision and go with a more southernly route. The Skyway League
urged Assemblymember Collier to adopt their view, which he did. However,
the Freeway Association continued their fight, arguing that the mile-long
freeway connector in Eagle Rock to the already-built portion of the
freeway would be abandoned if a route north of Colorado Boulevard were
built. Highway officials countered that the freeway stub would become an
on- and off-ramp. Additionally, in 1964 plans for an on- and off-ramp at
Eagle Rock Boulevard were discarded. The freeway was also built to go
around Eagle Rock Park, rather than through it.
(Source: Walk Eagle Rock: Eagle Rock's Freeway Revolt, 3/23/2015; LetsGoLA:Freeway Removal at the 134, 10/13/2015)
The surface routing of Route 134 was LRN 161, defined in 1933. LRN 161 ran along Colorado Blvd. The later freeway routing was LRN 240, defined in 1957. This route was signed by 1935, but was not one of the original signed routes in 1934. Between US 101 and US 99, the route ran along Lankersheim, Riverside, and Alameda Avenue, then down San Fernando Road (cosigned with US 99) to Colorado Blvd.
On December 13, 1913, Pasadena’s Colorado Street Bridge was
dedicated. More than 3,000 local residents turned out for the
ceremonies.The structure was replaced by the Arroyo Seco Bridge in 1951 as
part of the Colorado Freeway in Pasadena.
(Source: Metro Library: This Day in Los Angeles Transportation History, 12/13/2018)
An August 1941 report issued by the Regional Planning Commission of Los
Angeles County entitled “A Report on the Feasibility of a Freeway
Along the Channel of the Los Angeles River” proposed a
four-lane roadway on each levee from Anaheim Street in Long Beach north to
Sepulveda Boulevard in the San Fernando Valley; excepting between Soto
Street and Dayton Street in downtown Los Angeles, where, due to a lack of
right-of-way along the river, the alignment matches the future alignment
of the US 101 portion of the Santa Ana Freeway. There is no mention in the
report of a master plan of freeways like that issued in 1947, although the
maps showed connections to the already-completed Arroyo Seco Parkway and
the proposed Ramona and Rio Hondo Parkways.
(Thanks to Daniel Thomas for hunting down this information)
On 11/18/1954, the CHC adopted a 10.9 mi route for the Riverside-Ventura freeway extending from the junction with US 99, the Golden State Freeway, westerly to Sepulveda Blvd.
A portion of Route 134 was constructed to freeway standards well before the current routing between I-5 and Route 210. This "quasi-freeway", called the Colorado Street Extension, now exists as a long on-ramp/off-ramp to I-5 near the LA Zoo. Mike Ballard writes this about the extension on his page on "Unsigned Colorado Freeway":
In 1955, the freeway was extended further west from Avenue 64 to Colorado Blvd at Eagle Vista Drive. In 1957, the Golden State Freeway was also extended from Western Avenue in Burbank to Los Feliz Blvd in Glendale. Along with many other interchanges, a freeway-grade exit to Colorado Street was built. This is known as the Colorado Street Freeway Extension and was signed as Route 134.
In 1971, the eastern Colorado Freeway was rebuilt to higher standards. It was widened, repaved, and realigned. It was also renamed the Ventura Freeway. Part of the old Colorado Freeway still exists, however, as the westbound Colorado Blvd exit. The western segment of the freeway still exists almost unmodified and still remains in heavy use. While it is no longer signed, the western segment still remains as a part of Route 134 (to be precise, it is Route 5S, LA 25.694 to LA 25.157). One aspect of the western segment is rather unique. It remained as the last freeway in Los Angeles with an intact raised median with no barrier until recently. The median was upgraded to a standard style median in 2016.
Although the legislative definition indicates this route ends at I-210, one correspondent (DW) has noted that there is a sign on Colorado Blvd indicating that the eastern terminus is at Arroyo Parkway and Route 110. By early 2000, this sign appeared to be gone. Further, there appear to be other portions of Colorado Street that are still signed as Route 134 (in particular, from I-5 to east of San Fernando Road). Again, by early 2000, this signage was gone.
In late April 2007, a project was begun to add an onramp to westbound Route 134 near the media center in Burbank (~ LA 2.341) in order to improve traffic flow in a heavily traveled area. The $47-million onramp will give drivers access to westbound Route 134 from Alameda Avenue, just east of Hollywood Way. Burbank transportation officials realigned the Hollywood Way off-ramp from westbound Route 134 in order to make room for the addition. The existing ramp at the northwest corner of Hollywood Way and Alameda will remain in place. This new ramp opened at the end of April 2011. The new configuration eliminated a left turn that backed up traffic during peak times for a corridor that accommodates hundreds of workers for Disney, Warner Bros., Providence St. Joseph Medical Center and NBC. Previously, motorists heading north on Alameda Avenue had to cross traffic to turn onto the Alameda on-ramp. Now, instead of turning left, motorists can continue north and turn right onto the new Hollywood Way on-ramp. The ramp curves around a power station and merges with the existing Alameda on-ramp The project also included the lengthening of freeway overcrossings on Alameda and Pass avenues, as well as Hollywood Way.
There appear to be plans for a study to improve the I-5/Route 134 interchange (~ LA 3.973 to LA R5.72) (March 2001 CTC Agenda). This study should be complete in early 2001; it is District 7 TCRP Project #154. It plans to explore completing the "back moves", i.e., from Eastbound Route 134 to Northbound I-5, and from Southbound I-5 to Westbound Route 134.
Glendale Cap Park (~ LA R6.959 to LA R7.862)
In March 2013, it was reported that Glendale has received an initial concept presentation exploring the idea of capping Route 134 to
create park space between Central and Glendale Avenue, similar to
Seattle's Freeway Park, Boston's Rose Kennedy Greenway and the proposed
park over US 101 in Hollywood. The funding to explore the idea came from a
grant front the Southern California Association of Governments, and has
been led Glendale's mobility planner Mike Nilsson in conjuction with
planning and urban design consultants Melendrez.
(Source: Tropico Station Blog)
The product to cover Route 134 has continued to have
momentum into 2015. The project is now called Space 134. According to their website, the Glendale "Space 134" project is a concept study for a "freeway cap park" over Route 134 from Central
Avenue to Glendale Avenue. The freeway cap park would connect the
community to the City's civic, cultural, and business core through public
open space and pedestrian and bike friendly trails. The intial concept
phase is entirely funded by the Southern California Association of
Governments (SCAG) through their Compass Blueprint Grant which was awarded
to the City of Glendale in 2012. The Near-Term Phase includes improvements
to existing bridges, incorporation of public art and adding pedestrian
lighting to roads & bridges. The Mid-Term Phase explores partially
capping Route 134 in certain sections between Central Avenue and Glendale
Avenue. The long-term vision for the cap imagines the potential for over
20 acres of open space, including a convention and events center, transit
facilities, active sports facilities, passive open space and a potential
reconfiguration of existing retail centers. They held a community workshop
on the plan in October 2015.
(Source: Emory at Aaroads, Space 134)
In March 2016, it was reported that updated renderings
of the Route 134 Cap Park are finally really starting to take shape. They
show what the 24-acre green space could look like, and give a better idea
of how the park will be laid out. Working with the firm Melendrez,
Glendale officials have created a concept plan that has the park set up as
a kind of link between Glendale's downtown area and its residential
neighbors to the east. The segment of the park between Central Avenue and
Louise would be oriented toward downtown, and would include a restaurant,
a mobility hub with bike parking and rental facilities, and transit
connections. From Louise east to Balboa, in the more residential areas,
there would be a playground, community centers, and sports courts. There
would be three event spaces, but the one in the downtown section could
handle large-scale events like festivals. Much-desired walking trails will
run the length of the cap park. The cap park will eventually extend for a
.7-mile length of the freeway between Central and Balboa avenues, but will
be built in phases, with the first phase to be built between Central
Avenue and Brand Boulevard. Glendale's planning on private and public
funding sources to help pay for the cap park, which it hopes to start
construction on after 2020. Images and such may be found in the linked
(Source: Curbed LA, 3/7/2016)
Arroyo Seco Bridge (~ LA R12.54)
In July 2016, the LA Times reported on a design
proposal to remake the Route 134 Arroyo Seco bridge near the intersection
with Route 210 in Pasadena. This proposal comes from Michael Maltzan
Architecture, a Los Angeles firm best known for the One Santa Fe apartment
complex in the Arts District, the Star Apartments near Skid Row and the
forthcoming Sixth Street Viaduct spanning the Los Angeles River. The
proposal would wrap the freeway bridge, built in 1953 and expanded in
1971, inside a sort of tunnel, what Maltzan describes as a “new
infrastructural overlay” stretching nearly three-quarters of a mile.
The overlay would include acoustically insulated walls capable of reducing
traffic noise, which has a severe effect up and down the Arroyo and
throughout this part of Pasadena, by 65%. A perforated aluminum ceiling
would direct auto emissions through concrete “lungs” made of
precast concrete treated with titanium dioxide, capturing 516,000 tons of
carbon dioxide per year. Transparent polycarbonate panels at eye level
would maintain views from the freeway bridge for drivers and passengers;
according to Maltzan the plan is “a design solution that celebrates
the experience of driving over the Arroyo Seco while sustainably
integrating the freeway into its immediate context.” The new
structure would collect rainwater, storing it in a pair of drums big
enough to hold 750,000 gallons each. Some of that water would be used to
maintain hanging plants on the exterior of the tunnel. The rest — as
much as 5 million gallons per year — would be added to the city of
Pasadena water supply. A field of photovoltaic panels along the top of the
tunnel would produce about 6 million kilowatt-hours of electricity
annually — enough to power 600 homes. To be approved and built, the
plan would require cooperation among the city of Pasadena, Los Angeles
County and Caltrans.
(Source: LA Times, 7/7/2016)
In July 2017, there was a discussion about the
increasing number of suicides from the Arroyo Seco Bridge. There’s a
long history of jumpers since the 1930s, with dozens of deaths during the
Great Depression. And a recent surge has city officials scrambling to put
up temporary barriers while deciding on permanent solutions. The latest
records show six deaths in four months between March and July 2017. Work
crews have installed poles that will later have mesh stretched across them
to block access to 20 pedestrian alcoves on the bridge, making it harder
to jump the fence. Additionally, a Pasadena City Council committee will
review a staff report on possible long-term fixes, along with details on
what other cities — including San Francisco — have done to
thwart suicides from bridges. The proposals include full-time bridge
patrols, higher fencing and netting draped under the bridge.
(Source: LA Times, 7/19/2017)
Commuter lanes exist on this route for its entire length. The portion from the US 101/Route 170 interchange to Route 2 was opened in April 1996; the remainder in May 1996. They require two or more occupants, and are in operation 24 hours a day.
The portion of this route from Route 101 near Riverside Drive (the
Route 170 junction) to Route 5 (~ LA 0.055 to LA 5.041R) is named the "Ventura
Freeway". It was named by a Senate Concurrent Resolution in 1973.
(Image source: AARoads)
The interchange of the U 101, Route 134, and Route 170 freeways (~ 134 LA 0.000) is named the "Bruce
T. Hinman Memorial Interchange." Officer Bruce T. Hinman was on
routine motorcycle patrol on Route 170 at US 101 when he stopped to assist
a disabled motorist. A drunk driver traveling at 60 m.p.h. along US 101
attempted to change routes by driving over a raised berm, then across the
freeway and onto the dirt shoulder where he crashed into the disabled
vehicle. The impact spun the disabled vehicle around, striking the
motorist, who was using the freeway call box, and knocking Officer Hinman
to the ground. The car came to rest with its rear wheels on top of the
officer's chest, suffocating him. Officer Hinman, 34, was placed on life
support but died a week later. He was a nine-year member of the CHP and
was assigned to the West Valley Area office directly after graduating from
the Academy. CHP Officer Bruce Hinman, an eight-year CHP veteran, was said
to be the first officer in the 26-year history of the patrol's West Valley
station to die in the line of duty.
(Image source: Flikr, Officer Down Memorial Page)
The I-5/Route 134 interchange (~ LA
5.041R) is named the "Gene Autry Memorial Interchange". Gene Autry was best known as a singing cowboy of stage and screen. Wikipedia says the following about Autry: Orvon Grover "Gene" Autry (September 29,
1907 – October 2, 1998), nicknamed The Singing Cowboy, was an
American singer, songwriter, actor, musician and rodeo performer who
gained fame largely by singing in a crooning style on radio, in films, and
on television for more than three decades beginning in the early 1930s.
Autry was the owner of a television station (KTLA), several radio stations
(KSFO, KMPC, KOGO), and the Los Angeles/California/Anaheim Angels Major
League Baseball team from 1961 to 1997. From 1934 to 1953, Autry appeared
in 93 films, and between 1950 and 1956 hosted The Gene Autry Show
television series. During the 1930s and 1940s, he personified the
straight-shooting hero—honest, brave, and true—and profoundly
touched the lives of millions of Americans. Autry was also one of the most
important pioneering figures in the history of country music, considered
the second major influential artist of the genre's development after
Jimmie Rodgers. His singing cowboy films were the first vehicle to carry
country music to a national audience. In addition to his signature song,
"Back in the Saddle Again", and his hit "At Mail Call Today", Autry is
still remembered for his Christmas holiday songs, most especially his
biggest hit "Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer" as well as "Frosty the
Snowman", "Here Comes Santa Claus", and "Up on the House Top". Autry is
responsible for the creation of the "Cowboy Code" of behavior. Autry is a
member of both the Country Music Hall of Fame and Nashville Songwriters
Hall of Fame, and is the only person to be awarded stars in all five
categories on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, for film, television, music,
radio, and live performance. The named interchange is near the Gene Autry
Western Heritage Museum, opened in 1988. Named by SCR 17, Resolution
Chapter 61, on July 16, 1999.
(Image Source: Wikipedia)
The portion between Route 5
and Route 2 (~ LA R5.632L to LA R8.891) is officially named the "Charles
A. Lazzaretto Memorial Freeway". Glendate Police Detective
Lazzaretto was shot and killed while searching for a man suspected of
trying to kill his girlfriend. As they entered a warehouse the suspect
shot at the officers, killing Detective Lazzaretto. Officers returned fire
and surrounded the warehouse during an all night standoff. Two Los Angeles
police officers were shot and injured during the standoff. They both
entered the warehouse in an attempt to rescue Detective Lazzaretto. Both
officers knowingly entered the line of fire in their attempt and in a
result were both shot multiple times, although no shots were life
threatening. The suspect was found dead the next morning after SWAT
entered the warehouse. Named by Assembly Concurrent Resolution 67,
Chapter 97, on 9/3/1999.
(Image source: Officer Down Memorial Page)
On 9/11/2017, Senate Concurrent Resolution 8, Resolution Chapter 147, named the portion between Route 2 and Route 210 (~ LA R9.08 to LA
R13.193) the "President Barack H. Obama Highway". It was named in
honor of President Barack Obama, the 44th President of the United States.
With a father from Kenya and a mother from Kansas, President Barack
Hussein Obama was born in Hawaii on August 4, 1961. He was raised with
help from his grandfather, who served under General George S. Patton in
the United States Army, and his grandmother, who worked her way up from
the secretarial pool to middle management at a bank. President Obama came
from a middle-class upbringing in a strong family, where hard work and
education were the means of getting ahead, and where the conviction that a
life so blessed should be lived in service to others. President Obama
obtained his early education in Jakarta, Indonesia, and Hawaii and spent
two years at Occidental College in Los Angeles from 1979 to 1981,
inclusive, which played a major role in determining his future. He made
his first political speech there on February 18, 1981, as part of a
movement to persuade the Occidental Board of Trustees to divest the
college of its investments in South Africa. After working his way through
college with the help of scholarships and student loans, President Obama
moved to Chicago, where he worked with a group of churches to help rebuild
communities devastated by the closure of local steel plants. He received a
B.A. in 1983 from Columbia University in New York City and worked as a
community organizer in Chicago, Illinois. He later studied law at Harvard
University, where he became the first African American president of the
Harvard Law Review, and received his J.D. in 1991. Upon graduation from
Harvard Law School, he returned to Chicago to help lead a voter
registration drive, teach constitutional law at the University of Chicago,
and continue his community serviced. President Obama became a State
Senator from Illinois from 1997 to 2004, inclusive, and was elected as a
Democrat to the United States Senate in 2004, and served from January 3,
2005, to November 16, 2008, inclusive. He was elected the 44th President
of the United States on November 4, 2008. After being reelected in 2012,
President Obama completed his second and final term on January 20, 2017.
President Obama and his wife, Michelle, are the proud parents of two
daughters, Malia and Sasha. Signage for the road was installed in December
(Image source: KTLA, 12/20/2018, Biography)
The segment of the route from former Route 159 (Figueroa Blvd) (134 LA R11.458) to Orange Grove was named the "Colorado Freeway". It acquired this name through the route's location, paralleling Colorado Blvd. It was one of the first freeway segments of Route 134 constructed (together with the Colorado Stub off of I-5), and predates determination of the remainder of the Route 134 routing.
Bridge 53-0166 (LA R012.57), over the Arroyo Seco in Los Angeles county, is named the "Pioneer, Pasadena Memorial Bridge". It was built in 1953, and named by
Assembly Concurrent Resolution 80, Chapter 182, in the same year. Pasadena
Pioneers' Bridge is named for the party of settlers led by Dr. T.B. Elliot
of Indianapolis, Indiana, who founded the City of Pasadena in 1874. Bids
for its construction were let on March 8, 1951. The total length of the
bridge is 1, 366'; the easterly approach viaduct is 215' long; the
westerly viaduct is 372' long. The maximum height of the structure from
the ground to the deck is 130'. Each of the two three-lane (in 1951)
roadways is 40' wide. The total width of the bridge flares out from a
width of 94' at the west end to 168' at the east end. Bridge construction
was expected to cost $3,500,000. It replaced the original Colorado Street
Bridge, built in 1913 by the City of Pasadena and Los Angeles County.
Strict limitations of topography and a deep ravine within a few hundred
feet of the main business section of a city of 100,000 necessitated
placing ramps and curves on the deck of a structure whose size and
location would ordinarily dictate the design and planning of the entire
project. The immediate proximity of the 1913 structure make the selection
of type and architectural design more difficult than usual. Technical
design calculations are further complicated by the curvature and
superelevation, excessive width, asymmetry of arch ribs and the magnitude
of the structure. An extensive overview of the planning and engineering of
the new freeway bridge can be found in the January-February, 1951 issue of California Highways and Public Works.
(Image source: CHPW Jan-Feb 1951, Pasadena PIO)
The original bridge Colorado Street Bridge was built in 1912 and 1913, opening on December 13, 1913. When it was
completed, there were about 35,000 automobiles in all of Los Angeles
County; in 1949 the county's total motor vehicle registration exceeded
1,800,000. The old bridge was added to the State Highway System in 1933.
It no longer appears to be in the state bridge log.
(Image source: Wikipedia)
The following segments are designated as Classified Landscaped Freeway:
|County||Route||Starting PM||Ending PM|
[SHC 253.1] Entire route. Added to the Freeway and Expressway system in 1959.
This route is part of the De Anza National Historic Trail.
Overall statistics for Route 134:
In 1933, Chapter 767 defined the route from "Corcoran to Lindsay via Tulare" as part of the state highway system. In 1935, this was codified in the highway code as LRN 134, with the definition:
"[LRN 135] at Corcoran to Lindsay via Tulare"
LRN 134 appears to have had an original terminus a quarter mile
approximately west of the modern one at Pickerell Avenue in Corcoran
before LRN 135 was realigned in 1953.
(Source: Gribblenation Blog (Tom Fearer): Route 137)
This definition remained unchanged until the 1963 renumbering. The route
ran from Route 43 at Corcoran to Route 65 at Lindsay via Tulare. This is
present-day Route 137. A small portion was also signed originally as Route 63; specifically, the segment from LRN 4 (US 99) east a short distance to
(Source: For the portion that was Route 63: Gribblenation Blog (Tom Fearer): Route 137)
Acronyms and Explanations:
Route 133 Route 135
© 1996-2020 Daniel P. Faigin.
Maintained by: Daniel P. Faigin <firstname.lastname@example.org>.