This is a floating closed javascript menu.

Telling a Story Through
Highway and Planning Maps

The History of San Francisco Bay Area Freeway Development
(Part 2—San Francisco Bay Area)

Now our attention turns to the larger San Francisco Bay area; the portion pretty much between Gilroy to the south; San Rafael to the north, and Oakland and the East Bay. Just like San Francisco, many routes were planned for this area. As with Southern California, the initial plans for freeways in this area was quite ambitious. And, as with Southern California, many of the routes that were planned never became freeways. Some exist only on paper, and some are still just everyday highways, without any control of access.

[Thumbnail of 1963 SFBay State Highway Map]
(Click on the image for a full-size map. Full-size image size: 106K)
Figure 2-1. Excerpt from the 1963 State Highway Map showing the San Francisco Bay area and Vicinity
[Thumbnail of SF Bay Plans]
(Click on the image for a full-size map. Full-size image size: 214K)
Figure 2-2. Planning Map for the Freeway System in the San Francisco Bay Area and Vicinity

Figure 2-1 shows the 1963 plans for the San Francisco Bay Area. Figure 2-2 shows a map of the planned freeways for the area; I have annotated this to add present-day route numbers, if known. Note: To understand Figure 2-1, the subsequent renumbers must be understood:

In Part 1, we explored the routes in the city proper. Let's now look at some of the planned freeways that didn't make it. Route are referenced by their present-day route number, if one exists.

Other routes made it and were constructed:

Something closer to the present-day routings are better illustrated in this excerpt from the 1986 state highway map (Figure 2-3). Note the routes shown in open-circles, which designate routes that were never adopted. The open-dashed-lines are routes that were still planned for construction.

[Thumbnail: 1986 San Francisco Bay]
(Click on image for the full size map. Full-size image size: 281K.)
Figure 2-3. Excerpt from 1986 State Highway Map showing San Francisco Bay and Vicinity

Note that since 1986, some routes have changed even further. In particular, Route 480 in downtown San Francisco is gone, and I-880 has had significant rerouting in Oakland.


The following maps scanned in by others also provide information on Northern California highways:

<- San Francisco Freeway Development - The City -> Sacramento Freeway Development

© 1996-2020 Daniel P. Faigin.
Maintained by: Daniel P. Faigin <>.