🛣 Changes to the California Highways Web Site covering October-December 2020

And with that, 2020 comes to a close. What a year it has been. We started out thinking this was going to be a somewhat normal election year. What we ended up with was a dumpster fire: a year consumed by a pandemic, with far too many deaths, far too many trips curtailed, and an election that seems to never want to end. There are some things you don’t want to see in your rear view mirror, such as a CHP cruiser with red lights flashing. But there are somethings that are best in the rear view, receding away. 2020 is in that latter group.

But as we enter 2021, we can take some comfort in that we’ve been rebuilding the roadbed, and that rebuilt foundation should be strong. We need to watch out for the fringes of the road. If they continue to deteriorate, they can weaken the stability of the entire road. But if we take care to not let the fringes (on either side) overwhelm us, and if we follow both the written and unwritten rules of the road, we should be able to travel safe. May 2021 see us all arrive at our destinations safely, and see us back on the roads and byways of this great land.

On to the updates.

Updates were made to the following highways, based on my reading of the papers (which are posted to the roadgeeking category at the “Observations Along The Road” and to the California Highways Facebook group) as well as any backed up email changes. I also reviewed the the AAroads forum (Ꜳ). This resulted in changes on the following routes, with credit as indicated [my research(1), contributions of information or leads (via direct mail or ꜲRoads) from Michael Ballard(2), Nathaniel B(3), Mark Dierking/Metro.Net(4), Tom Fearer(5), Andy Field(6), Kurumi(7), John Lumea(8), Scott Parker(9), Joe Rouse(10), Chris Sampang(11), Joel Windmiller(12): Route 1(1), Route 3(5,9), Route 4(1), I-5(1,5,2), Route 11(1), Route 12(1), Route 20(1), Route 25(1), Route 29(1), Route 33(11,9), Route 36(5), Route 38(1), I-40(1), US 48(5), Route 49(1,5), US 50(1), Route 51(12), Route 52(1), Route 55(1), Route 57(1), Route 58(1), Route 60(1), Route 71(1), Route 74(1), Route 76(1), Route 78(1), I-80(1,3,8), Route 91(1,5), Route 92(1), Route 96(1), US 97(5), US 99(2,5,12), US 101(1), I-105(1), Route 108(1,5), Route 120(1,5), Route 125(1), Route 140(1), Route 156(1), Route 172(5), Route 180(5), Route 219(5), Route 221(1), Route 254(5),  Route 262(11), Route 263(5), Route 265(5), Route 271(5), I-280(7,9), US 395(1), I-405(1), I-580(1), I-605(1), I-680(1), I-710(1,4), Route 740(1), I-880(1), Route 905(1), County Sign Route A12(5), County Sign Route A28(5), County Sign Route G15(5), County Sign Route S21(1).

Added a link for the newly created Historic Highway 99 Association of California to all the appropriate places. Added a page on the US Bicycle Route System, as County Sign Route S21 was about to be designated as part of USBRS Route 95. Added a link to the 1935 State Highway Map(5). Update the page on exit numbering(6,10).

Reviewed the Pending Legislation page, based on the new California Legislature site. As usual, I recommend to every Californian that they visit the legislative website regularly and see what their legis-critters are doing. As many people are unfamiliar with how the legislature operates (and why there are so many “non-substantive changes” and “gut and amend” bills), I’ve added the legislative calendar to the end of the Pending Legislation page. A new legislative session started after the November elections; all of the 2019-2020 bills are dead. For the 2021-2022 legislative session, this is extremely early in the session and there were very few bills to review, and even fewer related to transportation.

I checked California Transportation Commission page for the results of the California Transportation Commission meetings from October through December 2020. As always, note that I tend not to track items that do not impact these pages — i.e., pavement rehabilitation or replacement, landscaping, drainage, culverts, roadside facilities, charging stations, or other things that do not impact the routing or history, unless they are really significant. As such, the following items were of interest:

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🛣 Headlines About California Highways – December 2020

Ah, 2020. So nice to finally have you in the rearview mirror of history. You’ve left mayhem and destruction in your wake, and you’ve even sent debris ahead of you. We’ve had to send out significant crews to clean up the mess that you have left. Precious little good has come out of the 2020—a new president, some new vaccines, and the site redesign of California Highways. But the year has seen sickness and intense work to “flatten the curve”. This, in turn, curtailed vacations and roadtrips. We couldn’t get out there and visit the roads, and explore the history. But the workers on our highway—they are essential workers working on the road so we can get where we need to go. It is their hard work that makes these headlines possible.

To everyone reading this, may you have a happy and healthy new year. The periodic update for the California Highways is in the works as I post this. As they say, “watch this space”. So let’s look back at the headlines and post of interest for December 2020 … and toast to a much better 2021.

[Ħ Historical information | $ Paywalls and  ∅ other annoying restrictions: SDUT/San Diego Union Tribune; OCR/Orange County Register; PE/Press Enterprise; LBPT/Long Beach Press Telegram; DB/Daily Breeze; LADN/Los Angeles Daily News; LAT/LA Times; RDI/Ridgecrest Daily Independent; VSG/Visalia Sun Gazette; MODBEE/Modesto Bee; SONN/Sonoma News; SJMN/Mercury News; SFC/San Francisco Chronicle; EBT/East Bay Times; SACBEE/Sacramento Bee; SBJ/Sacramento Business Journal; TDT/Tahoe Daily Tribune; MIJ/Marin Independent-Journal; NVR/Napa Valley Register; PD/Press Democrat; RBDN/Red Bluff Daily News; ]

Highway Headlines

  • Granite Awarded $39 Million Highway Widening Project in Southern California. Granite (NYSE:GVA) announced it has been awarded the State Route 74 Ortega Highway Widening Project by the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) in Lake Elsinore, California. The $39 million contract is anticipated to be included in Granite’s fourth quarter 2020 backlog.
  • /PE 60 Freeway median work near Fontana, Jurupa Valley to be wrapped in 2021. Q: Gabro Gonzales recently noticed construction work being done in the median on the 60 Freeway around Fontana/Jurupa Valley near the Country Village exit. He said lights had been installed in the same area and he questioned why workers were now removing the concrete median and lights in the same area.
  • I-8/Imperial Closure Starts Dec. 3; to Last 6-8 Months. Construction crews will close the westbound Interstate 8/Imperial Avenue ramps on Thursday, Dec. 3 at 9 p.m., which will leave the eastbound and westbound I-8 ramps at Imperial closed for six to eight months for Stage 2 work on the I-8/Imperial interchange project, according to a press release from the state Department of Transportation.
  • The International Road Federation Announces Global Road Achievement Award. The International Road Federation (IRF) has announced that the “Pacific Coast Highway – South Los Angeles” Project performed for Caltrans by VSS International, Inc. of West Sacramento, CA, has won the 2020 Global Road Achievement Award (GRAA) in the category of “Asset Preservation & Maintenance Management.”  The award was presented to VSS International, Inc. on November 13th at the 2020 IRF Global R2T Conference. This award-winning section of the Pacific Coast Highway stretched 22 miles from Seal Beach north to Artesia Boulevard in Los Angeles County consisting of over 130 lane miles.
  • Ninth Circuit Clears Path for Contested Highway Project in Ancient Redwood Grove. The Ninth Circuit gave California a green light Wednesday to move forward with a contested highway project through a majestic grove of ancient redwood trees, reversing a lower court ruling that halted construction pending further environmental review. The California Department of Transportation, Caltrans, has been trying for more than a decade to alter a 1.1-mile strip of Highway 101 through Richardson Grove State Park in Humboldt County, about a 3 ½-hour drive north from San Francisco. Established in 1922, the park is home to redwood trees as old as 3,000 years old and soaring up to 300 feet and with diameters as wide as 18 feet.
  • /MIJ State allots key funds for Marin-Sonoma Narrows project. A years long project aiming to address one of the North Bay’s worst traffic bottlenecks is closer to completion after receiving $40 million from the state. The funds approved by the California Transportation Commission in a unanimous vote on Wednesday will go toward finishing the Marin-Sonoma “narrows” project on Highway 101 between Novato and Petaluma where traffic clogs as the highway narrows from three to two lanes. The project will add a carpool lane in each direction along the 17-mile stretch of highway. An estimated 146,000 cars and 6,900 trucks used the section of highway daily prior to the pandemic.

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🛣 Headlines About California Highways – November 2020

Boy, it’s been quiet on this blog.

There are a lot of reasons. Theatre has been on hiatus since COVID hit, meaning my weekly (or more) theatre, and thus theatre reviews, have been on hiatus. I’ve been writing about politics, but that’s been ephemerally over on Facebook… and it has been politics or COVID dominating the news. Further, for some reason, Westhost was very slow when I would try to update the blog (the server wasn’t provisioned right), so I hesitated to do updates here. Now, combine that with the blur that has been 2020: this is been both the seemingly fastest year in memory as all the markers between work and home life are blurred when your “office” is a 90° turn of your office chair and there are no vacations; it is also the seemingly slowest year in memory as it has been an endless political season, with endless Coronavirus news, and seemingly no end until we start to return to normal. But take heart: with this batch of headlines, we’re crossing into December. We’re rapidly approaching 2021, with a new incoming administration, and vaccines on the horizon. Perhaps normal will return in 2021.

But there is one thing that does go on: headlines and news about California’s highways. Here is my monthly collection of articles I’ve found through various sources, posted here both for your enjoyment, and so I can find the information when I do my next batch of updates to the California Highway pages. As always…. ready, set, discuss.

[📃 Historical information | 💰 Paywalls and 🚫 other annoying restrictions: LAT/LA Times; SJMN/Mercury News; OCR/Orange County Register; VSG/Visalia Sun Gazette; RDI/Ridgecrest Daily Independent; PE/Press Enterprise; TDT/Tahoe Daily Tribune; SFC/San Francisco Chronicle; MODBEE/Modesto Bee; SACBEE/Sacramento Bee; NVR/Napa Valley Register; DB/Daily Breeze; LADN/Los Angeles Daily News; SDUT/San Diego Union Tribune; RBDN/Red Bluff Daily News; SONN/Sonoma News; LBPT/Long Beach Press Telegram; PD/Press Democrat; SBJ/Sacramento Business Journal]

  • South Pasadena gets funds for new ramps at the 110 and Fair Oaks, an interchange untouched for nearly 90 years. Fair Oaks Avenue runs like an arrow through the heart of the quaint city of South Pasadena, home of shops, restaurants and the historic Rialto Theatre. But during commuting hours, it resembles a parking lot, jammed with bumper-to-bumper congestion to the point where many commuters using the Waze app take Fremont Avenue and side streets, causing a second set of traffic problems for the residential city.
  • I-15/SR 78 Managed Lanes Direct Connectors Project I-15/Rte 78. Continued residential and economic growth along the east-west State Route 78 (SR 78) corridor in the cities of Escondido and San Marcos has placed strain on its connection to and from Interstate 15 (I-15), a major north-south managed Express Lanes system in San Diego County. New direct connectors between the existing I-15 Express Lanes and three miles of new Managed Lanes on SR 78 are intended to improve connectivity and traffic flow on and between the two corridors, increase access to homes and jobs, and improve overall quality of life in north inland San Diego County. Managed Lanes are a tool that help to increase freeway capacity and manage congestion by prioritizing carpool, vanpool and transit, and may allow solo drivers to travel if they are wiling to pay a fare, an alternative to traveling in the regular lanes. The I-15 Express Lanes system is a Managed Lanes system. The interchange improvements are being coordinated alongside the development of a Comprehensive Multimodal Corridor Plan (CMCP) which will look holistically at integrating and improving all modes of transportation in the north inland region, and aid in meeting specific greenhouse gas reduction goals, reducing vehicle trips, and minimizing the overall time people spend in the car.
  • After years of delays, Caltrans set to expand Highway 156. The daily commute on Highway 156 can be a drag, especially during the busier peak hour traffic times. But Caltrans announced last week that a new road expansion project is coming soon in hopes of reducing some of traffic congestion and saving millions in vehicle operating and accident costs. The San Benito Route 156 Improvement Project will be a five-mile, 4-lane expressway between The Alameda in San Juan Bautista to the Business Route on Highway 156 near Hollister.
  • What’s best for Gleason Beach? The iconic Gleason Beach / Scotty Creek watershed presents a prime example of a place where early pioneering settlers, digging out a dirt road by hand and horse-drawn equipment, followed the shortest distance between two points. Before contemporary land use planning was even a thing here, a precarious subdivision was sold off and houses built on an already-crumbling cliffside that has, quite predictably, continued to crumble.
  • Addressing Highway 92 traffic could carry toll. Every once in a while, a Coastsider will propose adding a toll to Highway 92 to keep visitor traffic at bay. Transportation experts say it’s not a bad idea, as “congestion pricing” is an increasingly popular way to deter solo drivers from busy areas during peak times. It’s not likely, either. While tolls aren’t new to the Bay Area, they’ve never been tested on the Coastside, and no local agencies are moving to charge drivers as they come over the hill.

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🛣 Headlines About California Highways – October 2020

And with that, October is done. Only two months left in the strange year that is and soon will have been 2020. I think few don’t want 2020 to be overwith. Folks are counting the days. Me? I’m counting the headlines. Only two more headline posts left in the year. So while your little one are pestering you for candy because they aren’t out walking the streets, here are some headlines to keep you busy so you can tell them to come back later.

[💰 Paywalls and 🚫 other annoying restrictions: LAT/LA Times; SJMN/Mercury News; OCR/Orange County Register; VSG/Visalia Sun Gazette; RDI/Ridgecrest Daily Independent; PE/Press Enterprise; TDT/Tahoe Daily Tribune; SFC/San Francisco Chronicle; MODBEE/Modesto Bee; SACBEE/Sacramento Bee; NVR/Napa Valley Register; DB/Daily Breeze; LADN/Los Angeles Daily News; SDUT/San Diego Union Tribune; RBDN/Red Bluff Daily News; SONN/Sonoma News; LBPT/Long Beach Press Telegram; PD/Press Democrat]

  • 💰/LAT Long Beach prepares to open a $1.47-billion bridge. Fog hovers just above the new Gerald Desmond Bridge in Long Beach. Workers are scattered over a job site cluttered with traffic cones, construction vehicles and a few small cranes, and Duane Kenagy is giving a tour. Since signing on as executive director for the project in 2014, Kenagy has grown accustomed to playing docent to an international cast of visiting politicians, students, bureaucrats and media. Barring delays, the bridge will open Monday, and cars and trucks — by some estimates, 60,000 a day, now rattling across the old bridge just a few feet away — will sail over this gleaming new span connecting the 710 Freeway and downtown Long Beach to the nation’s busiest port complex.
  • The new long beach bridge: Gerald Desmond bridge is being replaced. The bridge has served its purpose. Half a century after it was built, the Gerald Desmond is still able to serve the City of Long Beach in southern California but it has come to be called “functionally obsolete” by engineers. The stress caused by the higher number of cars and trucks that have come to use it as a result of the port’s growing importance to the U.S. economy has taken its toll on the massive structure. In fact, 15% of all imports that arrive to the country as cargo travels across the bridge, which connects the city with Terminal Island where several of the port’s large tenants are located.
  • $1.47 Billion New Bridge, With 100-Year Lifespan, Opens In Long Beach. A new bridge that will connect Long Beach to the world officially opens Friday with a lyover of military planes, a boat parade, and a procession of zero-emission and low-emission cargo trucks. The six-lane, cable-stayed bridge replaces the Gerald Desmond Bridge and will be a major regional highway connector as well as improve the movement of cargo.
  • Metro Plans to Take Out 200+ Downey Homes to Widen 5 and 605 Freeways. The full details are not yet entirely clear, but Metro and Caltrans are finalizing plans to widen portions of the 605 and 5 Freeways – and the project will destroy hundreds of homes, primarily in the city of Downey. Metro calls the project the “I-605 Corridor Improvement Project” (605 CIP) though the project includes portions of other freeways: the 5, 10, 60, and 105. The project would touch on nine San Gabriel Valley cities – Baldwin Park, Downey, City of Industry, El Monte, Norwalk, Pico Rivera, Santa Fe Springs, South El Monte, and Whittier, as well the unincorporated county areas Avocado Heights, Rose Hills, West Whittier/Los Nietos.
  • 💰/SDUT Caltrans tries again to tame the roller coaster ride that is San Diego’s Route 52. In Southern California, where the car has long been king, completion of a new section of freeway can be cause for celebration. So it was on two summer days in 1987 and 1988, when officials held four-hour parties in the center of soon-to-open stretches of state Route 52 in Kearny Mesa. There were refreshments, live music, dancing, military exhibits, parades — mini-carnivals, minus the thrill rides.
  • Completion of Iconic New Bridge Celebrated in Long Beach. A sparkling parade of green trucks, a dramatic vintage aircraft flyover and fireboat sprays christened today’s ceremonial opening of the new bridge at the Port of Long Beach, reaffirming the region’s importance to international shipping and heralding in an iconic structure that dramatically shifts the Southern California skyline. This press release features multimedia. View the full release here: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20201002005503/en/

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📰 Returning to a Balanced Court – A Proposal

Recently, the subject of “Court Packing” has been in the news, because of the Trump administration’s perceived “packing” of the court with Conservative justices, which itself was the byproduct of the Republican Senate refusing to process President Obama’s nominees for the court during his last term. The imbalance this created has led to the desire for a return to balance, which is the goal of what we hear called “court packing” (which, itself, is a pejorative term creating bias — the real goal is a “return to court balance” of having an even number of Justices from each side). There have been other approaches  floating around out there, most centered on the notion of getting rid of lifetime terms for judges, and instituting term limits. Here is my proposal:

  1. All nominees by a President for the Appellate or Supreme Court must be approved or rejected by the Senate within 90 days of nomination. Failure to act results in the nominated Justice receiving an automatic interim 2 year appointment to the position, after which the Senate must approve or reject for the Justice to continue in the position.
  2. All Appellate and Supreme Court Justices must have their positions reconfirmed by the Senate on every 11th anniversary of their starting in the position.
  3. All Appellate and Supreme Court Justices have a term limit of 31 years. At this point, a two-thirds vote of the Senate can extend their term for additional five year terms.

This would apply to new and sitting justices. This creates no new immediate openings, but does provide the opportunity for greater turnover in justices, and the ability to more easily remove weak or bad justices. By using odd numbers for the terms, this staggers the reconfirmation process across 8 year Presidential cycles, hopefully restoring balance as the political pendulum swings.

 

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🛣 Changes to the California Highways Website – Aug/Sep/Oct 2020

This period is shorter one, focused on update. This update includes the August and September headlines, the actions of the legislature, and the August 2020 CTC meeting. Of particular interest are the legislative actions, which saw the authorization of relinquishment of a number of routes, but NOT the passage of the bill related to Route 241.

Updates were made to the following highways, based on my reading of the papers (which are posted to the roadgeeking category at the “Observations Along The Road” and to the California Highways Facebook group) as well as any backed up email changes. I also reviewed the the AAroads forum (Ꜳ). This resulted in changes on the following routes, with credit as indicated [my research(1), contributions of information or leads (via direct mail or ꜲRoads) from Ted Cabeen(2), Tom Fearer(3), Mark Harrigan(4): Route 1(1), Route 2(1), Route 4(3), I-5(1), I-8(1), Route 9(3), I-10(1), Route 14(1), Route 22(1), Route 23(1), Route 24(1), Route 29(1), Route 36(1), Route 44(3), US 50(1), Route 55(1),  Route 60(1), Route 64(1), Route 75(1), I-80(1), Route 84(1), Route 85(1), Route 91(1), Route 99(1,3), US 101(1), I-105(1), Route 118(1), Route 120(1,3), Route 121(1), Route 125(1), Route 138/HDC(1), Route 151(3), Route 152(1), Route 154(1), Route 168(2), Route 170(1), Route 175(3), Route 180(3), Route 187(1), Route 190(3), Route 192(1), Route 197(1), Route 198(1), US 199(1), Route 207(3), Route 216(1), Route 236(3), Route 252(1), Route 253(1,3), Route 273(3), I-405(1), Route 440(3), Route 480(1), I-580(1), I-605(1), I-680(1,4), I-710(1), I-805(1), I-880(1), County Sign Route A27(1).

Added Carolina Crossroads to the Regional Routes pages. Updated information on the Trails section top page about the history of the National Old Trails Road. Added more information on Scenic Highway designations to the State Highway Types page. Added links to the AASHTO Route Numbering Archive to the Interstate HistoryUS Highway Numbering, and Interstate Highway numbering pages.

Reviewed the Pending Legislation page, based on the new California Legislature site. As usual, I recommend to every Californian that they visit the legislative website regularly and see what their legis-critters are doing. As many people are unfamiliar with how the legislature operates (and why there are so many “non-substantive changes” and “gut and amend” bills), I’ve added the legislative calendar to the end of the Pending Legislation page. Noted the passage (or took particular notice) of the following bills:

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🛣 Headlines About California Highways – September 2020

Whew. And those years are a wrap. You’re probably confused, thinking the year doesn’t end for a few months. Not quite. The last two weeks have seen two years come to an end: the Jewish year of 5780, and the government fiscal year of FY19-20.  And this year, I’ll take any year ending I can get, if it brings me closer to 2021, and perhaps getting back to the old new normal, as opposed to the new new normal. In any case, the year ends have been keeping me busy, but one thing that hasn’t changed is my collecting headlines about California Highways. So here, for your edification and enjoyment, are the articles of interest that came across my desk. Note: There seem to be a lot less headlines this month — I’m guessing due to impacts from COVID and slowdowns due to the fires. Oh, and as it is the end of September, I’ve started on the next round of updates to the highway pages (which will cover the August and September headlines, legislative actions (including the end of the session), and CTC actions).

So, as always, ready, set, discuss.

[💰 Paywalls and 🚫 other annoying restrictions: LAT/LA Times; SJMN/Mercury News; OCR/Orange County Register; VSG/Visalia Sun Gazette; RDI/Ridgecrest Daily Independent; PE/Press Enterprise; TDT/Tahoe Daily Tribune; SFC/San Francisco Chronicle; MODBEE/Modesto Bee; SACBEE/Sacramento Bee; NVR/Napa Valley Register; DB/Daily Breeze; LADN/Los Angeles Daily News; SDUT/San Diego Union Tribune; RBDN/Red Bluff Daily News; SONN/Sonoma News; LBPT/Long Beach Press Telegram]

  • Commuters may have to pay to use North Bay highways 101, 37, 12 under Bay Area plan. Toll roads may be more common for San Francisco Bay Area commuters in the coming years — but not at the speed one might think. The Metropolitan Transportation Commission sent a letter to the Bay Area’s county transportation agencies in early August to help with funding on projects that alleviate congestion on the highways. The primary option involves express lanes that require tolls to be paid if motorists are not in a carpool or public transit. In the North Bay, U.S. Highway 101, along with State Routes 12 and 37, were singled out as possible toll targets.
  • 🎥 Virtual Open House for the State Route 99 Lomo Crossing Safety Project (Video). Welcome to our Virtual Open House for the State Route 99 Lomo Crossing Safety Project in Sutter County. Caltrans has produced a short video outlining the preliminary measures the Department is proposing to increase safety at the intersection of SR-99 and Live Oak Boulevard/Encinal Road.
  • BYPASS SAFETY MEASURES ON THE WAY. Your odds of getting in a collision on the 120 Bypass as you near Highway 99 if you are trying to head south toward Ripon and Modesto is six times higher than the statewide average. That tidbit from a Caltrans study helped set in motion the first phase of a $131.5 million project at the 120 Bypass and Highway 99 to improve vehicle movements and capacity. The project, expected to break ground a year from now, won’t be in place until 2023. In the meantime Caltrans is taking steps aimed at reducing the potential for carnage until two lanes are in place for eastbound 120 Bypass heading toward Modesto are in place.
  • Caltrans awards $6 million to construction company to fix highways damaged from CZU Lightning Complex. Caltrans is responding to highway damage in Santa Cruz County following the destructive CZU Lightning Complex Fire. Caltrans is mobilizing several contractors and sub-contractors to help with the repairs including fallen and hazardous trees, burned guardrails, destroyed traffic signs and markers and damaged retaining walls. Caltrans District 5 awarded Granite Construction of Santa Cruz a $6 million emergency contract to clear, repair and restore segments of Highway 1, 9 and 236 in Santa Cruz County.
  • 💰/SONN Commuters may have to pay to use North Bay highways 101, 37, 12 under Bay Area plan. Toll roads may be more common for San Francisco Bay Area commuters in the coming years — but not at the speed one might think. The Metropolitan Transportation Commission sent a letter to the Bay Area’s county transportation agencies in early August to help with funding on projects that alleviate congestion on the highways. The primary option involves express lanes that require tolls to be paid if motorists are not in a carpool or public transit. In the North Bay, U.S. Highway 101, along with State Routes 12 and 37, were singled out as possible toll targets.
  • Geotechnical Studies For Last Chance Grade Project Continue as Caltrans Fixes ‘Ski Jump’. Though environmental studies to find the best possible route around Last Chance Grade continue, Caltrans crews have been busy this summer to ensure U.S. 101 stays open. Caltrans continues to repair storm damage at the slide-prone area roughly 9 miles south of Crescent City, the agency stated in a “Progress Update Summer 2020” mailer sent to Del Norters recently. Crews are also correcting a dip in the highway, which locals have dubbed the ski jump, project manager Jaime Matteoli told the Wild Rivers Outpost on Wednesday.
  • More than $1.6B allocated to for work on state’s transportation system. The California Transportation Commission (CTC) allocated on Aug. 14 more than $1.6 billion for transportation projects throughout the state, including about $1.3 billion for State Highway Operation and Protection Program (SHOPP) projects, Caltrans’ “fix-it-first” program aimed at preserving the condition of the State Highway System. The projects allocated for funding will create an estimated 21,720 jobs, including direct, indirect and induced economic impacts. [Santa Ynez] Area state highway projects allocated funds include: ..

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🍏🍯🍎🍯 L’Shanah Tovah – Happy New Year – 5781

Apple in Honeyuserpic=tallitRosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, starts at sundown Friday night, September 18th. Thus, it’s time for my annual New Years message for my family, my real-life, Blog,  Dreamwidth, Google+, Tumblr, Twitter, and Facebook friends (including all the new ones I have made this year), and all other readers of my journal:

L’Shana Tovah. Happy New Year 5781. May you be written and inscribed for a very happy, sweet, and healthy new year.

For those curious about Jewish customs at this time: There are a number of things you will see. The first is an abundance of sweet foods. Apples dipped in honey. Honey cakes. The sweet foods remind us of the sweet year to come. Apples in honey, specifically, express our hopes for a sweet and fruitful year. Apples were selected because in ancient times they became a symbol of the Jewish people in relationship to God. In Song of Songs, we read, “As the apple is rare and unique among the trees of the forest, so is my beloved [Israel] amongst the maidens [nations] of the world.” In medieval times, writes Patti Shosteck in A Lexicon of Jewish Cooking, apples were considered so special that individuals would use a sharp utensil or their nails to hand-carve their personal hopes and prayers into the apple skins before they were eaten. And the Zohar, a 13th-century Jewish mystical text, states that beauty – represented by God – “diffuses itself in the world as an apple.” With respect to the honey: honey – whether from dates, figs, or apiaries – was the most prevalent sweetener in the Jewish world and was the most available “sweet” for dipping purposes. And as for the biblical description of Israel as a land flowing with “milk and honey,” the Torah is alluding to a paste made from overripe dates, not honey from beehives. Still, enjoying honey at Rosh HaShanah reminds us of our historic connection with the Holy Land. Although the tradition is not in the Torah or Talmud, even as early as the 7th century, it was customary to wish someone, “Shana Tova Umetukah” (A Good and Sweet Year).
(Source: Reform Judaism Website)

Rosh Hashanah ImagesAnother traditional food is a round challah. Some say they it represents a crown that reflects our coronating God as the Ruler of the world. Others suggest that the circular shape points to the cyclical nature of the year. The Hebrew word for year is “shana,” which comes from the Hebrew word “repeat.” Perhaps the circle illustrates how the years just go round and round. But Rosh Hashana challahs are not really circles; they are spirals… The word “shana” has a double meaning as well. In addition to “repeat,” it also means “change”. As the year goes go round and round, repeating the same seasons and holidays as the year before, we are presented with a choice: Do we want this shana (year) to be a repetition, or do we want to make a change (shinui)? Hopefully, each year we make choices for change that are positive, and each year we will climb higher and higher, creating a spiritual spiral. The shape of the Rosh Hashana challah reminds us that this is the time of year to make those decisions. This is the time to engage in the creative spiritual process that lifts us out of the repetitive cycle, and directs our energies toward a higher end.
(Source: Aish Ha’Torah)

There are also apologies, for during the ten days starting Sunday evening, Jews examine their lives and see how they can do better. On Yom Kippur (starting the evening of September 27th), Jews apologize to G-d for their misdeeds during the past year. However, for an action against another person, one must apologize to that person.

So, in that spirit:

If I have offended any of you, in any way, shape, manner, or form, real or imagined, then I apologize and beg forgiveness. If I have done anything to hurt, demean, or otherwise injure you, I apologize and beg forgiveness. If I have done or said over the past year that has upset, or otherwise bothered you, I sincerely apologize, and will do my best to ensure it won’t happen again.

If you have done something in the above categories, don’t worry. I know it wasn’t intentional, and I would accept any apology you would make.

May all my blog readers and all my friends have a very happy, healthy, and meaningful new year. May you find in this year what you need to find in life.

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