🛣 Changes to the California Highway Website covering May – July 2022

This update covers the remainder of May that wasn’t covered in the April update, plus June and July. This took a bit longer, because I’ve also been working on getting our new podcast, California Highways: Route by Route up and running. You can visit the podcast’s forever home at https://www.caroutebyroute.org/ , or the show’s page on anchor.fm. A full sample episode and the first full episode (covering the history of California Highways through 1920) are already up. The next episode will be up shortly after these updates. Subscribe to the podcast in your favorite podcasting app or by using the RSS feed. Just search for “California Highways” and look for our logo. The podcast is a joint effort between me and Tom Fearer of Gribblenation. Our plan is to include interviews in each episode. Episode 1.01 includes an interview with Adam Prince on the Good Roads movement, and episode 1.02 will feature Joel Windmiller of the Lincoln Highway Association on the initial set of US highways in California. We’re looking for interviews for the remaining set of Season 1 episodes, as indicated. If you’ve got a lead on a speaker, please let me know.

  • California Highways Route by Route Podcast1.03: Building a State Highway System: The 1930s: An expert on the role of the Auto Club in signing highways
  • 1.04: Building a State Highway System: Expanding the System: Someone to talk on the 1956 Interstate Highway Bill
  • 1.05: Building a State Highway System: The Great Renumbering and New Freeways: Someone to talk on the construction boom of the 1960s and/or the impact of the great renumbering.
  • 1.06: Building a State Highway System: CEPA and Reality: Someone to talk on the impact of the California EPA act on highway construction
  • 1.07: Highway Numbering: State Highways: Someone to talk on how the state numbers state highways — in particular, anything official on numbering patterns, or the rules for signing things.
  • 1.08: Highway Numbering: US Highways: Here I’d like someone to talk on the role of AASHTO on numbering US highways
  • 1.09: Highway Numbering: Interstates: This is Interstate numbering, so again an expert on Interstates — either numbering, the federal aid highway acts, or the chargeable/non-chargeable distinction
  • 1.10: Highway Numbering: County Routes: This is numbering of county highways, so anyone from a county public works department on the signed route system
  • 1.11: The Naming of Highways: A state legislator on highway naming resolutions
  • 1.12: The Organizations of State Highways: Someone from the California Transportation Commission on the role of the commission.

Updates were made to the following highways, based on my reading of the (virtual) papers in May, June, and July 2022 (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(ℱ), contributions of information or leads (via direct mail or ꜲRoads) from Gary Ansok(2)Concrete Bob(3), Gretl Davis(4), Paul DeRocco (pderocco)(5), Tom Fearer(6), Andy Field(7), Richard Lyon(8), Glen Norman(9)Plutonic Panda(10), Chris Sampang(11): Route 1(ℱ), Route 4(ℱ), I-5(ℱ), I-10(ℱ), Route 11(ℱ), Route 12(ℱ), Route 17(ℱ), Route 25(ℱ), Route 29(ℱ), Route 33(6), Route 35(ℱ), Route 37(ℱ), Route 41(ℱ), Route 55(ℱ), Route 58(7), Route 59(ℱ), US 66(6), Route 71(11), LRN 77(ℱ), LRN 78(ℱ), I-80(ℱ,4), US 80(6), Route 83(6), Route 90(6), Route 98(ℱ), Route 99(ℱ,6), US 101(ℱ,6), Route 120(ℱ), Route 125(ℱ), Route 140(ℱ), Route 148(3), Route 156(ℱ), Route 162(ℱ), Route 190(ℱ), Route 194(6),  I-205(ℱ), Route 206(6), Route 209(6), Route 212(6), Route 221(ℱ), Route 228(6), Route 236(ℱ), Route 262(9), Route 275(ℱ), Route 330(6), US 395(ℱ,5), Route 480(ℱ,6),  I-680(ℱ), I-710(ℱ,6,10), Route 905(ℱ), County Sign Route E9(8), County Sign Route G2(2).
(Source: private email, Highway headline posts through the July Headline post, AARoads through July 25, 2022)

Added a link to a crowdsourced map on the El Camino Real Bells. H/T to J. Scott Hayden for the link.

Reviewed the Pending Legislation page, based on the 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. The following bills made it out of the process:

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🛣 Headlines About California Highways – July 2022

Sorry for the delay in getting the July headlines up. I’ve been trying to get a set up updates to California Highways done, and had to finish working through the California Transportation Commission minutes before I could start on the headlines. I’ve also been trying to get the podcast going — more on that in a minute. So now I can turn my attention to the headlines from July.

But first, the California Highways Route by Route podcast. We have our first regular episode up, but still needs some more listens to catch up with the full sample episode. Anchor shows 51 listens to the sample (0.02), and 39 to the first episode (1.01). Please do your part. Subscribe in your favorite podcatcher, add our RSS feed, or listen through one of the Anchor feeds. The second episode is recorded and awaiting editing, and we’re planning on recording more soon. Subscribe now so you don’t miss a single episode.

We’re also plotting out the year. We need some good interview subjects, or leads for interviews. If you can help us find people to talk to, that would be great. Just let me know (comment here, or email daniel -at caroutebyroute -dot org. Here’s the list for the rest of the first season in terms of what I’m wanting in regard to interviews:

  • 1.03: An expert on the role of the Auto Club in signing highways
  • 1.04: Someone to talk on the 1956 Interstate Highway Bill
  • 1.05: Someone to talk on the construction boom of the 1960s and/or the impact of the great renumbering.
  • 1.06: Someone to talk on the impact of the California EPA act on highway construction
  • 1.07: Someone to talk on how the state numbers state highways — in particular, anything official on numbering patterns, or the rules for signing things.
  • 1.08: Here I’d like someone to talk on the role of AASHTO on numbering US highways
  • 1.09: This is Interstate numbering, so again an expert on Interstates — either numbering, the federal aid highway acts, or the chargeable/non-chargeable distinction
  • 1.10: This is numbering of county highways, so anyone from a county public works department on the signed route system
  • 1.11: A state legislator on highway naming resolutions
  • 1.12: Someone from the California Transportation Commission on the role of the commission.

We’re also looking for a better theme song, so if you know of someone willing to write some short pieces for the show that we can use for free, that would be great.

During July, I explored some of the desert highways: Route 62, Route 74, Route 111, Route 86. Where have you been exploring?

But you care about the headlines. So here are the headlines about California’s highways for July. The headline list seems to be getting smaller–I’m finding less articles about significant road work (I’m not that interested in simple resurfacing), and more articles about transit and rail. I think that’s the direction things are going currently: increase the number of people per vehicle on current roads (as opposed to capacity for more vehicles), and increase broader transit options. But here’s what I found:

Key

[Ħ Historical information |  Paywalls, $$ really obnoxious paywalls, and  other annoying restrictions. I’m no longer going to list the paper names, as I’m including them in the headlines now. Note: For paywalls, sometimes the only way is incognito mode, grabbing the text before the paywall shows, and pasting into an editor. ]

Highway Headlines

  • Freeway marker honors late Fil-Am leader Alice Bulos (Inquirer.Net). Elizabeth Bulos Ramilo was driving to work on the morning of June 27 when a road sign grabbed her attention: ALICE PEÑA BULOS MEMORIAL FREEWAY. Ramilo had long known of state and local officials‘ efforts to honor her mother in perpetuity, but she was unaware the sign already had been installed on Skyline Boulevard. The South San Francisco resident said she was elated near tears to see the memorialization fulfilled.
  • California allocates more than $3 billion for transportation infrastructure (Orange County Breeze). The California Transportation Commission (CTC) allocated more than $3 billion to repair and improve transportation infrastructure throughout the state, including $1.3 billion in funding from the federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act to support local projects and to protect local roads and bridges from extreme weather and natural disasters. Senate Bill (SB) 1, the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017, accounts for more than $930 million of the total funding. “The CTC’s decision to invest in our state highways while protecting city and county infrastructure will help make California’s roadways safer and more resilient one shovel, one project and one community at a time,” said Caltrans Director Tony Tavares. Projects approved in District 12 include:
  • Caltrans to stabilize eroded Highway 17 slope near Scotts Valley (East Bay Times). Millions in state transportation funds have been allocated to stabilize a slope on Highway 17 near Scotts Valley that eroded during a series of heavy rainstorms more than five years ago. The California Transportation Commission, as part of a $3 billion infrastructure package, has committed $4.4 million to the project located half a mile south of Sugarloaf Road near Scotts Valley. Caltrans has been the lead agency in designing repairs and after the project is put out to bid, it will administer construction which is planned to begin in December, according to Caltrans Spokesperson Kevin Drabinski.
  • Richards Boulevard / I-80 Interchange Improvements (City of Davis). This project will improve traffic operations and multimodal safety at the interchange by reconfiguring the ramps and adding a grade separated shared-use path. This project has existed in concept for many years, and has been working in parallel with the Caltrans Managed Lanes Project. The project will reconfigure the existing west bound I-80 on ramp, and off ramps to a “tight diamond” interchange, and construct a grade separated multi use path to cross the Richards Boulevard overpass. There will also be intersection improvements at Richards Boulevard, and Olive Drive, Eastbound I-80, and Research Park Drive. Once the “tight diamond” interchange improvements are complete, the project will permanently close the Westbound I-80 off ramp to Olive Drive.
  • Here comes Soscol Junction, Napa County’s biggest road project in years (Napa Valley Register). Drivers, prepare for the Soscol Junction Experience. This isn’t an amusement park ride. It’s Napa County’s largest road project in years, one that will turn a major, traffic-clogged intersection into a $54 million interchange, with construction to begin the week of July 18. Soscol Junction is where Highway 29, Highway 221 and Soscol Ferry Road converge near the Butler Bridge and Grapecrusher statue. It’s an entrance to Napa Valley’s world-famous wine country and a nerve center of the regional road system. It’s also a place where drivers might curse a congestion-creating traffic signal. The Soscol Junction project is designed to remove that signal and cut rush-hour delays there from several minutes to a matter of seconds. Drivers over the next few years will see dump trucks and bulldozers reshape the landscape. They’ll see Highway 29 elevated and made free-flowing. They’ll see two roundabouts created underneath to regulate Highway 221 and Soscol Ferry Road traffic.
  • Marin highway flooding projects get $30M from state (Marin I-J). As sea-level rise and flooding threaten to cut off Marin City from emergency services and block one of the busiest North Bay highways, the state Legislature and Gov. Gavin Newsom have allocated $30 million in the state budget to begin planning for defenses. The budget adopted on Tuesday provides $20 million to begin designing flood protections on Highway 37 and the Novato Creek Bridge. Another $10 million is for planning defenses for recurring flooding on Highway 101 that blocks the only road in and out of Marin City. “Living here in Marin we already know what our future looks like with the climate crisis,” said state Sen. Mike McGuire, who sits on the Senate transportation and budget committees. “Marin County is home to some of the most vulnerable highway corridors in the state.” Highway 37, the 21-mile link between Interstate 80 and Highway 101 near Novato, is used daily by nearly 50,000 commuters, many of them making their way to jobs in the North Bay.

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🛣 Headlines About California Highways – June 2022 Supplemental

Have you ever wondered how I assemble these posts. I scan the headlines, sure, but then I bookmark them in my browser. Sometimes that is on my home machine, sometime at work.  I use a tool called Eversync to keep the bookmarks in the two browsers synchronized. Well, when I signed into work today, I discovered a whole bunch of links hadn’t been synchronized. They don’t appear to be from May or June (although a few are from July). So let’s do a catchup post of what the synchronizer missed.

Key

[Ħ Historical information |  Paywalls, $$ really obnoxious paywalls, and  other annoying restrictions. I’m no longer going to list the paper names, as I’m including them in the headlines now. Note: For paywalls, sometimes the only way is incognito mode, grabbing the text before the paywall shows, and pasting into an editor. ]

Highway Headlines

  • It took decades, but the 5 Freeway from La Mirada to Santa Fe Springs now has 10 lanes (Whittier Daily News). More than 30 years in the making, the 5 Freeway now has 10 lanes — up from six — from the Orange County border to the 605 Freeway. Caltrans on Thursday, June 30, opened a carpool and a regular lane northbound from the Orange county line in La Mirada to Alondra Boulevard in Santa Fe Springs. This is the final segment of the $1.9 billion widening project that began late in 2011 with the Carmenita Road interchange. Discussions actually date back to 1989 when Caltrans originally proposed widening to 12 or 14 lanes that then would have taken three Santa Fe Springs council members’ homes as well as a then-proposed auto row. Neither ever happened.
  • Newsom announces freeway camera funding (KRON4). Amid a spate of freeway shootings, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced funding for a pilot program to strategically install some 200 closed-circuit television cameras on the state’s freeways, including at locations in Alameda and Contra Costa counties, according to a press release. “We are committed to ensuring the safety of our highways throughout California and to holding individuals accountable for brazen acts of violence perpetrated on our freeways,” Newsom stated. “Advanced CCTV cameras will serve to improve traffic safety and act as a tool to assist CHP with incredibly complex and in-depth investigations. We’re doubling down on our public safety investments and partnerships with law enforcement officials up and down the state to ensure Californians feel safe in their communities.”
  • California invests $700 million in transportation infrastructure (Action News). Hundreds of millions of dollars has been approved for infrastructure improvements to roads and bridges in Northern California and throughout the state. The California Transportation Commission (CTC) allocated $700 million for the work. More than a third of that, $272 million, comes from Senate Bill 1, the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017. Projects approved in [Butte, Lassen, Trinity, Shasta, etc.] include:
  • Kiewit Tackles Draining, Grading Issues On I-80 in California (Construction Equipment Guide). Kiewit Infrastructure West Co. started work on the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) and the Solano Transportation Authority’s (STA) $93.7 million Interstate 80, Interstate 680 and State Route 12 Interchange Project 2A in August 2020 — an initiative that is improving and widening the eastbound SR 12 to EB I-80 connector in the I-80 corridor, as well as improving the connectivity between regionally significant destinations.
  • California Consulting Releases Municipal Grants for May 2022 (California City News). Within each topic section, grants are listed in order by deadline and those which are due continuously. If you are interested in any of the listed opportunities, please contact your Project Manager for more information or to begin your application today!

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🛣 Headlines About California Highways – June 2022

We’re now half way through 2022, and boy what a year it has been so far for almost anything but the highway. Highway news, if I perceive things right, has been lighter this year. You can see for yourself: just jump down to the headlines after my introductory prather.

As I said: It’s been a year so far. The news about COVID has been pushed to the background, but the disease is still around creating havoc. More folks I know are getting the disease; luckily being double-vaxed double-boosted is making it less severe. We’ve had the findings of the Jan 6 commission, which are gobsmacking, to say the least. We’ve had the decisions of the Supreme Court, which are equally gobsmacking. As Pete Seeger sang, “There is mean things happening in this land…”

But closer to home, it’s also been a year. I’ve got a cholesteatoma in my ear, meaning it is constantly stuffed and distracting (surgery looks to be early August). My wife is still dealing with being in a wheelchair after her fall last November; progress is slow. Weekends have been busy with theatre, and Tom has been busy with other stuff, so we haven’t had the chance to record more podcast episodes yet. We’re still looking for music for the show, and we’re also looking for experts for brief interviews related to episode topics.

So June has been a whirlwind. July may not be much better, with theatre every weekend and a week’s vacation.

But you don’t care about any of that, do you. You care about the headlines. So here are the headlines about California’s highways for June. The headline list seems to be getting smaller–I’m finding less articles about significant road work (I’m not that interested in simple resurfacing), and more articles about transit and rail. I think that’s the direction things are going currently: increase the number of people per vehicle on current roads (as opposed to capacity for more vehicles), and increase broader transit options. But here’s what I found:

Key

[Ħ Historical information |  Paywalls, $$ really obnoxious paywalls, and  other annoying restrictions. I’m no longer going to list the paper names, as I’m including them in the headlines now. Note: For paywalls, sometimes the only way is incognito mode, grabbing the text before the paywall shows, and pasting into an editor. ]

Highway Headlines

  • Routes 25 and 156 Roundabout (FB). Construction begins May 31 on Highway 25/156 roundabout. Construction of a roundabout at the intersection of State Routes 25 and 156 will begin May 31—immediately following the Memorial Day holiday, according to the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans).
  • $2.3B Union Station makeover takes another step forward (Urbanize LA). In a vote taken last week, the Metro Board of Directors approved a funding agreement with California High Speed Rail Authority for the initial phase of Union Station’s $2.3-billion makeover and expansion. The project, called Link Union Station, expands upon a longtime plan to construct run-through tracks at the southern end of the passenger rail hub, allowing trains to cross over the US-101 freeway. This would eliminate Union Station’s historic stub-end layout, which forces all trains to enter and exit through the five-track throat to the north of the station platforms.
  • You may commute over one of these structurally deficient bridges in California (KTLA). A recent inventory by the American Road and Transportation Builders Association took a look at structurally deficient bridges in California. Bad news is … there are a lot. The ARTBA, a trade group that represents road construction workers, said in its 2022 report that 5.8% of California’s bridges can be categorized as “structurally deficient.” That’s 1,493 bridges according to the group. And these aren’t bridges along dusty roads or in rural parts of the state. Many of the structurally deficient bridges get hundreds of thousands of crossing every day, according to the ARTBA.
  • Dr. Sally Ride Memorial Highway (FB). It was my honor to recognize the historic achievements, and Valley roots, of Dr. Sally Ride at today’s Assemblymember Jesse Gabriel dedication of a portion of the 101 as the “Dr. Sally Ride Memorial Highway”.
  • The ghosts of L.A.’s unbuilt freeways (Los Angeles Times). Maybe you can hear them whispering, as your tires hiss along freeway concrete: the almost-weres, the might-have-beens, the freeway ghosts of Los Angeles, the thoroughfares dreamed up, planned for, but never built. There are more — oh, so many more — than you might have wished or feared, even in the cloverleaf heart of Freeway L.A. The Whitnall Freeway, the Industrial Freeway, the Temescal Freeway, the Laurel and Topanga and Malibu Canyon freeways, the Sierra Freeway, and the legendary Beverly Hills Freeway, discarded like an unproduced screenplay when such stars as Lucille Ball and Rosalind Russell gave it a big N-O.
  • Caltrans gets $35 million to add bike lanes, replace traffic lights along PCH stretch (Orange County Register). From replacing traffic signals to constructing new bike lanes meant to keep cyclists safe, a handful of transportation upgrades are planned along Pacific Coast Highway from Newport Beach to the Orange-Los Angeles county line. Nearly $40 million was recently announced for the improvements. The Caltrans district in Orange County is expected to begin work starting next year on the projects that will span more than 20 miles of the scenic highway.

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🛣 Headlines About California Highways – May 2022

Another month comes to an end, and that means it is time for headlines. But before I jump into the headlines, I want to highlight a few other notable things that have happened over the last month:

  • Tom Fearer of Gribblenation and I have started a podcast on California Highways. It is called California Highways: Route by Route and you can find our first full sample episode at the episode’s page on caroutebyroute.org, on the episode’s page at Anchor.FM; or an almost all major podcast platforms. This sample episode is about Route 105. We hope to start Season 1 sometime in late June.
  • The latest updates to the California Highways web page are up. This includes the review of the SHOPP and the STIP, as well as some interesting upcoming legislation.
  • The primary elections in California are less than two weeks away. I believe in being an informed voter, and so examine every candidate on my sample ballot, and write up a summary. This election, this process took me almost 20 hours to do. You can find my summary here; it links to the other pages where I go through all the candidates that led to my decision. I don’t ask (or expect) you’ll agree with my conclusions, but perhaps my research will help you be better informed. What’s most important, however, is that you VOTE. Voting affects the highways and our state in so many ways, and this is your chance to influence the process.

May has been a tiring and stressful month for me. I’ve been dealing with medical problems for me and the continued recovery of my wife from a fall last November; and I’ve had loads of writing projects (the election, podcast, and highway pages as noted above, plus a number of theatre reviews). I’ve had little time to destress, and my main avenue of de-stressing (listening to music) is impacted by the medical problem (ear issues). Let’s hope things go better in June.

But you don’t care about any of that, do you. You care about the headlines. So here are the headlines about California’s highways for May. The headline list seems to be getting smaller–I’m finding less articles about significant road work (I’m not that interested in simple resurfacing), and more articles about transit and rail. I think that’s the direction things are going currently: increase the number of people per vehicle on current roads (as opposed to capacity for more vehicles), and increase broader transit options. But here’s what I found:

Key

[Ħ Historical information |  Paywalls, $$ really obnoxious paywalls, and  other annoying restrictions. I’m no longer going to list the paper names, as I’m including them in the headlines now. Note: For paywalls, sometimes the only way is incognito mode, grabbing the text before the paywall shows, and pasting into an editor. ]

Highway Headlines

  • I-15 Exit Ramps At Clinton Keith Getting Wrong-Way Driver Prevention (Lake Elsinore, CA Patch). In an effort to prevent wrong-way driver crashes on Inland Empire freeways, Caltrans District 8 has identified priority exit ramps that need attention, and Clinton Keith Road at Interstate 15 in Wildomar is on the list. On Tuesday, the north- and southbound Clinton Keith Road offramps will be closed at I-15 so that Caltrans crews can install wrong-way prevention “enhancements,” according to the state agency.
  • Wildlife Undercrossing In Santa Cruz Breaks Ground (Santa Cruz, CA Patch). A project is now underway that will create a wildlife undercrossing beneath state Highway 17 to provide a route for mountain lions and other wildlife to travel safely between two large areas of habitat — both of which are separated by four lanes of the busy traffic corridor. Groundbreaking took place Friday for the Laurel Curve Wildlife Undercrossing in the Santa Cruz Mountains. It will connect 460 acres of land on both sides of Highway 17 that has been preserved in a conservation easement by the Land Trust of Santa Cruz County.
  • Last two-lane stretches of Highway 70 now being widened to four lanes (Chico Enterprise-Record). When roadwork currently underway on Highway 70 is complete, Chico will no longer be the largest city in California that isn’t accessed by a four-lane highway. While Highway 70 still has to wind through Marysville, the two projects running north and south from the Yuba/Butte county line will wrap up 16 years of work, costing in excess of $500 million. “I’m really glad it’s being done,” said Butte County Supervisor Bill Connelly. “I look forward to getting our people in and out of town and down to Sacramento safely.”
  • California Allocates More Than Half Billion Dollars for Projects (Construction Equipment Guide). Senate Bill (SB) 1, the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017, accounts for $317 million, more than half of the funding. “The CTC’s welcome decision to green light more than half a billion dollars to maintain and repair California’s aging transportation infrastructure is not only in keeping with our time-tested “fix-it-first” strategy, but also represents another big step to build and maintain a transportation system that serves all who travel in California, whether by foot, bicycle, bus, train or automobile,” said Steven Keck, acting director of Caltrans. Projects that were recently approved include:
  • Hwy 1 Toro Creek Bridge to be replaced near Morro Bay (San Luis Obispo Tribune). Drivers and cyclists, get ready for another lengthy construction project on busy Highway 1, this one replacing the northbound lanes of the Toro Creek Bridge. The two-span, ocean-view bridge is near the Dog Beach area north of the Morro Bay strand area, and about a half mile south of Old Creek Road. Traffic on the scenic highway will be reduced to a single lane in each direction during the two-phase project, which is expected to continue into the spring of 2023. Signs will notify drivers and cyclists about the changes; detours will be established for bicyclists.
    Pasadena and Caltrans Reach Agreement to Relinquish 710 Freeway Stub to City (Streetsblog Los Angeles). When I worked for the Tri-State Transportation Campaign a decade and a half ago, my boss used to tell me that a proposed freeway project was never really dead; that the best we could do is defund it and make it politically unpalatable to bring back. I learned this lesson the hard way when a New Jersey road project I helped get defunded was presumed “dead,” then was revived and built with funding from the Obama-era American Rescue and Recovery Act. But if the 710 Freeway “gap” project, which Streetsblog readers voted to dub the “Big Dig” over a decade ago may finally be dead enough that it can’t rise and terrorize residents of Los Angeles, Pasadena and South Pasadena. The North 710 Freeway project was slated to spend $6+ billion dollars for tunnels under these cities, until overwhelming opposition led the Metro board to cancel the project back in 2017.

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🛣 Changes to the California Highway Website covering March-April (and a little bit of May) 2022

Whew! In between everything else I’ve been doing, I’ve also been working on updates to the highway pages. The latest batch is done. Here’s the change log:

The original plan was for this update to cover March and April. It stretched mostly into May, due to a variety of factors: a number of backed up theatre reviews, an entire weekend lost to writing my detailed sample ballot analysis, and various caregiving and (of lately) non-COVID health issues. Alas, some of those are still ongoing. What did you say? I couldn’t hear you. Sigh.

One major delaying factor was the podcast. Yes, Tom Fearer and I have started a new podcast series that we’re calling “California Highways: Route by Route“. It will be a joint production of California Highways and Gribblenation. The eventual plan is to have one or more episodes for each numbered highway in the state (just like I do on this site), combining the information here such as legislative changes, highway history, naming history, and major projects with the extensive historical research Tom has done in the archives, and on his trips on the road. The first season will be background, going through the history of California Highways in a broad sense, explaining highway numbering and naming, and explaining the governance and regulatory processes and organizations that bring us highways. The second season will start with the highways proper, with multiple episodes devoted to long or significant route (for example, it looks like Season 2 will focus on Route 1 and Route 2, and there will be entire seasons on Route 99 and US 101. I expect this to be a retirement project for me—I’ve plotted out all the highways, and it looks like there will be at least 35 seasons (12 or so episodes a season, with initially an episode monthly)! Right now, a teaser episode is up and we’ll be putting up a full sample episode by early June, as I get more familiar with the audio editing tools. late June or July will bring the first real episode. So watch for “California Highways: Route by Route” on our anchor.fm site; at its forever home at the California Highways: Route by Route website, or in all the traditional podcast venues (and it better be, as I use the namesake device—an iPod Classic—to listen to my podcasts (no streaming here)).

Updates were made to the following highways, based on my reading of the (virtual) papers in March and April 2022 (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(ℱ), contributions of information or leads (via direct mail or ꜲRoads) from ConcreteBob(2), Tom Fearer(3), Cameron Kaiser(4)kernals12(5)Plutonic Panda(6)rschen7754(7), Dale Sanderson(8): Route 1(ℱ), Route 4(ℱ), I-5(3), Route 7(3), I-10(6), Route 19(3), Route 20(ℱ), Route 25(ℱ), Route 26(ℱ,3), Route 33(3), Route 38(3), US 40(3), Route 41(ℱ), LRN 43(3), Route 46(ℱ), Route 47(ℱ,3), US 50(ℱ), Route 58(ℱ), Route 60(3,4), Route 67(ℱ),  Route 70(3), Route 76(ℱ,3), Route 78(3,7), I-80(ℱ),  Route 86(ℱ), Route 99(ℱ,3), US 101(ℱ), Route 103(ℱ,3), Route 107(3), I-110(ℱ,3), Route 111(ℱ), Route 126(5), Route 135(ℱ), Route 145(ℱ), Route 148 (Capitol Southeast Connector)(2), Route 152(ℱ), Route 164(3), Route 187(3), Route 188(3), Route 213(3), LRN 231(ℱ,3), Route 243(3), US 466(8), I-710(ℱ).
(Source: private email, Highway headline posts through the April Headline post, AARoads through May 27, 2022)

Update the state highway numbering page based on observations from Tom Fearer. Put in a new header logo, courtesy of the graphic skills of J. Scott Hayden, moderator of the California Roads, Signs, and Maps: A Collection of Old & New Facebook Group.

Added a link to Gribblenation’s Oahu Highways page. As a reminder: If you have a regional page (state, country), please let me know so I can add it to the links directory. Yes, this is old-fashioned in these days of search engines, but it still does serve to increase the visibility and ranking of all sites.

Reviewed the Pending Legislation page, based on the 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. No bills were passed during this review period (although one naming resolution, SCR 39, was sent to the Governor). A number of Assembly Bills had their non-substantial contents replaced with something substantial—most notable was a bill that will authorize relinquishment of Route 107 in Redondo Beach. Also notable was a new resolution to remove the designation of the Christopher Columbus Transcontinental Highway (including removal of all signs).

Reviewed the online agenda of the California Coastal Commission. I reviewed the March, April, and May agendas for the Coastal Commission meetings. No actions rose to the level of Highway Page significance.

As the March 2022 CTC approved the newest iteration of the SHOPP and the STIP, after processing the CTC agenda items, I went through the SHOPP and STIP to ensure that any new items that rose to the level of interest were captured in the pages. From the SHOPP, updates were made to: Route 4, Route 14, Route 24, Route 49, Route 96, Route 99, Route 110, and Route 246. The updates to the STIP give a lot less detail (for example, there are no postmiles nor detailed descriptions of the changes)—you’re lucky to get a title, county, route, and project number. Based on what I could figure out from the STIP, updates were made to I-10, Route 57, US 395, I-680. Note that a number of line items appeared to reference a postmile, but never indicated the route. My guess is that the STIP items will eventually make their way into the SHOPP (especially as they have PPNOs).

I checked California Transportation Commission page for the results of the March and April 2022 meetings of the California Transportation Commission (although April was a one-day meeting and had no items of interest as the focus was rail and transit). 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:

[ Note: ° indicates items that were below the level of detail for updating the specific route pages; ♠ is an indicator used to keep track of what has been added to the pages; ❧ indicates the results from the meeting, if the meeting minutes were available. ]

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🛣 Headlines About California Highways – April 2022

The last headline post was on April 1st, so I must confess that there was one falsehood in the post:  “Maybe the right answer is just to put a fake headline somewhere in the headline list, and see if anyone falls for the rickroll.” That was just a tease to get you to go through all the headlines. Nothing was false.

However, there was one near truth:

  • How about: I’ve heard a lot about the growth of podcasting. Maybe now is the time for me to do that podcast I’ve always dreamed about doing detailed Theatre Reviews. I could make 10s and 10s of dollars towards my retirement. Now that’s worth quitting my job for. Plausible, but… would folks really fall for it.

The real truth is that I am starting a podcast, but it isn’t on theatre reviews. Right, I’m doing it with Tom Fearer from Gribblenation, and we’ll be going route by route through all the numbered highways in California. Right now, we’ve got a teaser episode up, and a sample and first episode written. We’ll be getting more written in May, and recording the same and first few episodes. You can find the forever home of the podcast at California Highways: Route by Route (caroutebyroute.org); you can find the alternate route over on anchor.fm. Subscribe, and we hope to have the sample episode — exploring Route 105 — up sometime in May.  We are still looking for someone to donate a public domain theme for the podcast; contact daniel@caroutebyroute.org if this interests you. We will also (eventually) be looking for podcast donors and sponsors, but that isn’t set up yet.

I’m also still working on the March/April updates to Cahighways.org. The ✔ below means that I’ve gone through the headline for the pages; I still have to go through the Gribblenation updates, the AAroads updates, the legislative actions, the CTC and Coastal Commission minutes. I also will need to go through the updated STIP and SHOPP, as they were approved at the March meeting. So the March/April updates should be posted sometime in late May.

The headline list is much smaller this month. Perhaps there are more paywalls blocking things. Perhaps there are less articles of interest for my pages (there are loads of articles on transit, but few new roads or major road changes right now). But you take what you get. Still, there are a few things of interest.

Key

[Ħ Historical information |  Paywalls, $$ really obnoxious paywalls, and  other annoying restrictions. I’m no longer going to list the paper names, as I’m including them in the headlines now. Note: For $ paywalls, sometimes the only way is incognito mode, grabbing the text before the paywall shows, and pasting into an editor. ]

Highway Headlines

  • ✔ Officials Approve $312 Million for 126 Highway Projects in California (Construction Equipment Guide). As part of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s landmark $1.1 billion Clean California initiative, Caltrans is awarding $312 million for 126 projects along the state highway system. Designed to foster cultural connections and civic pride, the projects are expected to generate 3,600 jobs as part of the multiyear initiative led by Caltrans to upgrade interstates and beautify community gateways and public areas along highways, streets and roads while creating thousands of jobs for Californians. Ninety-eight percent of the projects will benefit historically underserved or excluded communities. […] Developed in close collaboration with tribal and local governments, non-profits and businesses, the 126 state beautification projects include art installations, green space and proposals that improve safety and promote community connections. Construction begins in April 2022. Some of the larger projects include: …
  • ✔ Public Feedback Wanted On Caltrans’ HWY 49 Project (myMotherLode.com). Caltrans and the Calaveras County Public Works Department want to hear from the public regarding a construction project on Highway 49 in San Andreas. The State Highway Operation and Protection Program (SHOPP) construction project stretches from one end of town to the other along the highway. The town hall will give the public a chance to hear and see drawings of the project that will upgrade facilities to Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards with curb ramps, sidewalks and crosswalks.
  • ✔ Caltrans to add 41 parking spaces in Downtown Ramona starting this month (Ramona Sentinel). After a year-long delay, Caltrans will start a project to create 41 parking spaces in Downtown Ramona as early as this week, Caltrans officials said Tuesday. The parallel parking project between Eighth and 10th streets on state Route 78 could be done a few weeks after it starts, said Caltrans Public Information Officer Cathryne Bruce-Johnson. The restriping will create parallel parking spaces for 21 vehicles on the westbound side of SR-78/Main Street, and 20 parking spaces on the eastbound side of the street in currently designated No Parking areas.
  • $$ Temecula ‘smart freeway’ project could improve 15 Freeway commute (Press Enterprise). Transportation officials are banking on technology to ease the frustrating 15 Freeway commute in southwest Riverside County. The Riverside County Transportation Commission is investing $18 million in a “smart freeway” pilot project that will target the northbound drive along 8 miles of the 15, from the San Diego-Riverside county line near Temecula to the 15-215 freeways split in Murrieta. In that section, where commuters returning from San Diego County jobs daily encounter delays, the agency plans to work with Caltrans to install an array of sensors to measure traffic flow, volume and speed at various points, said David Lewis, capital projects manager for the commission.
  • ✔ Southern Marin routes eyed for flooding relief (East Bay Times/Marin IJ). Officials are considering plans to raise portions of Highway 101 and Highway 1 to ease flooding in southern Marin. A proposed project along Highway 101 would elevate a portion of the southbound lane and offramp at the Marin City exit; construct a 700-foot floodwall between the highway and a stormwater pond; and install pumping mechanisms to increase flow from the pond into the Richardson Bay, according to Caltrans and state Sen. Mike McGuire. The project also includes an effort to raise Highway 1 north of the Manzanita commuter lot, which is closed routinely because of flooding. An automatic tide gate would be installed at the lot and drainage would be reconstructed. The Mill-Valley-Sausalito multiuse path also would be raised by about 3 feet.

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🛣 Headlines About California Highways – March 2022

April 1st.  April Fools Day. So what could I tell you that you would plausibly believe, but would be completely false?

  • How about: I’ve decided that the numbering naysayers are right, and I-238 is truly an abomination and they should complete the I-710 no matter what it takes. No, you would see right through that as well. I’m too neutral to take positions like that.
  • How about: I’ve decided that the vaccy naysayers are right, and I’m not going to get that 4th shot. Nah, you’d see right through that.
  • How about: I’m getting close enough to retirement. I’ve decided to chuck it all and go out for one gigantic roadtrip, traveling every road in California. Nah, I think I enjoy my real job too much, plus gas is far too expensive for anyone to believe that.
  • How about: After all this time, I’ve decided that music streamers are right, and I’m going to chuck my iPod Classics and stream away. Me? Never. They are my Precioussssssss.
  • How about: I’ve heard a lot about the growth of podcasting. Maybe now is the time for me to do that podcast I’ve always dreamed about doing detailed Theatre Reviews. I could make 10s and 10s of dollars towards my retirement. Now that’s worth quitting my job for. Plausible, but… would folks really fall for it.

Maybe the right answer is just to put a fake headline somewhere in the headline list, and see if anyone falls for the rickroll. That sounds good. So with that, let’s get to the roads.

Key

[Ħ Historical information |  Paywalls, $$ really obnoxious paywalls, and  other annoying restrictions. I’m no longer going to list the paper names, as I’m including them in the headlines now. Note: For $ paywalls, sometimes the only way is incognito mode, grabbing the text before the paywall shows, and pasting into an editor. ]

Highway Headlines

  •  Who decides what roads and freeways get fixed next? (Daily Bulletin). Q: Rosie Shaw asked about road construction. Shaw, who lives in Riverside County, asked how it’s determined which roads and/or freeways are tabbed for construction work or repairs, including roads in small cities, and where the funding comes from.
  • State Route 26/Fremont Street Bridge Replacement Project (FB/District 10). The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) is preparing to begin a project that will improve vertical clearance for freight vehicles by replacing the State Route 26 (SR-26)/Fremont Street Overcrossing of State Route 99 in Stockton. Beginning February 28, 2022, crews will work during day and night shifts for approximately 200 days – Sundays through Fridays – with completion expected in late 2022. Roadside message signs will be placed on SR-26/Fremont Street and on SR-99 to alert motorists of scheduled highway and ramp closures.
  • State Route 99 Rehabilitation Project Through the City of Merced (FB/District 10). The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) is preparing to begin a project that will rehabilitate approximately 20 lane miles of State Route 99 (SR-99) between Franklin Road and Childs Avenue through the city of Merced. Construction will be done in phases and is scheduled to start on Sunday, March 6, 2022, with completion expected in August 2023.
  •  The Ghost of Harry Bergman’s Roadside Museum on Highway 371 (Esotouric’s Secret Los Angeles). Greetings from your friendly historic Los Angeles sightseeing tour company, now offering digital programming until we can again organize groups to gather and explore the city we love. For our latest post that’s hidden from the rest of the internet, we want to take you on a very short road trip along State Highway 371, the rural road between Aguanga (pronounced Ah-WAHN-ga, from the Luiseño word awáanga, meaning “dog place”) and Anza—or between Temecula and Palm Desert, to use more familiar destinations.
  • Opinion: Alien circles in downtown? (Madera Tribune). Some years from now, passengers in a low-flying airplane may report seeing “alien circles” right in downtown Madera. However, unlike the “crop circles” that are sometimes reported to exist in mid-West farmlands, the local phenomenon has a logical explanation. After years of prompting and procrastination, Caltrans (California Department of Transportation) is finally going to do something to improve State Route 145 through the City of Madera. After multiple meetings with city officials and stakeholders, the state has produced “State Route 145 Pavement Project and Complete Streets,” under the direction of John Liu, Deputy Director, Caltrans District 6 Maintenance and Operations. The plan consists of a “South Segment” along 3,020 feet of South Madera Avenue, from Avenue 13 to the East Madera Underpass Bridge; a “Downtown Segment,” including major modifications from E Street to Lake Street; and a “North Segment” from Lake Street to an area a bit short of the High-Speed Rail (HSR) underpass.
  • The US highway that helped break segregation (BBC Travel). Along US Route 40, African diplomats were routinely denied service at local establishments. But their treatment set off a civil rights struggle that led to outlawing segregation. Adam Malick Sow had a headache. He was several hours into his trip from New York to Washington DC, and after his limousine crossed into the state of Maryland, he asked his driver to find a place to stop. A few miles later, the newly appointed ambassador to the United States from the African nation of Chad stepped into a diner along US Route 40 and asked for a cup of coffee. The answer on a summer day in 1961 would change history.

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