🛣 Changes to the California Highway Website covering September-October 2021

Time for the penultimate update to the highway pages for 2021. Before I paste in the change log, I should insert enough text so that folks don’t get bothered by the masterpiece of an introduction that I’ve written. So suffice it to say that these changes include updates from my usual review of headlines, AARoads posts, and material sent to me, as well as bills and resolutions approved by the legislature and actions of the California Transportation Commission. Read it, enjoy it, and you’ll find it a real “shot in the arm”, if you get my drift. Oh, and “Ready, Set, Discuss”.

Here’s the change log:

Welcome to the penultimate update of 2021, capturing happenings in September and October. Whenever I write up these things of late, I’m always including a reminder for people to get (noun), I also advise people to (action). I’ve made comments about (event in the past), and even have expressed my opinion about (political figure). Invariably, when I share this on AAroads, some (noun) makes a comment about how I’m injecting politics into the forum. I want to make one thing absolutely clear: My highway pages are about the truth, without opinion, and discussion about the pages and these updates should be focused on the highways.  But (noun) is real, and measures must be taken to reduce its spread and get us out on the roads again — and those roads must be safe and not filled with (plural noun) waiving their (plural nouns) and driving their (plural nouns). Oops. Did I say that with my public voice?

I thought about making the paragraph above in the form of a Mad Libs, but it was harder to format. Those who know me should know how to fill in the words. Those who are offended by the above, well, it is your mind that is filling in the blanks, and I think you should (anatomically impossible action).

As for the real introduction: September and October were interesting months. Newsom survived the recall attempt, and it will be interesting to see the impact of his survival on the roadbuilding and road rehabilitation programs of the state, as well as the future of High Speed Rail. There have been massive wildfires in the Northern and Eastern parts of the state that have impacted roads. I normally don’t note fire damage here because it will be repaired, but these fires have resulted in major closures on roads such as US 50, Route 88, Route 299 and much more. Let’s hope for their speedy and complete repair. As road lovers, we are all too aware of the impact of (noun) on highways, be it flooding on Route 37, fires on the roads in the Sierra Nevada or other forests, or damage from flash flooding out in the desert. This is one reason why emphasis of transportation programs is changing from building more roads and getting more vehicles from place to place faster to increasing capacity and improving the movement of people.

For those reading this on AAroads: Go over to the 2021 Changes page ((web page link)), and you can read the incredibly clever and witty introduction that I wrote, but decided not to post here because I didn’t want to deal with (username)‘s reaction this time. Trust me, it was really good.

On to the updates:

Updates were made to the following highways, based on my reading of the papers in September and October 2021 (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 PDERocco(2), Tom Fearer(3)HeyNow415(4), Rick Kelly(5), Michael McThrow(6): Route 1(ℱ), Route 2(ℱ), I-5(ℱ), LRN 5(5), I-10(ℱ), Route 11(ℱ,2), Route 24(ℱ), Route 26(ℱ), Route 49(ℱ), US 50(ℱ), Route 73(ℱ,3), US 97(3), Route 99(ℱ,3), US 101(ℱ), Route 107(ℱ), Route 108(ℱ), Route 113(ℱ), Route 133(ℱ), Route 139(3), Route 148(ℱ), Route 154(ℱ), Route 161(3), Route 190(3), Route 213(ℱ), LRN 232(ℱ), Route 238(4), Route 239(6), Route 241(ℱ), Route 299(3),  I-580(ℱ,5), Route 710(ℱ), Route 905(ℱ), County Sign Route J4(6).
(Source: private email, Highway headline posts through October 2021 as indicated, AARoads through 11/13/2021)

Thanks to a question, I learned that there is an online version of “2020 Named Freeways, Highways, Structures and Other Appurtenances in California“. Did an audit against my names list. Discovered that Caltrans has errors in their document :-).

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. Noted the passage of the following:

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🛣 Headlines About California Highways – October 2021

Boo!

Did I scare you? Perhaps this will: We’re now a year and a half into this pandemic. Although we’ve got safe and effective vaccines, a large portion of the nation still believes what they have been told by particular political sector, and are avoiding the vaccines. They cite bad politics and bad science to justify their positions, and to avoid protecting others.  Public health shouldn’t be political. Public health should be something you do to help others in society as well as yourself. The fact that it has become political and partisan, instead of science based, should scare you greatly. The fact that there are people who are proud of their ignorance should scare you greatly.

But this is a highway post, you say. What does public health have to do with the highways? Plenty. One of the major highway initiatives is something called “Towards Zero Deaths”. Each death on the highway means a state or local law enforcement has to inform someone their loved one has died. Each death from COVID means that someone’s loved one has died. Each person who catches COVID without the vaccine has the risk of “long COVID”: injuries to body subsystems that do not recover, and leave them permanently impared. Each case means a doctor had to tell a loved one that a person they care about won’t ever taste or smell again, will have permanent damage to their lungs or circulation, or will have brain injuries.

The Minnesota Department of Transportation has an approach to achieving zero deaths on the highway: The Four “E”s (and more). The Four “E”s apply not just to transportation: they apply to cybersecurity (my specialty), and to public health. The Four Es are:

  1. Education. Changing behavior is the focus of education efforts. It is not enough for people to understand the “rules of the road.” People must be motivated to change their habits.
  2. Emergency Response Services. The goal of the program is to reduce not just deaths, but total injuries and fatalities. That means that when a problem does occur, fast, efficient, and coordinated emergency response is critical.
  3. Enforcement. Ensuring compliance with laws and state and local mandates is a major component in driver behavior and reducing unsafe practices.
  4. Engineering. Modifying or reconstructing systems can be challenging and time consuming. Careful evaluation of characteristics is the key to a solid investment in public safety.

I made some slight changes to not mention driving, so you can see how these apply to public health. We can’t just get rid of the pandemic by designing better air flow in buildings and providing vaccines and treatments. We need to keep educating people about safe behavior, about how the medicines are safe, and how to avoid infection. We need to put safety policies in place to keep people safe and enforce them. We need to make sure our hospitals and emergency responders are not overloaded so they are there to treat people and save people when needed. This isn’t just for highways; it is for everyone. It is why — every month — I repeat these reminders. I’m not the only one reminding you of this: Caltrans is reminding you as well.

Yes, the pandemic is scary. Our recovery is scary with the impacts on supply chains and the transitory inflation. But I can at least give you a treat. Here are your headlines about California Highways in October. As with September, there seem to be fewer: I think more and more news sites are putting up paywalls and there is less and less new stuff of interest. But, as always: Ready, Set, Discuss, and get your vaccine or booster.

P.S.: Here’s a status update on the next round of updates for the California Highways pages: September headlines are incorporated, the legislative actions have been reviewed, and the CTC minutes have been included. All that remains is incorporating these headlines, doing a last pass through email, and reviewing posts on AARoads.  It will hopefully be up by Thanksgiving.

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

  • California park with racist past gets new Indigenous name (Los Angeles Times). Skip Lowry learned the Indigenous dances of the Yurok people as a child by watching the elders gather in the summertime at a re-created village along the Humboldt County coast in Northern California. The village, completed in 1990, was always a place of healing for Lowry, a Yurok descendant — but there was a lingering hurt there too. It’s in a state park that was named after a man accused of killing a Native American boy and committing other atrocities against Indigenous people in the 1800s. “It’s always been a slap in my face and a punch in my stomach,” Lowry said. But that changed Thursday when the California State Park and Recreation Commission took the unprecedented step of renaming the 625-acre park. The change, effective immediately, stripped the Patrick’s Point State Park moniker and restored its Indigenous Yurok name: Sue-meg.
  • More safety improvements on tap for Hwy 154, including another roundabout, officials say (Santa Maria Times). Two new safety improvements are coming to Highway 154 on the heels of other crash-reduction efforts recently made by Caltrans, according to reports delivered to a traffic safety committee last week. The total number of traffic collisions and arrests for driving under the influence have fallen each year for the past three years, but the number of citations issued has already exceeded the total from 2019 after a lull in 2020, according to statistics from the California Highway Patrol.
  • New Signs Aim to Steer Safety in a New Direction Along Highway 154 Corridor (SB Noozhawk). New signs, including a first of its kind, have been installed in the ongoing effort to improve safety at one Highway 154 intersecton, although statistics show that drivers still deserve the blame for crashes. The update occurred during the Highway 154 Safety Committee’s virtual meeting on Wednesday night with a panel discussion on the reasons for crashes and the status of efforts to improve safety. Caltrans has installed signs informing truck drivers that Highway 101, not Highway 154, is the recommended route for those traveling through the area, according to Peter Hendrix, branch chief for the traffic safety system at Caltrans.
  • Update on US 101 Richardson Grove Project (District 1/Facebook). Update on the Richardson Grove Operational Improvement Project: In 2017, the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) completed an Addendum to the Final Environmental Impact Report (Addendum) for the project. This document, along with the 2010 Final Environmental Impact Report (EIR), studies, and other background material, is available at http://dot.ca.gov/…/d1-richardson-grove-improvement…. Between 2010 and 2017, Caltrans reduced the project footprint slightly and refined the design.
  • Highway 101 wildlife crossing: Caltrans eyes early 2022 groundbreaking (VC Star). Caltrans plans to break ground early next year for a wildlife crossing that experts say could help save an isolated population of mountain lions from extinction. The first of its kind crossing in Agoura Hills would bridge a busy 8-lane stretch of Highway 101, a dangerous barrier for species from mountain lions to mule deer in Ventura and Los Angeles counties. The $87 million project led by a group of public and private agencies would connect the Santa Monica Mountains on the south to other areas to the north.
  • Virtual Public Meeting on October 12, 2021 to Discuss the State Route 227 Corridor Traffic Study (County of San Luis Obispo). The County of San Luis Obispo Department of Public Works (County), San Luis Obispo Council of Governments (SLOCOG), and the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) are working together to develop solutions to the growing congestion on State Route 227 and the local roads between San Luis Obispo’s city limits and Price Canyon Road. As an alternative to U.S. Highway 101, the future role and functionality of State Route 227 has been a key policy issue for all three partners. Please see map for location .
  • Route 905 Last USA Exit Traffic Shift (District 11/Facebook). 📆 On Thursday, October 7, Caltrans and @SANDAGregion will permanently move the Siempre Viva Road off-ramp (the last U.S. exit) to its ultimate configuration. Drivers not intending to go to Mexico will notice signage directing them to the new exit location. 🛣 To accommodate this work, a full closure along eastbound SR 905 between La Media and Siempre Viva Roads will be in effect beginning on 10/6 at 8 p.m. and continuing through until 10/7 at 4 a.m. Drivers will be detoured via the La Media Road off-ramp.

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🛣 Headlines About California Highways – September 2021

Happy new year! What do you mean, I just wished you happy new year? This is a different new year. Happy US government fiscal new year! Welcome to FY22. May it bring us a new budget, a raised debt ceiling, and infrastructure bill, and lots of highway upgrades and improvements at the Federal and State levels.

That said: The September bunch of headlines seems a bit lighter. Part of this is because road construction and planning was a bit on hold as budgets were being worked out, and due to the immense fires in the state. There also wasn’t a CTC meeting in September, so there wasn’t quite as much news. I also think more and more papers are going behind paywalls, making it harder to find information. As always, if you see a highway related headline, please send it my way.

Next week will bring something to these pages that hasn’t been seen since March 2020: a live theatre review. Our theatregoing, in a post-COVID environment, starts next week with My Fair Lady at the Dolby/Broadway In Hollywood. A return to normalcy? A dangerous event? We shall see, but my other hobby is returning. We’re taking it slow at first, but as they say, “Wouldn’t it be loverly?” to be back to normal. You know what you have to do: 💉, and here’s how to do it.

And with that, here are the headlines for September. My plan is to get the highway page update out sometime in mid-November, with a final update for 2021 right at the start of 2022.

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

  • 101 Freeway In Encino To Be Named After Astronaut Sally Ride (KABC-AM). Part of the 101-Freeway in the San Fernando Valley will be named after late astronaut Sally Ride. Last week, the state legislature passed a resolution, naming the 101 in Encino the Dr. Sally Ride Memorial Highway. It honors the first American woman to go to space. Encino is Ride’s hometown. She died of cancer in 2012, at the age of 61.
  • East Bay scores big in state funding (The Bay Link Blog). The California Transportation Commission allocated more than $1.4 billion for projects to repair and improve transportation infrastructure throughout the state. Senate Bill (SB) 1, the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017, accounted for more than half of the investment – $884 million. In the Bay Area, Alameda County and Contra Costa received millions from the August allocation:
  • State Route 192 Resurfacing Project Through Montecito Begins Tuesday September 7 (The Santa Barbara Independent). A project to resurface State Route 192 in both directions from Cold Springs Rd. to 0.9 miles west of Nidever Rd. will begin on Tuesday September 7. Travelers will encounter one-way reversing traffic control Monday through Thursday from 8 am to 5 pm and Fridays from 8 am to 2 pm.
  • Pedestrian Safety Project Nearing Completion in Bishop (Eastern Sierra News). The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) District 9 Pedestrian Safety Project will soon wrap up construction in Inyo County. The project, which began construction earlier this year, is upgrading four high-traffic crosswalks in three communities with new safety instruments. To date, crews have installed an Accessible Pedestrian System in Lone Pine at the intersection of Whitney Portal Road and U.S. 395 and a Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacon at the intersection of W. Crocker Avenue and U.S. 395 in Big Pine.
  • Diverging Diamond Interchange to Open at Enrico Fermi Drive and SR 11, September 9 (SANDAG). On Thursday, September 9, SANDAG and Caltrans crews will open the new diverging diamond interchange, located at the intersection of Enrico Fermi Drive and State Route 11 (SR 11), fully to the public. The diverging diamond interchange is the first of its kind in the San Diego region and the first in California to cater to freight. The interchange allows travelers turning left onto westbound SR 11 to continue without stopping at a signal light. This helps reduce congestion and improves overall traffic flow, particularly for freight transporting goods along this corridor.

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🛣 Changes to the California Highway Website covering June-August 2021

Blah blah blah introduction. Perhaps I should go with that.

Seriously, though. We’re at the end of Summer 2021, and the best thing I can say is that we’re not having to deal with a Presidential campaign again. COVID is still here, however, impacting travel. I did get some travel in over my summer, with drives to Los Osos, Scottsdale, and Las Vegas, and exploration of the Route 166 corridor and the Route 58 corridor between I-15 and Route 14. I got to see the construction they are doing S of Mojave on Route 14, and got to kill off a load of podcasts. Hopefully you’ve had a safe summer. As always: Please make sure you are vaccinated, and please continue to wear masks. Neither complete eliminates risk, but they are both key factors in reducing risk to an acceptable level. As someone who has been working in Cybersecurity for over 35 years, I understand how being risk adverse can blind you to the importance of doing the simple things to reduce risk. Just as with our highways, our goals should be to reduce the risks whereever we can.

On to the updates.

Updates were made to the following highways, based on my reading of the papers from the last week of May 2021 through xxxx 2021 (which are posted to the roadgeeking category at the “Observations Along The Road” and to the CaliforniaHighways 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 Anthony R. Brooks(1), Tom Fearer(2), Brian Nordon(3),  Tony Ortega(4), Scott Parker(5), Joe Rouse(6), Chris Sampang(7), Carol Stephens(8): Route 1(ℱ,2), Route 4(ℱ), Marine Route 5 (M-5)(ℱ), I-5(ℱ,2), Route 11(ℱ), Route 16(2), Route 17(ℱ), Route 18(ℱ),  Route 25(ℱ), Route 29(ℱ), Route 33(2), Route 35(ℱ), Route 36(ℱ), Route 37(ℱ), Route 41(ℱ,2), Route 46(ℱ,2), US 50(ℱ,2), Route 58(6,5), Route 71(ℱ), Route 74(ℱ),  Route 77(ℱ,1), I-80(ℱ,2), Route 88(ℱ), Route 91(ℱ,1,4), Route 99(ℱ,2), US 101(ℱ,2), Route 110(ℱ), Route 113(2), Route 121(ℱ), Route 132(ℱ), Route 135(ℱ), Route 136(3),  Route 140(ℱ), LRN 148(ℱ), Route 152(ℱ), Route 156(ℱ), Route 166(ℱ), Route 174(ℱ), Route 176(ℱ), Route 187(ℱ), Route 207(ℱ), Route 247(ℱ), Route 249(8), Route 273(ℱ), Route 275(2), Former US 399(2),  US 395(ℱ), I-405(ℱ), I-580(ℱ),  Marine Route 580(ℱ), I-680(ℱ), I-710(ℱ), County Sign Route A13(ℱ), County Sign Route 66(7).
(Source: private email, Highway headline posts through August 2021 as indicated, AARoads through 09/05/2021)

Updated the links to the Cal-NexUS pages and the highway exits, because Caltrans went and moved things again(ℱ). Updated the El Camino Real Bells page to reflect the removal of the El Camino Real bell from downtown Santa Cruz, and the rationale therefore(ℱ). Updated the Statistics page to better reflect the shortness of Route 77(1).

Marine Highway SystemAdded information on the National Marine Highway System(ℱ):
(Source: CleanTechnica, 6/22/2021US DOT Maritime Administration: National Marine Highways, 6/2021)

In California waters, there are two routes: Route 5 (M-5) and Route 580 (M-580). The US Department of Transportation has a special webpage all about this system of marine highways, complete with a map of the system. The system’s highways are numbered the same as nearby Interstate Highways from which they could relieve congestion. The DOT Maritime Administration (MARAD)’s Marine Highway Program has one major goal: expand the use of America’s navigable waters. They closely with public and private organizations to:

  • Develop and expand marine highway service options and facilitate their further integration into the current U.S. surface transportation system, especially where water-based transport is the most efficient, effective and sustainable option
  • Highlight the benefits, increase public awareness and promote waterways as a viable (in some cases a superior) alternative to “landside” shipping and transportation options

The Marine Highway system currently includes 26 “Marine Highway Routes” that serve as extensions of the surface transportation system. Each all-water route is designated by the Secretary and offers relief to landside corridors suffering from traffic congestion, excessive air emissions or other environmental challenges. For the highways in California, a section was added to the appropriate route page providing information on the Marine highway route.

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. Noted the passage of the following:

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🛣 Headlines About California Highways – August 2021

The end of August. Summer is coming to an end, although the hot days are still here (and the Santa Ana winds are still to come, which is scary given the fires we’ve had so far). I hope everyone is staying safe with all the dangers out there — COVID, brush fires, flash floods, monsoons. Please do what you can to stay safe. Get vaccinated. Vote “no” on the recall. Watch out for flash floods. Stay out of evacuation zones. Watch out for the draft. Stay away from Texas.

This post was delayed a bit because I was on vacation in Las Vegas. I plan to do some posts about that: one looking at the subtle racism that is still present in the town that once you see, you can’t unsee. The other looking at how the town — and the roads — have changed. We all wax rhapsodic about “Classic” Vegas, but classic vegas is no more. There are no headliners like the headliners of old, there are no lounges or showrooms like the ones of old, there are no hotels like the hotels of old, there are no signs like the signs of old. There are glimmers, fleeting, of the past. But was the past better? Is today’s Vegas better? You’ll have to read my upcoming posts to know.

One thing the trip to Vegas makes clear is that change is here to stay (unless you are exchanging it for a gambling voucher or playing Pinball at the Pinball Hall of Fame). The days of driving US 91 to Vegas, seeing the signs for the hotels and for Foxy’s Deli are gone. Stuckey’s is only a memory. The roads are crowded, and filled with people trying to get there an extra five minutes earlier. The headlines this month capture the change.

One other thing the end of summer will bring us is another round of highway page updates. They are almost done, and these headlines will be included in that update. So watch this space. After the headlines are posted, all that will remain is reviewing the AARoads Pacific Southwest forum for updates. As always, if you see a naming sign in the wild (i.e., a sign with the name of a highway) and I don’t have a picture of that sign in the NAMING section for the route, please send me the photo. Your name will be immortalized as a contributor.

And lastly, all together now: “Ready, set, discuss”.

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

  • Full closure of northbound State Route 113 to Interstate 5 begins Monday (California News Times). According to the California Department of Transportation, the full closure of State Highway 113 to Interstate 5 will begin on Monday, according to Caltrans. Drivers are advised to plan ahead. The road will be officially closed at 9 pm on Monday and will reopen at 5 am on August 23. Caltrans recommends the following detours: NBSR-113 to NBI-5. Remove Main Street from the ramp (Exit 37) and turn right onto East Main Street. Use I-5 South On Lamp (Sacramento) from East Main. From SB I-5, take County Road 102 (Exit 536) and turn left. Proceed to the right and take the NB I-5 (Reading) from CR-102 back to I-5 bound for the north. Everyone living in this area expects loud construction noise, and drivers in this area need to anticipate lane restrictions and be aware of commercial vehicles.
  • Why improving the drive to Southern California is so complicated (Las Vegas Sun News). Jim Nares is all too familiar with the Sunday morning routine of waking up early in his Las Vegas hotel room to get a head start on the drive back to Southern California via Interstate 15. Sleeping in poses a seemingly unavoidable hurdle: Long hours stuck in traffic getting home to Winchester, Calif. Nares has been traveling by car with his wife to Las Vegas for 20 years for outdoor recreation, restaurants and light gambling. To keep the return drive at the minimum of four hours, Nares opts for either an early-morning departure or late-night arrival back home. Leaving in the afternoon when thousands of others hit the road is out of the question, he says. “I don’t like traveling back on Sunday,” he said. “Sometimes it just happens. … If we do, we definitely try to be past state line by 9 a.m., otherwise we just stick around (Las Vegas) until, like, 6, 7 p.m.” The parade of bumper-to-bumper traffic is a Sunday afternoon ritual heading back to California. Residents of California accounted for 21% of visitors to Las Vegas in 2019, according to the most recent Visitor Profile Study by the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority. During the pandemic when air travel was limited because of safety concerns, drive-in visitors from California helped keep the local economy moving. Having those visitors stalled in traffic is concerning, Clark County Commissioner Tick Segerblom said. After all, the last impression of someone’s visit shouldn’t be delays on the road.
  • How does the Caltrans project on Highway 41 compare to other similar endeavors? (KMPH). After decades of accidents along a two-lane stretch of Highway 41 in Fresno County, Caltrans is installing a center barrier that will keep people from crossing into oncoming traffic to pass slower drivers ahead of them. That came after a push by a group called Widen Highway 41 that a woman named Lorna Roush founded after her cousin’s husband Ken Atkins was killed in a head-on crash. “This is a temporary fix. It’s a Band Aid,” Roush said of the K-Rail. “We’re going to save lives from head-ons while we work on the logistics of getting that widened to four lanes.”
  • American Canyon plots the future look of Highway 29 (Napa Valley Register). American Canyon is trying to keep its Highway 29 of the future from becoming an irrevocably entrenched Anywhere, USA blur of strip malls, parking lots and clashing architecture. “That is the front door to our city,” city Community Development Director Brent Cooper said. It’s also a front door/first impression for Napa County. A sign in American Canyon along Highway 29 depicts vineyards and pristine hillsides and proclaims, “Where your Napa Valley experience begins.”
  • Newsom Signs S.B. 51, Durazo’s Legislation that Changes Law on Caltrans Tenant Property Sales (Streetsblog California). Last week, Governor Gavin Newsom signed S.B. 51, state legislation that changes a four-decades-old law that governs how Caltrans-owned residential properties along the 710 corridor will be sold. Critics contend that the changes will make it harder for tenants, some of whom have lived in the properties for forty years, to purchase the properties. The legislation’s author, Senator Maria Elena Durazo, contends the legislation will make it easier to preserve the existing stock as affordable housing for current and future generations.

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🛣 Headlines About California Highways – July 2021

July. We’ve seen heat. We’ve seen fires. We’ve seen floods (especially if you were in Arizona).

For me, July brought a trip to Phoenix and Tucson (and some side exploration into the Arizona state highway system). It saw completion of the pool remodel, together with some unanticipated gas line work. It saw me spending more time in the pool than I’ve spent in the previous 15 years in this house, now that the pool is fixed. In terms of highway page updates: I’ve started on them. I’m currently working through the June headlines — my goal will be to finish them and upload around Labor Day, but we shall see.

In the larger world, it saw the Delta variant spread. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Get vaccinated. It is the best way to get us back to something approaching normal and back on the roads again. If you have any questions or hesitancy, drop me an email and I’ll try to work you through it. Of course, if you say it is spinach and to hell with it, you get to live with the consequences.

August will see one more driving trip: Back to Vegas, perhaps this time with a bit more road exploration. What are you doing out on the roads that is interesting? Share your stories, or discuss the headlines. In any case, “ready, set, discuss”.

Key

[Ħ Historical information |  Paywalls,  really obnoxious paywalls, and  other annoying restrictions: SDUT/San Diego Union Tribune; OCR/Orange County Register; VN/Valley News; PE/Press Enterprise; LBPT/Long Beach Press Telegram; DB/Daily Breeze; LADN/Los Angeles Daily News; LAT/LA Times; DS/Desert Sun; RDI/Ridgecrest Daily Independent; VSG/Visalia Sun Gazette; FB/Fresno Bee; MODBEE/Modesto Bee; MH/Monterey Herald; SONN/Sonoma News; SJMN/Mercury News; SFC/San Francisco Chronicle; SFG/SF Gate; 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; AC/Argus Courier; SIT/Sonoma Index Tribune; RBDN/Red Bluff Daily News; AD/Yuba Sutter Colusa County Appeal Democrat; DNT/Del Norte Triplicate; NW/Newsweek; UKT/The Telegraph (UK); ENR/Engineering News Record .  Note: For paywalls, sometimes the only way is incognito mode, grabbing the text before the paywall shows, and pasting into an editor. ]

Highway Headlines

  • Yolo Causeway Grant (Dept. of Transportation). The Yolo County Transportation District will be awarded $85.9 million in grant funding to improve traffic flow in the I-80 corridor on the west side of the Sacramento-Yolo metro area. Project elements include: implementing approximately 17 miles of managed lanes from the Yolo/Solano County line through Yolo County to West El Camino Avenue on I-80 and to I-5 on US-50 in Sacramento County; the construction of new lanes on some segments and restriping to add lanes or using existing lanes for approximately 2.7 miles of the project; adding ITS elements along I-80 and US-50, including fiber optics, detection, changeable message signs, and ramp meters; improvements to the Yolo Causeway cycling and pedestrian facility through reduced curve radii and additional crosswalk, sidewalk lighting, and safety elements. The project will also include two auxiliary lanes and will add ramp meters at seven locations.
  • $86 Million Approved to Upgrade the I-80 Corridor in Yolo County (Davis Vanguard). With the economy re-opening, the reprieve that Davis felt for the last 15 months or so with regard to traffic backing up from I-80 bottlenecks at the Causeway—and causing spillover impacts on local roads like Mace—could be letting up. While the city has pledged to restructure Mace to hopefully alleviate some jam, the longer term fix is likely to free up traffic on I-80, some of which backs up from the Causeway. The long-term fix is more vehicle travel lanes and that just got a big boost in the form of a grant to CalTrans.
  • UPCOMING STATE ROUTE 4 PROJECTS IN SAN JOAQUIN DELTA (Caltrans District 10 on FB). Please see info-graphic for details on upcoming, major projects on State Route 4 between Stockton and Discovery Bay, including start dates and detour information. Exact dates for lane closures and 55-hour weekend closures will be made available in future traffic advisories once the schedules are finalized.
  • /SACBEE Yolo Causeway on I-80 freeway in CA to get new toll lane (Sac Bee). Interstate 80 over the Yolo Causeway is the only direct entrance from the Bay Area to the capital region. For years, it’s become increasingly congested – a bottleneck that delays and aggravates commuters, commercial truckers and recreational travelers alike. “It paralyzes the region,” Yolo County Supervisor Don Saylor said. “Sacramento is the capital of the largest state in the country, and approaching it on I-80 is gridlocked.” That appears about to change. Sacramento officials say they have won a major federal grant to widen a 17-mile stretch of I-80 and Highway 50 through Yolo County by adding a “managed” lane in each direction. Some drivers may pay a toll to use the lane during certain hours. Sacramento-area U.S. Rep. John Garamendi announced Wednesday morning the federal Department of Transportation has agreed to grant the region $86 million toward planning, designing and building the lanes, which would start near the Yolo/Solano county line and run east to the Highway 50 bridge over the Sacramento River between West Sacramento and downtown Sacramento. “This project will greatly improve traffic flow across the Yolo Bypass,” Garamendi said, as well as “reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and improve agricultural and manufactured goods movement to the Port of Oakland, Port of West Sacramento, the San Francisco Bay Area, and the greater Sacramento region.”
  • /SIT Road projects complicate travel through Sonoma (Sonoma News). Sonoma motorists are in the midst of a cross-town facelift for Highway 12, a Caltrans resurfacing project for the state route though the city. That project will follow Sonoma Highway through summer and fall, with the aim to be complete by October – or taken up again early in 2022. But work isn’t limited to the Caltrans effort. At present, motorists are directed through a busy construction zone on Sonoma Highway between Lichtenberg and Boyes Boulevard. It’s part of the on-going PG&E natural gas main replacement that’s been going on for well over a year, much of it accomplished already but much of it still ahead. Now that PG&E pipeline project has also just started on a common cross-town route, on West MacArthur Street, from Fifth Street West to Highway 12, Broadway. Work began on that section on June 28 and is not expected to be completed until October. PG&E and its contractor, ARB, will be replacing a portion of a natural gas transmission pipeline, work that includes trenching underneath West MacArthur to replace approximately 2,730 feet of 6-inch steel transmission main pipe with an 8-inch steel pipe.
  • I-80 project in Yolo County to get $86M from feds (Daily Republic). The Yolo County Transportation District is in line to receive $85.9 million from the U.S. Department of Transportation to improve traffic flow on Interstate 80 on the west side of the Yolo-Sacramento metro area. Project elements include implementing approximately 17 miles of managed lanes from the Yolo-Solano counties line through Yolo County to West El Camino Avenue on I-80, and to I-5 on Highway 50 in Sacramento County.

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🛣 Headlines About California Highways – June 2021

We can now put June in the record books, and with that, half of 2021 is gone. What a June it has been, filled with high heat across much of the state and concerns about water and drought. Those have been concerns of mine as well, as June has been a construction month around Chez Cahighways. We replaced one of our HVAC units (excellent work by Camacho Air, who we’ve been using for over 20 years at this point). We are completing a pool remodel, which took the pool down to the concrete, repaired cracks, and then replastered and resurfaced the pool (again, excellent work from Premier Pool Plastering), and then refilled the pool. All of this was made possible with a ReFi working with Dave Cantrell at AFF and MCCU. The only bad contracting experience we had was with City Plumbing and Rooter, who we will not use again.

June also saw us on the wonderful highways of California. We drove to Las Vegas, taking Route 14, Route 138, Route 18, and I-15 out, and came back via I-15, Route 58, and Route 14. We also drove to Los Osos, using Route 118, US 101 and Route 154 out, and exploring a new way back: US 101, Route 166, and I-5. Next time: Route 33 and either Lockwood Valley or Hudson Valley to Mt. Pinos to Frazier Mtn Parkway to I-5.

June also saw the world increasingly getting vaccinated… but it also saw the Delta variant spreading. If you know me, you know I’m Jewish. While America celebrates freedom (and celebrate it we will this coming July 4th), Judaism teaches duty. One article I read expressed it well: “If everybody does their duty, that makes the world better. It’s a completely different paradigm than the American paradigm. Individual rights are not the building blocks of Judaism, duty to your fellow human being is the building block of Judaism. If you want to get Judaism right, there are certain times you have to suck it up and do things you don’t want to do.” Do your duty. Make the world a better place. Get vaccinated, and continue to wear a mask indoors in shared spaces (even if you are not required to do so). By doing your part now, we can make the world a better place for everyone.

With that said: What did you do in June, out on the roads and in the state? Hopefully one thing you’ll be doing right now is discussing these headlines. So, as I always say, “ready, set, discuss”.

Key

[Ħ Historical information |  Paywalls, really obnoxious paywalls, and other annoying restrictions: SDUT/San Diego Union Tribune; OCR/Orange County Register; VN/Valley News; PE/Press Enterprise; LBPT/Long Beach Press Telegram; DB/Daily Breeze; LADN/Los Angeles Daily News; LAT/LA Times; DS/Desert Sun; RDI/Ridgecrest Daily Independent; VSG/Visalia Sun Gazette; FB/Fresno Bee; MODBEE/Modesto Bee; MH/Monterey Herald; SONN/Sonoma News; SJMN/Mercury News; SFC/San Francisco Chronicle; SFG/SF Gate; 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; AC/Argus Courier; SIT/Sonoma Index Tribune; RBDN/Red Bluff Daily News; AD/Yuba Sutter Colusa County Appeal Democrat; DNT/Del Norte Triplicate; NW/Newsweek; UKT/The Telegraph (UK); ENR/Engineering News Record ]

Highway Headlines

  • /LAT 6th Street Bridge: See photos of the viaduct construction. The project to replace Los Angeles’ historic 6th Street Bridge is well on its way to reality. The new span that crosses the 101 Freeway and Los Angeles River will feature 10 lighted sets of arches forming a “Ribbon of Light” along the viaduct. It stretches across 18 sets of railroad tracks as well as a new 12-acre park with access to the river, and will feature 10-foot-wide bicycle lanes in both directions. (Los Angeles Times)
  • Metro Board Suspended 710 Freeway Widening, Approved: Budget, Fareless, and Bus Rapid Transit. […] The board unanimously approved two motions reining in Metro’s 710 Freeway Corridor Project that would widen the lower 710, demolishing adjacent homes and businesses. One motion, spearheaded by Boardmember Hilda Solis, called for Metro to “Immediately cease further work” on the project. Boardmember Fernando Dutra sought a 30-day pause instead of ceasing work on the project. Ultimately Dutra supported the motion when “cease” was changed to “suspend.” Solis was adamant that Metro needed to stop widening freeways in areas already heavily burdened by freeway pollution. […] (Streetsblog)
  • Removing highways could revitalize cities without increasing traffic. So you might’ve noticed that infrastructure is very much in the news right now, as well as how, exactly, it should be addressed. The New York Times recently put together a look at a relatively new infrastructure strategy that’s starting to play out in cities around the country: removing highways. The report shows there could be some major benefits for local residents, and traffic might not be a problem. But there are ways the strategy could backfire. The report spends some time focusing on Rochester, N.Y., where the city has already removed a major section of freeway around the city’s downtown. After decades in the planning stages and a few more years for removal, the city now has more walkable areas and is working on developing newly available land. And there haven’t been any signs of traffic in and around the area getting worse. (Autoblog)
  • /MIJ Marin-Sonoma Narrows: $76M to complete Highway 101 project. A decade-old project to unclog one of the North Bay’s worst traffic bottlenecks on Highway 101 will be fully funded for construction after a $76 million agreement by Marin and Bay Area transit agencies this week. The funds will complete the final section of the $762 million Marin-Sonoma “narrows” project between Novato and Petaluma, where traffic congests as the highway narrows from four or three lanes to two depending on the direction. The project will add a carpool lane in each direction along this 17-mile stretch of the highway, which will result in commuters having continuous carpool lanes from north of the Golden Gate Bridge into Santa Rosa. (Marin IJ)
  • Caltrans to begin pre-construction for the Separation Bridge project in Vallejo. Caltrans is scheduled to begin pre-construction work for the Interstate-80 (I-80)/State Route 29 (SR-29) Separation Bridge project in Vallejo. For public and worker safety, the following I-80 onramps near Maritime Academy Drive in Vallejo are scheduled to be closed starting June 10 and will remain closed until approximately 2023: • Sequoia Ave. onramp to WB I-80-to be closed • SR-29/Sonoma Blvd. onramp to WB I-80-to be closed. During these I-80 ramp closures, motorists are advised to use Magazine Street onramp and offramp and other I-80 entrances to access I-80 in Vallejo. (Times Herald)
  • California Transportation Commission Allocates $920 Million To Improve Transportation. The California Transportation Commission (CTC) at its May meeting allocated more than $924 million for projects to improve critical transportation infrastructure throughout the state. Nearly half of this major investment – $458 million – comes from Senate Bill (SB) 1, the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017. […] Projects approved include: (EdHat Santa Barbara)
  • Traffic-Interfering Maintenance Work Ahead on Sierra Highways. PLACER/NEVADA COUNTIES – Caltrans is alerting motorists to scheduled traffic-interfering maintenance work on State Routes (SR) 89 and 267 this weekend and the week ahead. On Sunday, June 6, crews will be performing crack sealing work on SR-267 between Old Brockway Road/Soaring Way and Truckee Airport Road/Schaffer Mill Road. Work is scheduled from 5 a.m. to 4 p.m. with one-way traffic control anticipated during crack sealing work. (YubaNet)
  • Officials hope $4 million project eases congestion, safety concerns. The interchange between State Route 37 and Fairgrounds Drive can be very confusing for drivers who join lanes and get off offramps. Mostly Sonoma Raceway Lights. Adrenaline is a rush for adventurous people and those who want to die, but it’s a scary suggestion for heart feints and pedestrians who need cheetah-like speed to avoid cars. (California News Times)

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🛣 Headlines About California Highways – May 2021

May has been an interesting month, as my last post shows. I’ve been spending weekends since March going through these headline posts, including this one as it was being built ( indicates posts that were included in the highway page update). May also marked the passage of the two week period after my second vaccine, so if I choose to, I could go maskless (however, I still plan to wear a mask, at least in indoor, recirculated air situations*). Please, unless you have a real medical reason not to do so or real religious objections, get yourself vaccinated so that we can all breath freely when we’re together and on the road again.

And with that said, as I say every month, “ready, set, discuss”.

Footnotes
*: So why will I still choose to wear a mask? A number of reasons: Some people are of the belief that the vaccine protects you 100% percent. It doesn’t, although it reduces the odd of getting COVID significantly, and it makes COVID if you get it not life threatening. The vaccine also is much less effective in people with certain underlying health conditions (such as being immune impared, like my wife). Lastly, there is still a small chance even vaccinated folks can be asymptomic carriers. So folks who have been vaxxed wear the mask because the odds are not zero and they want that extra risk reduction (and don’t mind the small inconvenience when inside, in enclosed higher risk shared air spaces). We also don’t know who isn’t vaxxed, and wearing a mask encourages those folks to wear their mask and not be singled out. Lastly, I just learned that if you are vaccinated for COVID, wearing a mask afterward prevents the microchip that is implanted with the vaccine from transmitting or receiving signals. Evidently they designed the microchip to implant in your sinuses, and so making sure the mask covers your mouth and nose attenuates the directional signal just enough…**
**: JK on that “Lastly”.

Key

[Ħ Historical information |  Paywalls, really obnoxious paywalls, and other annoying restrictions: SDUT/San Diego Union Tribune; OCR/Orange County Register; VN/Valley News; PE/Press Enterprise; LBPT/Long Beach Press Telegram; DB/Daily Breeze; LADN/Los Angeles Daily News; LAT/LA Times; DS/Desert Sun; RDI/Ridgecrest Daily Independent; VSG/Visalia Sun Gazette; FB/Fresno Bee; MODBEE/Modesto Bee; MH/Monterey Herald; SONN/Sonoma News; SJMN/Mercury News; SFC/San Francisco Chronicle; SFG/SF Gate; 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; AC/Argus Courier; SIT/Sonoma Index Tribune; RBDN/Red Bluff Daily News; AD/Yuba Sutter Colusa County Appeal Democrat; DNT/Del Norte Triplicate; NW/Newsweek; UKT/The Telegraph (UK) ]

Highway Headlines

  • /NVR  Big Highway 12 project underway to end Jameson Canyon backups for Napa motorists. Here’s a sight for congestion-weary eyes — orange-vested construction workers driving piles, bulldozing dirt, and building bridges where Highway 12 meets Interstate 80. Call them the Jameson Canyon bottleneck-busters. They are building what is supposed to be the solution to eastbound, mile-long evening Highway 12 backups. While the highway through Jameson Canyon is two lanes in each direction, that drops to one eastbound lane just before the freeway.
  • Security Paving Reaches Midway Point of Ventura County Highway Job. Security Paving Company Inc. has completed nearly 50 percent of the California Department of Transportation’s (Caltrans) $91 million State Route 23 (SR 23) Pavement Rehabilitation Project taking place on 8.2 mi. of highway in Ventura County from U.S. 101 to SR 118 in order to extend the lifespan of the busy highway.
  • Visalia Continues Close Cooperation with State on SR 198. Visalia officials have been working closely with state agencies on cleanup projects along State Route (SR) 198, and coordination continues. “We understand that there are citizen concerns regarding Highway 198 in terms of trash and debris and the presence of those camping on the embankment,” shared Mayor Steve Nelsen. “We share concerns about blight and keeping the sides of the roadway clear, and we continue to work with both Caltrans Central Valley District 6 and the California Highway Patrol (CHP) to address the issues and keep both motorists and citizens safe.”
  • Gilman Interchange Project: Interview with Alameda County Transportation Commission Executive Director Tess Lengyel. Beginning in May, Caltrans will begin a major overhaul of a busy traffic interchange in Berkeley on Gilman Ave. at Interstate Highway 80. Tess Lengyel, the Executive Director from Alameda County Transportation Commission said the Gilman Interchange project will pave the way for a more efficient and safer commute. Interview with reporter Gianna Franco.
  • Valley congressman requests $20 million to widen Hwy 41. Congressman David Valadao has requested $20 million from the House Appropriations Committee to have the 6-mile gap of Hwy 41 widened to 4-lanes. This section of the highway is in Fresno County from the Kings County Line north to Elkhorn Ave. That stretch has a long history of fatal crashes due to drivers trying to pass slower-moving cars, and merging into incoming traffic to do so.
  • State Route 132 Dakota Avenue to Gates Road Project (FB). District 10 and our local partners will be hosting a virtual open house for the State Route 132 Dakota Avenue to Gates Road Project. The event begins at 6 pm on Thursday, May 6, 2021. See below for full information, as well as online access & dates for the public comment period.
  • Car Pool Lanes Coming to Park Presidio and GG Park. Motorists traveling through the Richmond District and Golden Gate Park along California State Route 1 can expect some road-sharing changes soon. North- and south-bound traffic on Park Presidio Boulevard, Park Presidio Bypass and Crossover Drive from Lake Street to Lincoln Way in the Sunset District will see the outside lanes (right-hand lanes) reserved for cars with two or more occupants and public transportation vehicles because of a new but temporary program.

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