🛣 Headlines About California Highways – November 2022

And I thought October was busy! November was equally busy with theatre, recording and producing Episode 1.05, and getting the updates to the highway page done. December is starting with the Annual Computer Security Applications Conference (ACSAC), with may mean a delay of a week or two in getting Episode 1.06 up.

I’ve come to learn that one of the hardest parts of podcasts is scaring up interviews. We’re still finalizing the interview for Episode 1.06, and I’m still open on upcoming episodes. I’m looking for someone who is willing to talk for 30 minutes or so on the following:

  • For 1.07: The California Post-Mile System: Its origin, its use, and why California sticks with it.
  • For 1.08: We return to the US highway system, so I’m looking for someone to discuss some of the history of the numbers of US highways in the state; or, alternatively, someone from AASHTO on the process for getting highway numbers approved.
  • For 1.09: We return to the Interstates, so I’m looking for someone with some interesting insights on California’s interstate submittals.

If you or someone you know would be interested in helping this project, please contact me.

The updates to the California Highway pages were posted last week; the next update round will be between Christmas and New Years. I’m finishing off the last podcast script for Season 1 this week.

Enough of this shameless self-promotion. Here are the headlines that I found about California’s highways for November:


[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.]

California Highways: Route by Route Podcast

  • California Highways: Route by Route logoCARxR Ep. 1.05: Chronology – The Great Renumbering and New Freeways. In this episode, we’re continuing to explore the history of the State Highway System, focusing on the construction boom in the 1960s under the administration of Pat Brown. This period saw the great renumbering, as highways were unified under a combined legislative / sign route system (as opposed to the separate systems that existing previously). It also saw a tremendous expansion of the freeways as construction worked hard to meet the construction deadlines. The period ended with the passage of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), the election of Ronald Reagan, and the Freeway Revolts. Our interview is with Arturo Salazar, a retired District 7 Caltrans engineer and moderator of the Freeways of Los Angeles Facebook group.

Back episodes are available at the Podcast’s forever home, as well as on its anchor.fm home. The anchor.fm also has links to the podcast’s page on most major podcasting services.

Highway Headlines

  • Highway 101 project in Salinas is set to begin on Nov. 6 (KSBW 8). Caltrans will begin a six-month project in Salinas starting on Nov. 6 at Highway 101 North and Kern Street. This project will include widening, and extending the E. Market St. onramp to northbound U.S. 101 by 1,500 feet, repaving of the roadway, and construction of a concrete barrier and a retaining wall. When construction begins there will be a closure of the East Market Street onramp to northbound Highway 101for six months.
  • Why is Highway 101 in the middle of Santa Rosa? (Press Democrat). Having Highway 101 run north and south smack through the middle of Santa Rosa may be convenient, but the divide it creates between east and west is mostly unfortunate. Some Santa Rosans in the 1940s thought the Highway 101 route could be placed around the town instead of through it and proposed routes further east or west, possibly along Fulton and Wright roads, to ease truck traffic in the city. But some businessmen worried about potential customers being rerouted too far from shops lobbied to have it close to downtown, and ultimately the city council agreed.
  • Express lanes on Highway 101 starting to open (San Mateo Daily Journal). The Highway 101 express lane section from Whipple Avenue in Redwood City to Interstate 380 in South San Francisco is now open to the public, with transit authorities declaring it a soft opening. The express lanes will be open to vehicles with three or more passengers and motorcycles only from 5 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Friday. The new express lanes will be open to all vehicles during all other times. Full operations will start in early 2023 once crews complete construction for signal operations. SamTrans spokesperson Dan Lieberman said by email tolling will not start until the official opening in 2023, with the lane still operating as a HOV 3+ lane, rather than a general purpose lane. SamTrans spokesperson Mahmoud Abunie said the soft opening would allow transit officials to examine traffic flow and signal runs for carpoolers while also allowing the public to use it. Abunie said the public desire to see it opened also played a role in the soft opening.
  • New Bay Area express lanes on Hwy. 101 are opening. Here’s how you can buy your way into them (San Francisco Chronicle). Drivers with two or more passengers in their cars can pull into the new express lanes on Highway 101 along much of the Peninsula, even as engineers and contractors finish installing and testing toll equipment. The lanes, which stretch nearly 16 miles from Whipple Avenue in Redwood City on the south to Interstate 380 on the north, will be a combination of a toll lane and a carpool lane when they fully open early next year, offering free rides to carpoolers and allowing anyone to buy their way in.
  • Bay Area city moves to ban all right turns on red lights (SF Gate). “I don’t want to move to a city where the only cultural advantage is being able to make a right turn on a red light,” Alvy Singer famously said about moving from New York to California. That incentive may no longer be true of Berkeley, after the first steps in a proposal to ban right turns on red lights citywide was approved last week. “From the way we design our roads to the rules we set for them, cars are given priority in the public right of way at the express detriment to pedestrians and cyclists,” Berkeley councilmember Terry Taplin wrote in the budget proposal, first shared by Berkeleyside, that was approved on Thursday. “One such example is the de facto right given to cars to turn ‘Right on Red’ at signalized intersections.”

Read More …