🛣 Headlines About California Highways – October 2023

We’ve made it to November. Two months to go and 2023 will be in the history books. Then comes the election year of 2024. Oh. Boy.

October has seen me finish the “scripts” for the first 10 episodes of the podcast; my attention will now turn to Route 2. The first two episodes of season 2 are now up. As always, you can keep up with the show at the podcast’s forever home at https://www.caroutebyroute.org , the show’s page on Spotify for Podcasters, or you can subscribe through your favorite podcaster or via the RSS feeds (CARxR, Spotify for Podcasters) . The following episodes have been posted this month:

A side effect of the new season is that I’ve discovered a number of interesting historical articles and sources. Some will be in the entries for the episodes themselves, but I’ve also saved some to the headlines list so that I’ll go through them again to update the pages. These articles will be marked in the headlines list with the Historical (Ħ) flag. Next up is recording episodes 2.03 (Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties) and 2.04 (SLO and Big Sur), and working on the Highway Pages — specifically the October and November headlines, AAroads posts, and the CTC minutes.

One last plug: For those in the cybersecurity field: Registration for the Annual Computer Security Conference is now open. Look at the program — which is strong — register for the conference, and make your hotel and travel. I hope to see you in Austin in December.

Well, you should now be up to date. Here are the headlines that I found about California’s highways for October:


[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 logoThe podcast is currently on a break between Season 1 and Season 2. Back episodes are available at the Podcast’s forever home, as well as on its Spotify for Podcasters home. The Spotify (nee Anchor.FM) link also has links to the podcast’s page on most major podcasting services.

Highway Headlines

  • Ħ Proposed Parkway System – 1949 – Los Angeles (FB/Sharrye Hagins). Map of 1949 Proposed Parkway System
  • Caltrans: We Need Complete Streets at Freeway Interchanges (CalBike).\ When Governor Gavin Newsom vetoed CalBike’s Complete Streets bill in 2019, he assured Californians that we didn’t need the mandate for safer streets. Caltrans, he noted, had new leadership and would implement the needed changes without legislation. Caltrans does appear to have made some positive changes in the past four years. CalBike is working on a report to assess how well the agency has done and where Complete Streets upgrades are lacking. Take our Complete Streets Survey.
  • Monthslong closure of Highway 35 in Santa Cruz County begins (KSBW 8). Caltrans fully closed Highway 35 in the Santa Cruz Mountains as they began winter storm damage repairs on Monday. Highway 35 closed starting Monday, Oct. 2, three miles north of the junction of Hwy 35 and Hwy 17, near Bear Creek Road. Caltrans hopes to complete construction by Dec. 10. Once the work is completed, this section of Hwy 35 will remain under one-way traffic control for several weeks.
  • Caltrans held a public meeting to discuss Highway 46 widening project (KSBY). Caltrans held a remote public meeting from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. Monday to discuss a proposal about converting a 3.6-mile section of Highway 46 East to a four-lane expressway in San Luis Obispo and Kern Counties. The project will include modifications such as changes to the highway alignment, avoiding high utility relocation costs, and reducing the existing grade of the highway., According to Caltrans, the antelope grade stretch sees the most volume of trucks on the central coast. The steep grade makes it harder for larger trucks to speed up causing bottleneck congestion.
  • Report: Bike Lanes Can’t Make up for New Roads (Planetizen News). A new report calls on California to rethink its “traffic-creating, pave-the-earth approach to transportation,” highlighting the environmental and public health impacts of rampant freeway construction. According to an article by Melanie Curry in Streetsblog California, despite the state’s efforts to support clean air and water policies, the inertia of the status quo and a fear of change “has led to focusing on difficult but politically plausible solutions like electric vehicles, cleaning up the electricity sector, and calling for low-carbon fuels.” For the authors of the report from NextGen, those efforts are in part a distraction from lower-hanging, but more politically challenging, fruit: “As long as California keeps expanding highways to accommodate driving, all the other efforts – to increase EVs, to produce clean energy, to add bike lanes – will have been a waste of time.”
  • Caltrans details plans for elevated Highway 37 causeway near Novato (Marin Independent Journal). The first phase of a massive plan to elevate Highway 37 to prevent regular inundation from sea-level rise is set to begin with an estimated $1.6 billion project in Marin. Caltrans officials held a presentation recently on the agency’s plan to rebuild a 2.5-mile section of the 21-mile North Bay commuter route as an elevated causeway from the Highway 101 interchange in Novato to the Atherton Avenue exit. The project would be the first in the agency’s plan to elevate the entire highway onto a causeway before the road connecting Marin and Solano counties becomes regularly inundated by rising sea levels, which Caltrans projects will begin in 2040.

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