🛣 Updates to California Highways – July 2020 – The Site Design Reveal

It’s finally here. The site rework. As you can see if you visit www.cahighways.org, the major changes are the introduction of new menu navigation and the elimination of the use of the tables for headers and footers, which should improve the look of the site on mobile devices. There is a new overall site navigation bar; there is also a floating menu on each page that provides the same access. The floating menu is handy because it remains visible even if you have scrolled down deep into a page. I have also done some preliminary work to make images autosize on smaller screens, although some menus will still require some horizonal scrolling. I’m still working on that.

The big change is that the site has been moved to have one route per page, with improved navigation within the page for each route (i.e., there is an internal page navigation menu). This should really make a big difference on the large route pages such as Route 1, US 101, and such. It will also make a difference for those unlucky group pages that had multiple large files, such as the groups that had Route 1 and I-5, or Route 99 and US 101. They all now have their individual pages. For those of you who linked into the route pages, don’t fret. The old files are still there so your links will work, but have been changed to use Javascript that automatically redirects to the right page. You shouldn’t need to change anything. If you refer to something out of the range of the file, you should end up on Route 404. Please let me know of any problems.

I hopefully fixed any problems that occurred when “Route” (or other equivalents such as US, BR, CR, etc.) was part of an ALT or TITLE attribute of an IMG, or when it was in an A tag (i.e., I prevented the normal mechanism that converts such references from working). I also (hopefully) prevented translation when US- or I- appears in the HREF or SRC attribute. Hopefully, this didn’t break anything, but if you find problems, let me know.

While I was at it, I finally fixed the variant spelling of “milage” to “mileage”. I insisted “milage” was correct all the way back in April 1998, but I decided to bow to convention.

While doing the update pass, I named the segments in all the routes, and did a bit of link updating. I still need to go through all the regional resource link pages and confirm that links are still good. If you maintain a regional highway hobbyist (i.e., state, province, or country) page, please make sure I have the link. I’ve also updated the statistics pages — most notably including some 2018 traffic count information.

Major changes were made in how the list of named highways was generated. Previously, I had to hand maintain that table. The table is now generated from information in the individual highway pages. As a side effect of this, unique named anchors are generated for each name, and the link to the route in the name table goes directly to the name (something I’ve wanted to do for years). The only drawbacks of this is that (a) sometimes a route gets listed twice, because the same name appears in multiple segments; (b) I can no longer include business routes in the names list, so Business Route 80 is listed as Route 51 (sorry, Cap City Freeway); and (c) some variants of names might get collapsed. As before, let me know of any problems that I might not have caught.

As always, a big ✘ to Caltrans and their accessibility rework, which broke almost every link I had into their site. I was able to rediscover and relink most of the resources. If you identify other Caltrans links that require correction, let me know. As always, I’ll be glad to host un-remediated Caltrans resources to make things available pending remediation.

As I note in the sources, special credit goes to Steve Sobol, who helped me figure out the CSS tricks that are at the heart of the 2020 reworking of the site. Steve is a road scholar of long standing, but more than that, a generally good person who has been there to help me with numerous computer issues. If you need computer help, or a web site, or other consulting, I highly recommend him.

Actually highway content changes are light, and primarily in response to email. As a reminder, I’m looking for photographs of highway or structure naming signs that are not currently present in the route pages; if you find one, please send it to webmaster@cahighways.org. In this go around, I added information and made updates based my research(1) and information from Frank Aros(2), Karen Davis(3), Tom Fearer(4), Occidental Tourist on AARoads(5) to the following routes: Route 13(2), Route 17(2), US 80(3), Route 91(2), US 99(3), Route 145(4), Route 149(4), Route 245(4), Route 269(4), I-605(5). I also added some information related to trail names and the “Southern Cause”, based on information provided by Jill Livingston and the LA Times article regarding a Jefferson Davis Highway historical monument.