🛣 Headlines About California Highways – October 2021


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.


[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.

  • 905 freeway exit change in San Diego (California News Times). Drivers who frequently cross the US-Mexico border in San Diego — Otai Mesa, or who drive frequently in the area, are likely to switch to the highway. New entry point.. Offramp on Shem Previva Road (the last US exit on Route 905) will be relocated east of its current location on Thursday. This means that travelers who do not want to cross the border to Mexico will leave 0.5 miles earlier than before. Even if the driver accidentally passes the offramp and approaches the Otaimesa entrance port, he will still have access to a median dedicated U-turn.
  • An insider tells story of interchange at I-680 and Highway 4 ($$Mercury News). Q: Finally after waiting for years, they are redoing the interchange at Interstate 680 and Highway 4, considered by some to be the most dangerous in the Bay Area. Unfortunately, Caltrans has lived up to its reputation for both poor design and workmanship. It does not make any sense at all that they failed to widen the ramp from eastbound 4 to southbound 680 to two lanes from the top to the bottom, and to remove barriers at the bottom that create a blind spot. It would be so easy to do. There’s lots of room for widening. Leaving it as is will now make this ramp the one having the longest backup in the Bay Area. Also beyond reason is that they are not widening the ramp from westbound 4 to Pacheco Boulevard. It’s another quick and easy project. The chokepoint on the curve not allowing two cars can easily be widened in a couple of days. There’s lots of space, but neither of these ramps are even being touched. Incredible.
  • Flatiron Embarks On One of California’s Largest Projects (Construction Equipment Guide). Overseen by the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), the $480 million Fix50 project will see a long-awaited upgrade of the busy section of Highway 50, a key corridor in mid-town and East Sacramento (Sacramento County), with the addition of high-occupancy vehicle lanes; widening of 12 bridges; and newly-built retaining walls. “This is one of the largest projects in the Sacramento region, one of the largest projects we’ve seen in a very long time,” said Angela DaPrato, public information officer of Caltrans District 3.
  • US 101 Richardson Grove Project (District 1/Facebook). We want your comments on the Richardson Grove Operational Improvement Project: The 2017 Addendum is being circulated for public review and comment. Written comments on the Addendum will be accepted until November 19, 2021. Written comments may be mailed to Caltrans, Attn: Environmental Management, P.O. Box 3700, Eureka, CA 95502 or emailed to RichardsonGroveImprovement@dot.ca.gov.
  • Funding sought for Highway 101 improvements (San Mateo Daily Journal). The San Mateo County Transportation Authority Board is requesting over $41 million in Measure A and W taxpayer funding for three Highway 101 safety and congestion improvement projects that will trigger funding from other sources if approved. The board of the San Mateo County Transportation Authority, or TA, authorized the request for funding at its Oct. 7 meeting for the Highway 101 and State Route 92 Interchange Area Improvement Project, the Highway 101 and State Route 92 Interchange Direct Connector Project, and the Highway 101 Managed Lanes Project north of Intestate 380. The Interchange Area Improvement Project would improve freeway-to-freeway ramp connectors and improve traffic safety and mobility to four highway areas in San Mateo and Foster City. The Interchange Direct Connector Project would address traffic congestion at State Route 92 just east of Highway 101. The Managed Lanes Project north of Interstate 380 converts the inside travel lane in each direction to a managed lane and includes outside widening for auxiliary lanes.
  • Historic 99 signs posted in Madera (Madera Tribune). The City of Madera, in partnership with the non-profit Historic Highway 99 Association of California, announced the completed installation of six new Historic US Route 99 signs on Gateway Drive, which commemorates the former major U.S. highway. Known to most as Gateway Drive, the route was originally a major thoroughfare for transporting agricultural produce — vegetables, livestock fodder, and cattle — from Imperial Valley to major cities in California, and along the west coast. Funding for the signs was obtained through private donations made to the association, and the City’s Public Works Department moved swiftly to install them once received.
  • Full closure coming to State Route 115 (KYMA). The California Department of Transportation District 11 (Caltrans) announces crews will close a 1.5-mile section of northbound and southbound State Route 115 (SR-115) from Palm Avenue to the junction with Even Hewes Highway Monday and Tuesday from 5:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. According to Information Officer Cathryne Bruce-Johnson, Caltrans needs to close the roads in order to apply striping to the newly paved roadway.
  • CalTrans, FDOT, NCDOT, Bellvue, Broward Met, TxDOT Win Roadway Safety Foundation Awards (Auto Connected Car News). U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg, on behalf of the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), joined the Roadway Safety Foundation (RSF) today in presenting seven life-saving projects with National Roadway Safety Awards in a virtual ceremony hosted from Capitol Hill. Representing some of the very best highway safety practices, the seven winners were selected from a nationwide field of applicants for the awards, which are sponsored jointly by FHWA and RSF. Begun in 1999, the biennial program honors projects and programs that cost-effectively help the nation achieve progress toward eliminating highway fatalities and serious injuries.
  • Last US Exit Along Eastbound SR-905 in Otay Mesa Permanently Relocated (NBC 7 San Diego). The Siempre Viva Road off-ramp, the last U.S. exit in Otay Mesa has been permanently relocated east of its current location. Travelers who do not intend to go to Mexico will need to exit a half-mile earlier than before. Drivers will still have access to a dedicated U-turn located in the median of State Route 905 between Siempre Viva Road and the Otay Mesa Port of Entry.
  • Highway 101 widening in Petaluma moves to demolition phase (Press Democrat). The Highway 101 widening project in Petaluma is entering another phase that recently elevated southbound drivers who spent months traveling in lanes several feet below motorists heading in the opposite direction. Beginning Monday, construction crews will begin demolishing the southbound lanes between East Washington Street and Corona Road. Because of this, southbound travelers were shifted into temporary lanes in the center median about a week ago. Demolition is scheduled to take place on weekdays through October, but it’s unlikely to impact traffic.
  • Drought: Marin utility orders water pipeline design (Marin I-J). The Marin Municipal Water District has authorized the full design of a water pipeline across the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge in case its reservoirs go dry next summer. The board’s unanimous approval of the $1.25 million design contract marks one of several significant investments the district will consider to have the 8-mile pipeline in place in July. District forecasts show its main reservoir supplies could be depleted by July should the area experience a third consecutive dry winter this year. The district serves 191,000 residents in central and southern Marin.
  • ACTION ALERT: Last Ditch Effort to Save the Old Growth Redwoods of Richardson Grove! (EPIC). For more than a decade we’ve fought off the misguided and controversial Caltrans proposal to realign a section of Highway 101 in northern California that runs through Richardson Grove State Park, an unnecessary project that would kill or damage irreplaceable ancient redwood trees. Unfortunately, our lawsuits to try to halt the project have not been successful. Now the only thing that can save Richardson Grove is your voice added to a massive public outcry. Our elected officials need to intervene to rein in a highway agency that is out of control and intent on destroying the iconic redwoods of Richardson Grove. Richardson Grove is the gateway to the redwoods, where tourists first encounter large redwoods when heading north. It’s one of the last protected stands of accessible old-growth redwood trees in the world. Caltrans’ road project is intended to rework curves on the road to provide for oversized trucks with limited turning capacity to drive through the grove, making the road more of a freeway than a rural highway. Caltrans intends to cut into and pave over the root systems of thousand-year-old trees, which if it does not kill trees outright is likely to weaken them, cause canopy dieback, and shorten the lifespan of irreplaceable ancient redwoods. We could lose parts of this grove.
  • Groundbreaking for New Carpool Lanes on I-5 (District 11/Facebook). Caltrans and @SANDAGregion broke ground today on four miles of new carpool lanes connecting Carlsbad and Oceanside. The lanes are part of the $887 million Build North Coast Corridor (NCC) project that includes $195 million in funding from Senate Bill (SB) 1, the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017. Today’s groundbreaking event follows more than four years of construction along I-5 in San Diego County. The $110 million project that kicked off today will build four miles of new carpool lanes, one in each direction of I-5 from Palomar Airport Road in Carlsbad to State Route 78 in Oceanside. When complete, this project will conclude the first phase of the larger NCC vision.
  • Road Closures On PCH Throughout October Begin Tuesday (Malibu Patch). The California Department of Transportation will close one lane of Pacific Coast Highway (State Route 1) from Deer Creek Road to Sycamore Canyon Road weekday mornings this month, according to Caltrans. The closure, which started Tuesday, will happen every weekday morning between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. Caltrans is installing steel mesh netting along the hillside to prevent falling rocks and mudslides from affecting traffic.
  • PERMANENT LANE CHANNELIZERS GOIING IN ON EASTBOUND BYPASS (Manteca Bulletin). Caltrans is installing permanent channelizers in a bid to further rein in motorists that are making last second merges to get into the eastbound 120 Bypass lane that splits off toward Modesto. The permanent channelizers will start past the Main Street interchange and go all the way to where the lanes split. The work will require nightly closures from Monday, Oct. 25, through Thursday, Oct. 28 from 11 p.m. until 5 a.m. of the eastbound lanes only. The westbound lanes will remain open.
  • Highway 101 widening moves to demolition phase (Marin I-J). The Highway 101 widening project in Petaluma is entering another phase that recently elevated southbound drivers who spent months traveling in lanes several feet below motorists heading in the opposite direction. Beginning Monday, construction crews were set to begin demolishing the southbound lanes between East Washington Street and Corona Road. Because of this, southbound travelers were shifted into temporary lanes in the center median about a week ago. Demolition is scheduled to take place on weekdays through October, but it’s unlikely to impact traffic. “By and large, people in the new southbound configuration, they wont be able to see us working on the existing bridge,“ said Brian Beaudoin, a Caltrans civil engineer.
  • Caltrans Begins Work on New Carpool Lanes Along I-5 in North County (NBC 7 San Diego). The news is good and bad for roughly 700,000 drivers who take commute along Interstate 5 on its stretch through North San Diego County. Caltrans broke ground on the final stretch of new carpool lanes along the corridor between Palomar Airport Road and State Route 78. It’s expected to alleviate traffic. However, drivers will still have to navigate construction zones for a few more years.
  • I-5 widening project spreads north into Carlsbad (San Diego Union-Tribune). A reduced speed limit of 55 mph will be enforced on Interstate 5 between Palomar Airport Road in Carlsbad and Highway 78 in Oceanside beginning Sunday, as construction begins on four miles of new carpool and HOV lanes. The $110 million construction project is an extension of the freeway work that has been underway for nearly two years in Encinitas and Solana Beach. The new lanes are part of the $887 million regional North Coast Corridor transportation improvement program, with projects that vary from environmental restoration to building a second set of coastal railroad tracks.
  • Newsom signs two transportation bills supported by MTC (The Bay Link Blog). Transportation-related bills supported by MTC addressing safety have now been signed into law by Gov. Gavin Newsom. AB 43 (Laura Friedman, D-Glendale) allows greater flexibility for local jurisdictions to set speed limits on streets with high injuries and fatalities by enabling cities to lower speed limits below the 85th percentile on streets with high injuries and fatalities. MTC and ABAG supported the bill. “This long overdue bill is a cornerstone to the state taking action to reduce roadway injuries and fatalities and was a core recommendation coming out of the state’s Zero Traffic Fatalities Task Force,” MTC Executive Director Therese McMillan wrote to Newsom in support of AB 43. MTC has established the Vision Zero Working Group looking at pedestrian safety.
  • Traffic Alert Update: Prairie City Road Closure for Capital SouthEast Connector Project (City of Folsom). Beginning Monday, October 4, northbound and southbound Prairie City Road – between White Rock Road and Highway 50 – will be temporarily closed for work on the Capital SouthEast Connector project. Crews will complete construction on a four-lane bridge over Alder Creek and complete the realignment and widening of Prairie City Road and White Rock Road. The section of road will be closed for up to eight weeks. The city has installed message signs to alert motorists about the closure, and flaggers will direct traffic as needed. The city does not anticipate significant traffic delays. The Capital SouthEast Connector project is a 34-mile expressway that will link I-5 and Highway 99 south of Elk Grove to Highway 50 east of El Dorado Hills. When complete, the long-planned project will serve as a commute alternative to Highways 50 and 99, relieve traffic congestion, promote economic development, preserve Sacramento County open spaces, and improve roadway safety. Work on the Capital SouthEast Connector project has been divided into segments, which will be completed as funding is available. Note: The Capitol Southeast Connector is discussed on my pages with Route 148.
  • The Tale of the Bay Bridge Troll (KQED). Every month, about 4 million trips are made across the San Francisco Bay Bridge — making it the busiest bridge in the Bay Area. It’s a beautiful bridge with sweeping views, but driving across it can be harrowing. All those drivers, rushing to their busy lives. It can get a little dicey out there! So you might be relieved to hear this bridge has a secret guardian lurking under the eastern span, keeping us all safe: the Bay Bridge troll. There have been a few trolls on the bridge over the years, but the legend of the first Bay Bridge troll begins in 1989.
  • People can opine on proposed American Canyon/Highway 29 roundabouts (Napa Valley Register). Would creating six roundabouts along Highway 29 through American Canyon make for safer intersections and smoother traffic flow or the commute version of a white-knuckle thrill ride? People have the chance to opine on this and other options under consideration. The Napa Valley Transportation Authority (NVTA) has posted an online map where people can leave their comments. Go to nvta.ca.gov/SR29AmCan and look for the “social pinpoint” to participate.
  • San Diego to partner with Caltrans to reach homeless along freeways (San Diego Union-Tribune). Gov. Gavin Newsom, San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria and California Department of Transportation Director Toks Omishakin announced on Monday a partnership to bring services to homeless people camped along state highways. The city’s Homeless Strategies and Solutions Department will contract with outreach provider City Net to deploy three teams to connect homeless people with housing and other services, according to the announcement from Gloria’s office Monday. The contract runs through June 2022. “The City’s partnership with Caltrans and its contract with City Net represents the first agreement in the State of California to provide dedicated outreach at encampments in the Caltrans right-of-way since Gov. Gavin Newsom announced $22 billion in investments to local governments to address homelessness and the lack of affordable housing as part of his California Comeback Plan,” the announcement read. City officials did not immediately respond to questions about the contract cost or the specific source of its funding. The San Diego Union-Tribune reported in August that the latest state budget included $2.7 million for Caltrans to clear trash and help connect homeless people with services and shelter.
  • Caltrans to test speed signs on Highway 99 in Sacramento (Sacramento Bee). Traffic on Highway 99 may flow a bit differently in the near future. Caltrans plans next month to install 10 “variable speed advisory” signs in the northbound direction, from Elk Grove Boulevard to the Highway 50 interchange in Sacramento. “Beginning November 1 motorists will see VSA signs displaying advisory speeds that will change based on traffic conditions along the corridor,” Caltrans wrote in a news release Tuesday. “These signs will be operational during the weekday morning commute times as part of a pilot project.” Read more at: https://www.sacbee.com/news/local/transportation/article255124482.html#storylink=cpy
  • Caltrans May Change Speed Limits On Highway 99 To Limit Congestion (CBS Sacramento). From 65 to 45 miles per hour? You’ll soon have to double-check the speed limit signs on Highway 99 as speed limits will soon change depending on how much traffic is on the highway. “It’s a mess, it’s a lot of traffic and not enough lanes to drive through,” explained driver, Barbra Loof.
  • Caltrans funding to add roundabout in Weedpatch (KGET 17). More than 2.1 billion dollars is being allocated by the California Transportation Commission for projects to repair and improve transportation infrastructure throughout the state. One of the projects approved this week is a roundabout on State Route 223 in Kern County. The project will cost 4.4 million dollars and will go to construct a roundabout to improve operations and safety near Weedpatch Highway where it intersects with Route 223.
  • Caltrans Breaks Ground On Highway 1 Realignment In Sonoma County (Petaluma Patch). Caltrans broke ground Tuesday on a $33 million state Highway 1 realignment project near Gleason Beach in Sonoma County to protect the roadway from sea-level rise and  erosion. SR-1 near Gleason Beach sits upon coastal bluffs that drop precipitously into the ocean; the three-year project will realign the coastal highway north of Bodega Bay and move it eastward away from rapidly eroding coastal bluffs. The bluffs have been rapidly retreating due to multiple erosive forces, the greatest of which being waves crashing against the base of the cliff, Caltrans officials said in a news release.
  • More than $2.1 billion allocated to repair and improve California transportation infrastructure (Orange County Breeze). The California Transportation Commission (CTC) this week 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, accounts for nearly one-third of this investment – $696 million. “By making these significant investments, California is building the public transportation system we need for a safer and more prosperous, equitable, and environmentally sound future,” said Caltrans Director Toks Omishakin. “This investment also includes nearly $1 billion for local and regional transportation projects that carry significant community benefit.”
  • SLO street widening project at Broad planned in 1970s (San Luis Obispo Tribune). For more than a century, the mantra for street and road design was “wider, smoother and faster.” In the late 1800s, San Luis Obispo had uneven street setbacks and buildings had to be moved. The high water mark for what we can call the fast-and-wide era was the early 1970s, when critics defeated a proposal to re-route Highway 1 from Santa Rosa Street to along the flank of Cerro San Luis and connect with Highway 101 near Marsh Street. The budding environmental movement blocked that roadway but there was no vocal opposition when Caltrans got a green light from the city to broaden Broad Street, also known as Highway 227.
  • Newsom, Gloria announce outreach program for unsheltered individuals near highways (KPBS Public Media). San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria, Gov. Gavin Newsom and Caltrans officials announced a collaborative outreach program Monday intended to support residents living in dangerous conditions adjacent to state highways. “I don’t think homelessness can be solved, I know it can be solved,” Newsom said. “The state has provided unprecedented financial resources and opportunities to local governments to address street homelessness, but it takes local leaders like Mayor Gloria to turn this into action. “Our vision on homelessness must be realized at the local level, and I hope this partnership becomes a template for other cities and counties around California to address encampments along our streets and highways,” Newsom said.
  • Maps: When 10 major S.F. Bay Area transportation projects will be done (SF Chronicle). Though a steady force for decades, public transit in the Bay Area is in a constant state of flux as services such as Muni and BART embark on projects large and small in the effort to ensuring a future where highways, buses, trains and ferries keep up with the Bay Area’s rapid population growth. But some projects are bigger than others. And some seem to never end. With that in mind, here are 10 major Bay Area transportation projects that will affect how you travel around San Francisco and throughout the region — and when we can expect them to be completed.
  • Caltrans proposes Highway 26 intersection control improvement project (Calaveras Enterprise). Proposed construction at the busy intersection at State Highways 26 and 49 in Mokelumne Hill has community members choosing sides and asserting opinions online. The intersection where the two highways meet currently has a four-way stop, which Caltrans believes warrants an overhaul. Proposed alternatives to the current four-way stop include a roundabout (Alternative 1) or two-signal stop lights (Alternative 2), with the third option being to leave it as-is (Alternative 3). According to Caltrans, “A pattern of broadside collisions has been identified at the intersection of State Route 26 and State Route 49, which are caused by motorists failing to yield.”
  • Caltrans: $8.3M project at Highway 108 and Peaceful Oak Road is 75% complete (Union Democrat). An $8.3 million project to eliminate a circuitous traffic problem in East Sonora by adding two new freeway ramps at Highway 108 and Peaceful Oak Road is 75% complete and estimated to be finished by Dec. 31, Caltrans District 10 staff said this week. There were traffic controls in place on both sides of the construction zone on Highway 108 this week. Many motorists lost patience waiting for permission to pass through the construction zone and turned around to get off the highway as opposed to waiting. The Peaceful Oak interchange, first completed seven years ago in 2014, has two ramps in its current configuration: one for eastbound motorists to exit Highway 108 and join Peaceful Oak Road, and one for motorists on Peaceful Oak Road to enter westbound Highway 108.
  • Traffic alert: Full closure on stretch of 101 Freeway through downtown L.A. set to begin Friday (KTLA). A portion of the 101 Freeway through downtown Los Angeles is set to undergo the first of two weekend closures to remove temporary frame supports from the new Sixth Street Viaduct. Beginning at 10 p.m. Friday, a 2.5-mile stretch of the freeway will close in both directions from the 101/10 spilt to the 5/10/101 interchange just east of downtown. The transition from the westbound 60 Freeway to the 101 will also be closed due to the project.
  • Route 108/Peaceful Oaks ramps project (District 10/Facebook). The $8.3 million State Route 108/Peaceful Oaks ramps project in Tuolumne County is approximately three-quarters of the way toward completion, and the interchange is expected to be fully operational by early 2022. The project, being handled by Caltrans District 10 and Sonora-based Sierra Mountain Construction, is adding a westbound off-ramp and an eastbound on-ramp. The structure, built in 2014, currently has a westbound on-ramp and an eastbound off-ramp. The interchange is just east of the town of Sonora.
  • How to Plan the Perfect Solo Road Trip on California’s Famed Highway 1 (Travel + Leisure). I had long dreamed of driving California’s Highway 1 alone. The iconic coastal road, stretching 665 miles from Mendocino to San Diego, promised epic seaside views and, as the world opened up, time for quiet contemplation. I’d start in San Francisco and end in Los Angeles. Nine days. Six hotels. One suitcase. The idea was to feel small, meet fellow travelers, eat plenty of local grub, and get swallowed up in the shifting north-to-south landscape. On the first flight out of New York — aboard a squeaky clean JetBlue Mint seat and in between bites of chef Ryan Hardy’s tasty Italian plates — I glanced at my itinerary: a mix of my own research and tips from local pals. I had also carved out time to dip into the road’s diversions — hippy cafes, surf breaks, and poetic lookout points. After all, part of going on a road trip was being open to where you’d wind up.
  • State Route 88 Roadway Improvement Project (District 10/Facebook). Do you want a virtual public meeting on changes proposed for the State Route 88 Roadway Improvement Project in Amador County? The public comment period is September 29 through October 29, 2021. For more information, click on this link https://dot.ca.gov/…/district-10-current-projects/10-0Q210 or the flyer below.
  • Construction starts on the San Juan Bautista roundabout (BenitoLink). The First Street roundabout project in San Juan Bautista, part of the Rancho Vista subdivision, was set for construction in February with all parties, the city, Meritage Homes and property owners having reached an agreement. After nine months, construction is finally underway. According to the city, property owners Edmundo and Rosa Loayza delayed construction by not giving a construction license to Meritage to build on their property “until the city agreed to fix the date of valuation, in the event the city needs to proceed with an eminent domain action.”
  • Celebrating Five Years of the CA Incline with the Library Digital Archive (City of Santa Monica). The Santa Monica Public Library is excited to share the newest addition to the Library’s digital archives collection — California Incline Bridge Replacement Project, 2015-16. With it, we provide a visual record of the construction of one of the most significant civic projects in the City’s history. The California Incline Bridge Replacement Project, 2015-16 About the Collection: Highway ramps are usually not postcard-worthy structures, but California Incline is in a different league. The Incline extends approximately 1,400 feet from the intersection of Ocean and California Avenues at the top of the Palisades bluffs to the Pacific Coast Highway at the base of the bluffs. Not only is it a vital traffic route connecting downtown Santa Monica to Pacific Coast Highway, it is also a destination point with a breathtaking view of the Santa Monica Bay.
  • Details For I-5 Freeway Enhancement Project In Santa Clarita Revealed To Public (KHTS FM 98.1 & AM 1220). The details of the I-5 North County Enhancement Project, which involves construction alongside parts of Santa Clarita, were revealed Wednesday during a meeting hosted by Metro Los Angeles. The project involves large construction projects on the I-5 Freeway in the north L.A. County from south of Parker Road in Castaic all the way to the SR-14 interchange in the Newhall Pass in an effort to enhance the freeway.
  • Caltrans Finalizes 2021 Interregional Transportation Strategic Plan (Caltrans). Caltrans this week released the final version of its 2021 Interregional Transportation Strategic Plan (ITSP), a highway and rail improvement plan to prioritize and develop transportation projects that connect the state’s different regions and move people and goods more safely, efficiently and sustainably. Updated every five years, the 2021 ITSP focuses on enhancements to key highway and rail corridors connecting different regions throughout the state to expand travel options, improve safety and accessibility, ensure the efficient movement of goods, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and fortify transportation infrastructure to be more resilient to the impacts of climate change. These policies and goals align with other recent statewide plans – including the Climate Action Plan for Transportation Infrastructure, California Transportation Plan 2050, California Freight Mobility Plan 2020 and the 2018 California State Rail Plan – to form a comprehensive strategy for a safe, equitable, sustainable, accessible and resilient transportation system.
  • Los Angeles Central Library’s map librarian Glen Creason takes a new route: retirement (Los Angeles Times). “I feel like I’m having a psychedelic experience,” says Glen Creason, the map librarian at the Central Library in downtown Los Angeles who is retiring after 42 years behind the desk. Friday was his last day. Bearded and bespectacled just as he was when he started, Creason’s relaxed demeanor hides the fact that it’s a bittersweet prospect. […]  He recently finished cataloging the huge number of Feathers’ California-related items, which included “a complete set of Thomas Guides, which even the company didn’t have, Rennie Guides, Gillespie Guides going back to the 1920s, fold-out maps, road atlases from before we had a highway system, travelogues, a four-volume set about soils in Iowa. I even found his library card and driving license.”

Gribblenation Blog (Tom Fearer)

  • Exploring the southern terminus points of US Route 97 in Oregon and California. Modern US Route 97 begins in the City of Weed, California at it’s southern terminus over what was former US Route 99 on Weed Boulevard. From the City of Weed US Route 97 northbound passes by the foot of Mount Shasta towards Macdoel and Dorris where it crosses the Oregon State Line. In total 54 of the 663 miles of US Route 97 are found within the State of California. Notably the original terminus of US Route 97 was found in Jackson County, Oregon at Emigrant Lake near Ashland. Pictured above US Route 97 can be seen facing southward towards Mount Shasta in 1959.
  • Former California State Route 190 at the bottom of Lake Success. East of the City of Porterville the alignment of California State Route 190 follows the Tule River watershed into the Sierra Nevada Mountains. In modern times California State Route 190 east of Porterville climbs south of the Lake Success Reservoir towards Springville. Much of the original alignment of California State Route 190 within the Lake Success Reservoir can still be hiked, especially in drier years. Pictured above is the original alignment of California State Route 190 facing northward along the western shore of Lake Success.
  • US Route 299 and modern California State Route 299. US Route 299 connected US Route 101 near Arcata of Humboldt County east across the northern mountain ranges of California to US Route 395 in Alturas of Modoc County. US Route 299 was the longest child route of US Route 99 and is the only major east/west highway across the northern counties of California. US Route 299 was conceptualized as the earliest iteration of what is known as the Winnemucca-to-the-Sea Highway. The legacy of US Route 299 lives on today in the form of the 307 mile long California State Route 299. Featured as the cover of this blog is the interchange of US Route 101 and US Route 299 north of Arcata which was completed as a segment of the Burns Freeway during 1956.
  • California State Route 73. California State Route 73 is 21 mile limited access highway aligned over the Corona del Mar Freeway and San Joaquin Hills Toll Road. California State Route 73 connects Interstate 5 near San Juan Capistrano westward to Interstate 405 in Costa Mesa. Prior to the construction of the Corona del Mar Freeway and San Joaquin Hills Tollway California State Route 73 was a surface highway located on largely MacArthur Boulevard.

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