California 209

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California 209

Routing

California 209 was decommissioned in May 2001 as part of a statewide shedding of non-freeway, urban surface streets that were previously part of the state highway system. Other routes that suffered the same fate include California 54 (Second Street) in El Cajon, California 274 (Balboa Avenue) in San Diego, and California 2 in Beverly Hills. These routes are no longer within the state highway system and are now locally maintained, usually by the city in which the former route is vacated. California 209 used to include all or parts of Camino del Rio West, Rosecrans Street, Canon Street, Catalina Boulevard, and Cabrillo Memorial Drive as it wound its way southwest from the Interstate 5/Interstate 8 interchange toward Cabrillo National Monument at the tip of Point Loma. As of October 2002, California 209 is still well-signed for its entire length; however, as the city of San Diego takes ownership of the route and makes it city standard, expect the remaining shields and signs that refer to California 209 designation to be removed.

Highway Guide

California 209/Cabrillo Memorial Drive north
Leaving the main parking lot of Cabrillo National Monument at the tip of Point Loma in San Diego, California 209/Cabrillo Memorial Drive began its northbound journey immediately upon exiting the park. This view is at the intersection of Cabrillo Memorial Drive and Cabrillo Road just south of the entrance station and fee booth for the national monument. Photo taken 02/19/05.
The fee station for the national monument is located in the middle of Cabrillo Memorial Drive. Photo taken 02/19/05.
Upon departing the national monument, northbound California 209 begins. The initial section of California 209 is surrounded by the Fort Rosecrans Military Reservation, and access through the reservation is limited to certain hours (south of Mills Street). A gate is located south of Mills Street to regulate traffic flow into the reservation. Photo taken 02/19/05.
This was the first shield for northbound California 209 in Fort Rosecrans Military Reservation; this shield is now gone (as of June 2009). California 209 followed Cabrillo Memorial Drive. Some of the facilities in this military reservation include communications equipment and a large national cemetery. Due to security requirements, the military imposes a nightly curfew on the segment of California 209 that passes through the military reservation: unauthorized traffic is not allowed after dusk beyond a military checkpoint just south of Mills Street. Situated on the crest of Point Loma, California 209 is subject to strong winds and foggy conditions from the ocean. Photo taken 02/19/05.
Passing through the military installation is a cemetery on the east side of Cabrillo Memorial Drive. Photo taken 02/19/05.
Leaving Fort Rosecrans Military Reservation, California 209 shifted from Cabrillo Memorial Drive to Catalina Drive at this point. A guard house is located at the point where the state highway leaves the military area with restricted hours of access and becomes a city street from here northward. Photo taken 02/19/05.
California 209/Catalina Boulevard north
Now traveling north on Catalina Boulevard along a stretch maintained by the city of San Diego, California 209 widens to four lanes and will pass by Point Loma Nazarene University on the west side of Catalina Boulevard. Photo taken 02/19/05.
This reassurance shield for California 209 used to be posted near Point Loma Nazarene University along northbound Catalina Boulevard. Photo taken 02/19/05.
A row of palm trees line the west side of Catalina Boulevard between Garden Lane and Lomaland Drive. Photo taken 02/19/05.
Catalina Boulevard along a stretch maintained by the city of San Diego, California 209 widens to four lanes and will pass by Point Loma Nazarene University on the west side of Catalina Boulevard. Photo taken 02/19/05.
Northbound California 209/Catalina Boulevard meets Lomaland Drive and Wilcox Street at this traffic signal. Photo taken 02/19/05.
A California 209 trailblazer (installed by the city of San Diego) was posted after the Wilcox Street intersection. While Catalina Boulevard continues north, California 209 used to turn northeast here onto Canon Street. Photo taken 02/19/05.
The right lane of Catalina Boulevard transitions onto Canon Street southeast; the left two lanes continue north. The fastest route to Interstate 8 from here is via Catalina Boulevard north to Famosa Boulevard to Nimitz Boulevard north to Interstate 8/Ocean Beach Freeway east. Photo taken 02/19/05.
A standard California 209 shield is posted immediately thereafter as northbound Catalina Boulevard meets Canon Street. The state highway used to turn right here. Photo taken 02/19/05.
California 209/Canon Street north
Now traveling northeast on Canon Street, California 209 is again two lanes. A tall eucalyptus tree is visible on the northwest side of the intersection as Canon Street leaves Catalina Boulevard. Photo taken 02/19/05.

A California 209 north trailblazer is posted on the mast arm for the Talbot Street traffic signal found along northbound Canon Street in Point Loma. The upcoming section of Canon Street is somewhat winding with curves. Photos taken 02/19/05.
California 209/Canon Street has two lanes (one in each direction) between Catalina Boulevard and Rosecrans Street near Shelter Island. Photo taken 02/19/05.
Northbound California 209/Canon Street approaches Point Loma Avenue west to Sunset Cliffs and Ocean Beach. From here, Canon Street turns southeast toward Roseville; California 209 will turn north again once it shifts onto Rosecrans Street. Photo taken 02/19/05.
The next intersection along California 209/Canon Street north is with Del Mar Avenue north to Chatsworth Boulevard and then west to Sunset Cliffs and Ocean Beach. Photo taken 02/19/05.
This section of California 209/Canon Street is about as straight as it gets before approaching the vicinity of Shelter Island. Note the lack of driveways or side streets through this section of Canon Street. Photo taken 02/19/05.
Canon Street basically travels southeast as it enters the Roseville neighborhood of the Point Loma community. Houses and businesses appear on either side of Canon Street, in contrast to the lack of development along earlier sections of Canon Street. Photo taken 02/19/05.
California 209/Canon Street passes by Cabrillo Recreation Center and will soon approach Rosecrans Street. Canon Street is traveling slightly southeast at this point. Photo taken 02/19/05.
Canon Street meets Rosecrans Street at this signalized intersection in Roseville. As the trailblazer shield attests, California 209 used to turn left (northeast) on Rosecrans Street toward Shelter Island, the airport, and Midway District. Photo taken 02/19/05.
California 209/Rosecrans Street north
Two blocks after the intersection with Canon Street, northbound California 209/Rosecrans Street approaches a signalized intersection with Shelter Island Drive. Turn right to follow Shelter Island to Shelter Island, including the Kona Kai Resort, America's Cup Harbor, and San Diego Yacht Club. Photo taken 02/19/05.
Northbound California 209/Rosecrans Street meets Shelter Island Drive at this traffic signal. Photo taken 02/19/05.
Four blocks north, Rosecrans Street meets Fenelon Street, where this California 209 reassurance shield used to be posted. Photo taken 02/19/05.
The next traffic signal along California 209/Rosecrans Street north is with Harbor Drive. This intersection marks the northern terminus of Harbor Drive, which travels east past San Diego International Airport then south past the Embarcadero and downtown. At Seaport Village, Harbor Drive turns southeast past the San Diego Convention Center along an old alignment of U.S. 101 into National City. Photo taken 02/19/05.
A California 209 north shield was posted on the traffic signal mast arm at the intersection between Rosecrans Street and Harbor Drive. Photo taken 02/19/05.
Remaining true to its chameleon-like character, California 209 passes through a large commercial center along Rosecrans Street between Lytton Street and Interstate 5/Interstate 8. Six to eight lanes wide, California 209 passes by a variety of strips malls, grocery stores, and other amenities, including several topless bars and sex shops. This area, locally known as the Midway-Sports Arena area, has several such topless bars due to its proximity to a variety of military installations nearby, such as the U.S. Marine Corps Recruit Depot (MCRD), the Fort Rosecrans Military Reservation on Point Loma, and several other nearby bases. This shield picture was taken within this district along northbound approaching Midway Drive. Photo taken 09/10/00.
California 209 connects to Interstate 5 northbound and Interstate 8 eastbound, as evidenced by these shields along northbound just after the Midway traffic light. Photo taken 09/10/00.
Former California 209 angles northeast off Rosecrans Street on Camino del Rio West. Photo taken 05/22/04.
To reach south Interstate 5, use Rosecrans Street east to Pacific Highway south. Use California 209/Camino del West northeast to access north Interstate 5 and east Interstate 8. Photo taken 05/22/04.
At this intersection, Rosecrans Street turns due east toward Old Town San Diego. Northbound California 209, which leads to Interstates 5 and 8, turns northeast via Camino del Rio West from this point. Most travelers passing through this intersection would not even notice the change in street names. Photo taken 09/10/00.
California 209/Camino del Rio north
Northbound California 209/Camino del Rio West at Kurtz Street. Photo taken 05/22/04.
Northbound California 209 (Camino del Rio West) approaching Junction Interstate 8 eastbound and Interstate 5 northbound. This interchange lacks a connection from northbound California 209 to either southbound Interstate 5 or westbound California 209. Photo taken 05/22/04.
Northbound California 209 at the Interstate 5/Interstate 8 interchange. This marks the northern terminus of California 209. Photo taken 05/22/04.
Not many button copy, non-reflective exit gore point signs remain, but this one is an exception. Enjoy it while you can! Photo taken 05/22/04.
This eastbound Interstate 8 shield greets travelers merging onto the freeway from northbound California 209. Photo taken 05/22/04.
A ramp meter guards against freeway congestion as California 209 merges onto Interstate 8. Photo taken 05/22/04.
California 209/Rosecrans Street south
Now in the Roseville neighborhood of San Diego, southbound Rosecrans Street meets Canon Street. California 209 used to turn northwest along Canon Street, which connects to Cabrillo Boulevard west of here. Photo taken 02/19/05.
California 209/Canon Street south
Leaving Roseville, westbound Canon Street passes by several Spanish revival homes before entering a small canyon. Photo taken 02/19/05.
California 209/Canon Street carries two lanes through a picturesque canyon with limited development on either side of the former state highway. Photo taken 02/19/05.
Westbound Canon Street approaches Ullman Street. Photo taken 02/19/05.
Turning south, Canon Street passes by Point Loma Avenue and approaches Talbot Street. Photo taken 02/19/05.
A California 209 south shield used to be posted along Canon Street south between Talbot Street and Catalina Boulevard. Photo taken 02/19/05.
As southbound Canon Street prepares to merge onto Catalina Boulevard south, a California 209 trailblazer pointing the way to Cabrillo National Monument was posted prior to the traffic signal. Photo taken 02/19/05.
Canon Street ends as California 209 turns south onto Catalina Boulevard in Point Loma. Photo taken 02/19/05.
California 209/Catalina Boulevard south
A California 209 south reassurance shield used to be posted after the merge between Canon Street and Catalina Boulevard. The next traffic signal along southbound is with Lomaland Drive and Wilcox Street. Photo taken 02/19/05.
Continuing south, these signs are posted at the intersection between Catalina Boulevard and Lomaland Drive. Turn right here to Point Loma Nazarene University. Photo taken 02/19/05.
Another California 209 south reassurance shield is posted after the Lomaland Drive and Wilcox Street signalized intersection. Photo taken 02/19/05.
California 209 will enter the Fort Rosecrans Military Reservation. Gates are locked between 5:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m. weekdays as noted on the sign, with longer hours of closure on weekends. Photo taken 02/19/05.
Southbound Catalina Boulevard meets Electron Drive at this traffic signal. Photo taken 02/19/05.
Entering the reservation, Catalina Boulevard changes names to Cabrillo Memorial Drive. Continue south to Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery and Cabrillo National Monument. Photo taken 02/19/05.
California 209/Cabrillo Memorial Drive south
Southbound California 209/Cabrillo Memorial Drive takes on a more rural tone upon entering Fort Rosecrans Military Reservation. The former state highway carries two lanes, one in each direction. Photo taken 02/19/05.
Southbound California 209/Cabrillo Memorial Drive approaches Woodward Road. Photo taken 02/19/05.
A California 209 south reassurance shield was posted along southbound Cabrillo Memorial Drive after the Woodward Road intersection. Photo taken 02/19/05.
Southbound California 209/Cabrillo Memorial Drive passes through the Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery along Cabrillo Memorial Drive. Photo taken 02/19/05.
The lighthouse at Cabrillo National Monument comes into view as Cabrillo Memorial Drive approaches the entrance to the park. Photo taken 02/19/05.
An END California 209 south shield assembly used to be posted at the entrance to Cabrillo National Monument within the Fort Rosecrans Military Reservation. This shield assembly was located just before the turnoff to the Point Loma Wastewater Treatment Facility located at the bottom of the hill near the water on the ocean side of the point. Photos taken 08/99 and 10/26/02.
The END shield located on southbound California 209/Cabrillo Memorial Drive was gone by 2005. Traffic continuing straight ahead must pay admission into the park, but on a clear day, the park affords some of the best views of downtown San Diego and Coronado. The fee station for Cabrillo National Monument is visible ahead; all traffic must pay the fee to enter the park. Photo taken 02/19/05.
Scenes Pertaining to California 209
Some distance south of Famosa Boulevard, southbound Nimitz Boulevard approaches former California 209/Rosecrans Street in Roseville. This trailblazer shield for California 209 was gone as of 2008. Photo taken 02/19/05.
This signage for Cabrillo National Monument is located adjacent to the visitors center at the end of California 209 (which also very briefly served as the western terminus of U.S. 80 during World War II - around 1941 or 1942). Photo taken 10/26/02.
This series of photos shows a clockwise view from Cabrillo National Monument toward Shelter Island, Lindbergh Field, downtown San Diego, Coronado, and the North Island Naval Air Station. A storm was passing through on this day. Photos taken 02/19/05.
View of the Point Loma coast as seen looking northward from Cabrillo National Monument. Photo taken 10/26/02.
Views of the lighthouse at Cabrillo National Monument, including the original lens for the lighthouse. This lighthouse used to warn mariners of the rocks at the shore of Point Loma in the late 1800s/early 1900s. The lighthouse and the peninsula are often shrouded in fog. Today the lighthouse is open to the public to show how life was in those days. Photos taken 10/26/02.

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Page Updated June 11, 2009.