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Author Topic: Mileposts/Mile Markers Removed on CA-58?  (Read 2209 times)

myosh_tino

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Mileposts/Mile Markers Removed on CA-58?
« on: September 08, 2016, 05:59:04 PM »

Read an interesting article on the San Jose Mercury's Mr. Roadshow column about the apparent removal of the green-on-white mileposts along Kern County freeways.  I have to assume the freeway in question is CA-58 east of Bakersfield.  The mileposts were originally installed only along the Mojave Bypass when the freeway was constructed.  Over time, the mileposts were extended east to Boron and west to just outside Bakersfield.

Gary Richards states...
"There are no longer any milepost markers on California highways. A few were installed on Kern County freeways about 10 years ago but they were recently removed. (They created confusion when it came to responding to roadway incidents.)"

AFAIK, the CHP, Caltrans and local law enforcement continue to use postmiles to locate roadway incidents so one could see how things could become confused if a milepost number is given to a 911 dispatcher.  The simple solution for Caltrans was to remove the mileposts.

I will be driving that stretch of CA-58 in late October so I can confirm whether the mileposts have been removed or not unless someone else beats me to it.

Link to the Mr. Roadshow column... http://www.mercurynews.com/2016/09/08/roadshow-lawrence-expressway-changes-coming-at-i-280-off-ramp/ (you'll need to scroll down to find the relevant question and answer)

FWIW, California's postmiles are black-on-white paddles that contain the route number, county code and mileage from the county line.  Mileposts, on the other hand, are white-on-green paddles that measure the distance from the route's southern or western terminus.
« Last Edit: September 08, 2016, 06:21:56 PM by myosh_tino »
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Mileposts/Mile Markers Removed on CA-58?
« Reply #1 on: September 08, 2016, 07:38:55 PM »

Read an interesting article on the San Jose Mercury's Mr. Roadshow column about the apparent removal of the green-on-white mileposts along Kern County freeways.  I have to assume the freeway in question is CA-58 east of Bakersfield.  The mileposts were originally installed only along the Mojave Bypass when the freeway was constructed.  Over time, the mileposts were extended east to Boron and west to just outside Bakersfield.

Gary Richards states...
"There are no longer any milepost markers on California highways. A few were installed on Kern County freeways about 10 years ago but they were recently removed. (They created confusion when it came to responding to roadway incidents.)"

AFAIK, the CHP, Caltrans and local law enforcement continue to use postmiles to locate roadway incidents so one could see how things could become confused if a milepost number is given to a 911 dispatcher.  The simple solution for Caltrans was to remove the mileposts.

I will be driving that stretch of CA-58 in late October so I can confirm whether the mileposts have been removed or not unless someone else beats me to it.

Link to the Mr. Roadshow column... http://www.mercurynews.com/2016/09/08/roadshow-lawrence-expressway-changes-coming-at-i-280-off-ramp/ (you'll need to scroll down to find the relevant question and answer)

FWIW, California's postmiles are black-on-white paddles that contain the route number, county code and mileage from the county line.  Mileposts, on the other hand, are white-on-green paddles that measure the distance from the route's southern or western terminus.

I am the source behind Gary Richards' response.  I've been acquainted with him for several years and he occasionally uses me as a resource.  His response is what I told him verbatim when he asked me about this; i.e., he didn't write it, I did.

Sometime back Caltrans HQ Traffic Ops was approached by staff in District 9 about removing the milepost markets, for the reasons described in the article. Because mileposts are not a requirement in the California MUTCD, we concurred with their request.

When Gary contacted me about this topic, I verified with District 9 that they had removed them, and the staff person there confirmed that it had been done.   They were located on the freeway portions of CA-58 from roughly Tehachapi to the San Bernardino County line and on the freeway portions of CA-14 in Kern County. 

For those wondering, the eastern part of Kern County is overseen by District 9.


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« Last Edit: September 08, 2016, 07:43:20 PM by jrouse »
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andy3175

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Re: Mileposts/Mile Markers Removed on CA-58?
« Reply #2 on: September 09, 2016, 12:01:33 AM »

The article states:

Quote
There are no longer any milepost markers on California highways. A few were installed on Kern County freeways about 10 years ago but they were recently removed. (They created confusion when it came to responding to roadway incidents.) There are no plans to add milepost markers because the state has so many miles of freeways it would be very expensive to install and maintain them. But the state continues to place exit numbers at freeway interchanges; these numbers are based on mileposts and are probably about as close as we’re going to get to having a statewide mileage tracking system.

I've noticed the slow demise across California of call boxes, which have blue signs that are often the most legible way to identify information normally contained on a postmile marker. I had hoped the green milemarkers would become more common as call boxes eventually go away as the most legible way to identify one's location in the event of an emergency. With milemarkers not planned, then I guess the call box blue signs would remain even if the phone itself goes away? White Postmile markers are not always easy to locate on urban freeways; they are not consistently there (and this goes for white bridge marker signs as well). The blue call box signs are not terribly common either, but they are the easiest to identify when driving down the highway. I have also hoped maybe someday the blue call box signs would be upgraded in a manner consistent with the milemarker signs on the east coast that contain a route shield and mileage in large numerals.

Further, I note the original question...

Quote
Are there any mile marker signs left on Bay Area highways where we can check our speedometer distances? I used to see them all over, but haven’t found one.

... appears to be talking about those black on white square signs that begin with a "speedometer check" sign, go with posted miles (usually 5 in a row) followed by an "end check" sign. Those signs are difficult to find. The nearest I know of in San Diego used to be on I-5 down by SR 75 and Palm Avenue, but I don't recall offhand if they are still there. Here is an example:

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myosh_tino

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Re: Mileposts/Mile Markers Removed on CA-58?
« Reply #3 on: September 09, 2016, 03:24:46 AM »

Sometime back Caltrans HQ Traffic Ops was approached by staff in District 9 about removing the milepost markets, for the reasons described in the article. Because mileposts are not a requirement in the California MUTCD, we concurred with their request.

Interesting.  Joe, can you provide some insight on why the mileposts were installed in the first place?  Was it a test to see if they should be installed statewide or was this considered another one-off?

Also, I seem to recall that US 6 between Bishop and the Nevada state line also had mileposts installed.  Were those removed too?


White Postmile markers are not always easy to locate on urban freeways; they are not consistently there (and this goes for white bridge marker signs as well).

In urban settings, I would think incident reporting would be more heavily reliant on interchanges and cross-streets rather than postmiles ("accident south I-5 at Florin Rd" vs "accident south I-5 at PM56.09").
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Re: Mileposts/Mile Markers Removed on CA-58?
« Reply #4 on: September 09, 2016, 11:56:49 AM »

I am the source behind Gary Richards' response.  I've been acquainted with him for several years and he occasionally uses me as a resource.  His response is what I told him verbatim when he asked me about this; i.e., he didn't write it, I did.

Gary also contacts me occasionally, especially when there are questions about Southern California. I've told him I wished LANG (LA News Group, behind the Daily News) would have him do southern california, as the same parent owns BANG (Bay Area news group, behind the Mercury News).

I wonder how many of us are secret sources :-)
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Re: Mileposts/Mile Markers Removed on CA-58?
« Reply #5 on: September 09, 2016, 02:46:57 PM »

I've had a few of my questions show up in his column from time to time.  I used to be a regular in his weekly online chats hosted by the San Jose Mercury but haven't been lately due to work.
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Re: Mileposts/Mile Markers Removed on CA-58?
« Reply #6 on: September 11, 2016, 05:27:55 AM »


Quote
Are there any mile marker signs left on Bay Area highways where we can check our speedometer distances? I used to see them all over, but haven’t found one.

... appears to be talking about those black on white square signs that begin with a "speedometer check" sign, go with posted miles (usually 5 in a row) followed by an "end check" sign. Those signs are difficult to find. The nearest I know of in San Diego used to be on I-5 down by SR 75 and Palm Avenue, but I don't recall offhand if they are still there. Here is an example:



Technically, these should have been "odometer" rather than "speedometer" mileage checkpoints, but obviously the more common albeit mistaken nomenclature was used here.  That being said, the fact that electronic/digital rather than mechanical odometers are the norm for just about every vehicle manufactured in the last 15-20 years has rendered the roadside "speedometer check" obsolescent; it's no wonder that once the old signage ages out, it hasn't been replaced in kind. 
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Re: Mileposts/Mile Markers Removed on CA-58?
« Reply #7 on: September 11, 2016, 04:08:29 PM »

White Postmile markers are not always easy to locate on urban freeways; they are not consistently there (and this goes for white bridge marker signs as well). The blue call box signs are not terribly common either, but they are the easiest to identify when driving down the highway. I have also hoped maybe someday the blue call box signs would be upgraded in a manner consistent with the milemarker signs on the east coast that contain a route shield and mileage in large numerals.

District 7 and 8 do pretty well at keeping the bridge pylons in check, but the actual white pylons haven't been touched since the freeways were built and haven't been replaced if mowed down in an accident. I am not sure if this is because of lack of budget or Caltrans being Caltrans, but take for instance SR 210. The original 30 Freeway still has the corresponding SR 30 milemarkers even though it has been legislatively SR 210 for almost 20 years.

Regarding call boxes I think they will continue to be maintained in areas were cell phone reception is poor or limited, such as in the mountainous areas and out in the desert, but I see urban ones being pulled and in those areas, any form of mile identification is basically useless as exits are normally every mile or two (if not sooner). I wonder if half of them are even still working.
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roadfro

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Re: Mileposts/Mile Markers Removed on CA-58?
« Reply #8 on: September 11, 2016, 06:31:10 PM »

The article states:

Quote
There are no longer any milepost markers on California highways. A few were installed on Kern County freeways about 10 years ago but they were recently removed. (They created confusion when it came to responding to roadway incidents.) There are no plans to add milepost markers because the state has so many miles of freeways it would be very expensive to install and maintain them. But the state continues to place exit numbers at freeway interchanges; these numbers are based on mileposts and are probably about as close as we’re going to get to having a statewide mileage tracking system.

I've noticed the slow demise across California of call boxes, which have blue signs that are often the most legible way to identify information normally contained on a postmile marker. I had hoped the green milemarkers would become more common as call boxes eventually go away as the most legible way to identify one's location in the event of an emergency. With milemarkers not planned, then I guess the call box blue signs would remain even if the phone itself goes away? White Postmile markers are not always easy to locate on urban freeways; they are not consistently there (and this goes for white bridge marker signs as well). The blue call box signs are not terribly common either, but they are the easiest to identify when driving down the highway. I have also hoped maybe someday the blue call box signs would be upgraded in a manner consistent with the milemarker signs on the east coast that contain a route shield and mileage in large numerals.

Further, I note the original question...

Quote
Are there any mile marker signs left on Bay Area highways where we can check our speedometer distances? I used to see them all over, but haven’t found one.

... appears to be talking about those black on white square signs that begin with a "speedometer check" sign, go with posted miles (usually 5 in a row) followed by an "end check" sign. Those signs are difficult to find. The nearest I know of in San Diego used to be on I-5 down by SR 75 and Palm Avenue, but I don't recall offhand if they are still there. Here is an example:



Worth noting that the postmile location given on a Call Box sign is generally an approximation. For freeways, two boxes located at the exact same point on opposite sides of a freeway have slightly different numbers (the decimal place is usually either odd or even to indicate direction of travel).
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cahwyguy

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Re: Mileposts/Mile Markers Removed on CA-58?
« Reply #9 on: September 11, 2016, 10:00:14 PM »

District 7 and 8 do pretty well at keeping the bridge pylons in check, but the actual white pylons haven't been touched since the freeways were built and haven't been replaced if mowed down in an accident. I am not sure if this is because of lack of budget or Caltrans being Caltrans, but take for instance SR 210. The original 30 Freeway still has the corresponding SR 30 milemarkers even though it has been legislatively SR 210 for almost 20 years.

Actually, it is worse than that. Driving back from Scottsdale a few weeks ago, we took 210 from the 10. In the old 30 portion between 10 and 215, there was 210 postmiles, 30 postmiles, and 38 postmiles.
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Re: Mileposts/Mile Markers Removed on CA-58?
« Reply #10 on: September 12, 2016, 03:55:20 AM »

Regarding call boxes I think they will continue to be maintained in areas were cell phone reception is poor or limited, such as in the mountainous areas and out in the desert, but I see urban ones being pulled and in those areas, any form of mile identification is basically useless as exits are normally every mile or two (if not sooner). I wonder if half of them are even still working.

District 4 (San Francisco Bay Area) began removing call boxes a few years ago due to the proliferation of cell phones and increased maintenance costs.  However, when a call box was removed, Caltrans installed a sign on the existing post that reads "FREEWAY ASSIST CALL 511".  See this GMSV for an example… https://goo.gl/maps/K3RYaikGSwq.  You'll notice these signs are still white-on-blue and retain the call box identifier which is made up of a county code, route number and (approximate) post mile.

Note: This particular sign is what Caltrans calls a "special guide" sign, has a sign code of SG49B(CA) and was introduced in 2014.
« Last Edit: September 12, 2016, 04:01:45 AM by myosh_tino »
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Re: Mileposts/Mile Markers Removed on CA-58?
« Reply #11 on: September 22, 2016, 11:38:45 PM »

Actually, it is worse than that. Driving back from Scottsdale a few weeks ago, we took 210 from the 10. In the old 30 portion between 10 and 215, there was 210 postmiles, 30 postmiles, and 38 postmiles.

38? Are you sure? SR 38 was never routed along the freeway AFAIK. I have seen some pretty worn 30 pylons in Upland/Alta Loma that look like 38s. I took the 210 to the 10 to get to Palm Springs (MUCH better drive then the San Bernardino itself IMO) and there are more 30 markers for eastbound then westbound. Caltrans surveying crews were out there though, I'm assuming in preparation for the widening of the freeway, so expect those to be yanked or replaced soon.

What I find hilarious about that freeway, which was always legislatively SR 210, is fact that Caltrans didn't have the foresight to make signs with SR 210 or even I-210 shields that could be temporally covered with a SR 30 shield. This is prevalent at the 15 interchange, with the infamous signs that switch EB 210s control city from San Bernardino to Redlands (with Redlands on green out too small to cover so you can still see the 'ino'). BUT all the street signs were made with I-210 in preparation for it's interstate designation that still hasn't happened. Just so many quirks I see driving that freeway daily that make me wanna  :pan:
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Re: Mileposts/Mile Markers Removed on CA-58?
« Reply #12 on: September 23, 2016, 12:05:38 AM »

that freeway, which was always legislatively SR 210,
It was legislated as SR 30 until 1998...
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Re: Mileposts/Mile Markers Removed on CA-58?
« Reply #13 on: September 23, 2016, 02:29:26 AM »

It was legislated as SR 30 until 1998...

Signs were posted in 1999... When the freeway opened, it was already legislatively SR 210. It changed while still under construction. I might give Caltrans slack if they ordered the signs before the legislative change, but I think they would have had time to go back in and change it from SR 30 to either I-210 or SR 210 and change the green out accordingly. Instead, we get a conehead shaped 2di SR 210 shield over the SR 30. I'm waiting for it to either fall off or the sign to be replaced. It also has a lot of wasted room from when the freeway only went from Day Creek to Cherry(?).
« Last Edit: September 23, 2016, 02:53:20 AM by Exit58 »
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Re: Mileposts/Mile Markers Removed on CA-58?
« Reply #14 on: September 23, 2016, 10:21:15 AM »

Huh? He mentioned the part east of I-215, which is much older than 1999.
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Re: Mileposts/Mile Markers Removed on CA-58?
« Reply #15 on: September 23, 2016, 11:13:10 AM »

Actually, it is worse than that. Driving back from Scottsdale a few weeks ago, we took 210 from the 10. In the old 30 portion between 10 and 215, there was 210 postmiles, 30 postmiles, and 38 postmiles.

38? Are you sure? SR 38 was never routed along the freeway AFAIK. I have seen some pretty worn 30 pylons in Upland/Alta Loma that look like 38s. I took the 210 to the 10 to get to Palm Springs (MUCH better drive then the San Bernardino itself IMO) and there are more 30 markers for eastbound then westbound.

Yes, 38. This was specifically on the segment at the eastern end, where it leaves I-10 up to where route 330 exits to go to the mountains. It was only, IIRC, on the postmiles. I was traveling WB.

Route 38 starts legislatively at I-10, so it is possible that some of those miles relate to the Route 38 east/west portion turning and going to Route 10. This might be especially so if 38 was ever routed further to the N (such as along Greenspot).
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Re: Mileposts/Mile Markers Removed on CA-58?
« Reply #16 on: September 23, 2016, 11:19:25 AM »

Huh? He mentioned the part east of I-215, which is much older than 1999.

Oh I see the confusion. That's what I get for typing at midnight lol. My second paragraph was regarding the newer section of the freeway - around the current 15 in Fontana. When it opened, it was posted at part of SR 30, with overhead signs saying so, even though it was LSR 210. What I was talking about was the fact all the onramp signage in this area was printed with I-210 with SR 210 on green out, why couldn't they do something similar on the overheads.

The old 30 part from the 10 to the 215 was opened in 3 sections dating from 1970s to 1990s. I remember the last part being opened around 1994(?) from 5th St across the Santa Ana to the 10. That was legislatively SR 30 until 199&, like you said. The rest of modern SR 210 (except the section from the Glendora Curve to Foothill Blvd in La Verne which was SR 30) was always LSR 210.
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Re: Mileposts/Mile Markers Removed on CA-58?
« Reply #17 on: September 23, 2016, 11:32:01 AM »

Yes, 38. This was specifically on the segment at the eastern end, where it leaves I-10 up to where route 330 exits to go to the mountains. It was only, IIRC, on the postmiles. I was traveling WB.

Route 38 starts legislatively at I-10, so it is possible that some of those miles relate to the Route 38 east/west portion turning and going to Route 10. This might be especially so if 38 was ever routed further to the N (such as along Greenspot).

SR 38 takes Orange St from I-10 to Lugonia. SR 30's later surface street alignment took the rest of Orange and Boulder to Highland Ave in Highland. This was all part of the same LRN, but I forget which one off the top of my head.

The segment of Orange from Lugonia to the 10 was given to SR 30 after 30 was redirected from its original path to Big Bear (now SR 330). Once it was moved to the freeway, that segment of Orange was given back to SR 38. Any 38 post miles along the freeway were an accidental install or worn. The mileage should be counted from the intersection of Base Line and Foothill in San Dimas.
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Re: Mileposts/Mile Markers Removed on CA-58?
« Reply #18 on: September 23, 2016, 02:59:05 PM »

Yes, 38. This was specifically on the segment at the eastern end, where it leaves I-10 up to where route 330 exits to go to the mountains. It was only, IIRC, on the postmiles. I was traveling WB.

Route 38 starts legislatively at I-10, so it is possible that some of those miles relate to the Route 38 east/west portion turning and going to Route 10. This might be especially so if 38 was ever routed further to the N (such as along Greenspot).

SR 38 takes Orange St from I-10 to Lugonia. SR 30's later surface street alignment took the rest of Orange and Boulder to Highland Ave in Highland. This was all part of the same LRN, but I forget which one off the top of my head.

The segment of Orange from Lugonia to the 10 was given to SR 30 after 30 was redirected from its original path to Big Bear (now SR 330). Once it was moved to the freeway, that segment of Orange was given back to SR 38. Any 38 post miles along the freeway were an accidental install or worn. The mileage should be counted from the intersection of Base Line and Foothill in San Dimas.

Mostly... Postmiles are county based. The former west end of State 30 was in Los Angeles County in La Verne. Route 30 crossed into San Bernardino County along Baseline Road just east of the current State 210 / Baseline interchange.
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Re: Mileposts/Mile Markers Removed on CA-58?
« Reply #19 on: September 23, 2016, 11:12:30 PM »

Mostly... Postmiles are county based. The former west end of State 30 was in Los Angeles County in La Verne. Route 30 crossed into San Bernardino County along Baseline Road just east of the current State 210 / Baseline interchange.

You're right. Long day at work and I really dropped he ball here lol. The mileage would be counted from what is now the Baseline exit on the 210 (ironically).
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