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Author Topic: California 245 and other more obscure California State Highways  (Read 39864 times)

Quillz

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Re: California 245 and other more obscure California State Highways
« Reply #150 on: September 13, 2016, 12:25:38 AM »

Don't most people in NorCal and central California tend to go to Tahoe moreso than Mammoth due to the lack of Sierra crossings? I know down here in LA, you go to Big Bear or you go to Mammoth, the latter often being thought of predominately as a SoCal attraction (even though that's obviously not true).

I would say at this point, any new trans-Sierra crossing would have to do something like connect tourist spot A to B. Given Mammoth is roughly in a straight east line from Yosemite Valley, it could work "on paper," if nothing else, to have a 203 extension reach to Glacier Point Road.
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: California 245 and other more obscure California State Highways
« Reply #151 on: September 13, 2016, 12:31:57 AM »

I suppose....but somehow a lot of people are going to Mammoth.  Granted it wasn't ski season but when I dropped in to see the Postpile there was a crap ton of people there in Mammoth.  I have no idea where they were coming from but they had California plates and even hotels in Bishop were way pricier than would have been normally expected.  I mean...it can't be that hard with that really nice stretch of US 395 as an expressway out that way.

Well if that's even happened it would sure one-up the hell out of Tioga Pass.  That sounds like an absolute blast to go from Glacier Point to Minerat Summit in a single day's worth of driving directly.
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Quillz

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Re: California 245 and other more obscure California State Highways
« Reply #152 on: September 13, 2016, 12:36:26 AM »

I suppose....but somehow a lot of people are going to Mammoth.  Granted it wasn't ski season but when I dropped in to see the Postpile there was a crap ton of people there in Mammoth.  I have no idea where they were coming from but they had California plates and even hotels in Bishop were way pricier than would have been normally expected.  I mean...it can't be that hard with that really nice stretch of US 395 as an expressway out that way.

Well if that's even happened it would sure one-up the hell out of Tioga Pass.  That sounds like an absolute blast to go from Glacier Point to Minerat Summit in a single day's worth of driving directly.
In the summer months, you've got BMX biking, fishing, and the Postpile can actually be visited since the road is open.
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: California 245 and other more obscure California State Highways
« Reply #153 on: September 13, 2016, 12:43:20 AM »

Yeah had to knock that one of my list, presently I'm at 48 National Monuments total with 2 to go in California.  I don't think that I'll be going back anytime soon that that absurd bus ride to the Postpile.  I'm looking at something more along the lines of Whitney Portal, White Mountain Road, and Onion Valley Road next year out that way on the eastern flank of the Sierra.
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Quillz

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Re: California 245 and other more obscure California State Highways
« Reply #154 on: September 13, 2016, 12:50:16 AM »

Oh, I did White Mountain Road while out on field study. IIRC, it's a nearly 15-mile dirt road, nothing too difficult, but it's dusty and slow. But the views are amazing. Apparently, despite its modest height, White Mountain has some of the best sight lines around. I was actually studying the ancient bristlecones, one side of the mountain is full of dead trees, it's very eerie.
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: California 245 and other more obscure California State Highways
« Reply #155 on: September 13, 2016, 07:18:20 AM »

Granted I know this isn't the whole White Mountain route but I'm starting love the detailed road info this site has:

http://www.pjammcycling.com/9.--white-mountain--ca.html

Yeah there are a couple things that I need to check off the bucket list for this state since I'm thinking the next transfer up north is coming in in 2-3 years.  So far this year I've hit a lot of the secondary roads or just places that I've wanted to hit in the eastern Sierra.  I'm looking at Black Rock Road probably sometime in November on the western flank of the Sierra but I need to get my road bike fixed up to try it.
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coatimundi

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Re: California 245 and other more obscure California State Highways
« Reply #156 on: September 13, 2016, 03:20:53 PM »

I'm talking something that had the same level of impact in regards to modern times like the Hoover Dam when it was finished, the US Route, or hell even the Interstates.  I just don't see something with that kind of impact being built again any time soon, those were projects that literally changed day to day life.

I think you're looking for something characteristic of an industralizing country in a post-industrialist socio-economic environment. When I was in China in the 90's, they were about where the US was in the 40's, so it's about right that they're just starting to get a little more pushback from that new middle class that they created on all this stuff they're knocking down and tearing up. You want something like Three Gorges or the massive tollway builds China had in the 2000's. But that's just part of that country's natural progression.
The Big Dig vastly changed the landscape of Boston. Most of that tourist development on the waterfront would not have happened had all of that stayed above ground. And it was really just the first big success of the freeway burial movement. Something very similar will probably happen to Seattle once that project is done, and we've got many other freeway burial projects in the plans around the country, so it's really not a federally-driven master plan so much as a slower and more granular trend.
But, if you want something bigger in terms of infrastructure projects, what about the Twin Tunnels? I don't want to profess sides on that but, if you listen to the proponents, that has the potential to virtually end the periodic water scares in much of the state. And, listening to the opponents, it has the potential to wipe out a way of life in the Delta.

Speaking of the Middle East....why the hell did Sky Scrapers fall out of vogue even before pre-9/11?  It probably has to do with the Westward and Sunbelt Migration in the US.

I mean, if you're talking about the massive, record-breaking things that were part of the unchecked frenzy in Asia in the 2000's, then that's just one of those things where the Western world seems to have gotten over the penile inadequacy that drives that sort of thing. Once you get above a certain number of floors, the logistics of an office building becomes cumbersome, with the necessity for complex elevator systems. Developers are absolutely building up more in the US though. SF doesn't seem to have any new construction under 5 stories. But that's out of necessity. It's just we're not building the block-out-the-sun sort of stuff.
The real estate bust was the main thing in the rest of the world though, as that affected office vacancy rates in Asia as well. Building something like that requires that office space be at a pretty high rate, and no one is willing to pay it if they can rent something in the same area for a lot cheaper but in a slightly less conspicuous building. Plus, that same crash took away the capital that those projects require.
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sdmichael

Re: California 245 and other more obscure California State Highways
« Reply #157 on: September 13, 2016, 03:50:25 PM »

I'm talking something that had the same level of impact in regards to modern times like the Hoover Dam when it was finished, the US Route, or hell even the Interstates.  I just don't see something with that kind of impact being built again any time soon, those were projects that literally changed day to day life.

I think you're looking for something characteristic of an industralizing country in a post-industrialist socio-economic environment. When I was in China in the 90's, they were about where the US was in the 40's, so it's about right that they're just starting to get a little more pushback from that new middle class that they created on all this stuff they're knocking down and tearing up. You want something like Three Gorges or the massive tollway builds China had in the 2000's. But that's just part of that country's natural progression.
The Big Dig vastly changed the landscape of Boston. Most of that tourist development on the waterfront would not have happened had all of that stayed above ground. And it was really just the first big success of the freeway burial movement. Something very similar will probably happen to Seattle once that project is done, and we've got many other freeway burial projects in the plans around the country, so it's really not a federally-driven master plan so much as a slower and more granular trend.
But, if you want something bigger in terms of infrastructure projects, what about the Twin Tunnels? I don't want to profess sides on that but, if you listen to the proponents, that has the potential to virtually end the periodic water scares in much of the state. And, listening to the opponents, it has the potential to wipe out a way of life in the Delta.

Funny you should say "US in the 40's" as that seems also where they are in terms of pollution. Photos of Los Angeles from the era, at least before backyard incinerators were banned, are quite similar to 2016 Beijing. We learned from those mistakes, something they should have learned from us as well.
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coatimundi

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Re: California 245 and other more obscure California State Highways
« Reply #158 on: September 13, 2016, 04:42:40 PM »

Funny you should say "US in the 40's" as that seems also where they are in terms of pollution. Photos of Los Angeles from the era, at least before backyard incinerators were banned, are quite similar to 2016 Beijing. We learned from those mistakes, something they should have learned from us as well.

It was really bad when I was there. But, in Shanghai at least, you still had days where the sky was at least partially blue. I went back a couple of years ago for the first time in a while, and that no longer seemed to be the case. I think it partially answers the question of why Chinese want to immigrate here. I would do anything to not have to raise my kids in an environment like that. And I won't be taking them there even to visit anytime soon.
They seemed to really respond during the Olympics and made a concerted effort to try and clean it up, but I don't know that they've actually learned any lessons. China's heavily invested in coal power because that's what they have significant reserves in, so I think it'll be a long time before things significantly improve. But the fairly simple but hard-fought changes in vehicle emissions that California had at the end of the 20th century would likely help out at least Beijing quite a bit.
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: California 245 and other more obscure California State Highways
« Reply #159 on: September 13, 2016, 10:49:53 PM »

I don't know if I'm exactly looking for something like an industrial age construction project.  Rather what's the next big thing that's going to come around?  The technological boom from the mid-1800s to now can't really keep going at the same pace...it never has in human history so far.  So basically do things plateau from here or is there something else that's going to come along?  It might be thinking this but it seems like people in general are perfectly happy with an modern American level of infrastructure development...I mean why wouldn't they be?  Funny to think we're really not all that far removed from tiny little towns and the horse being the fastest mode of transportation.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that the Big Dig isn't impressive.  I guess when you see something so many times, especially somewhat locally you tend not to be as impressed by it.  For me the really impressive development in Interstate building was I-70 west of Denver to I-25.  The fact that a full freeway was built in some really absurdly high mountains or completely from scratch in uninhabited plateau is something that would likely never happen again.

But in regards to the pollution.  I think a lot of the pollution levels back in the mid-20th century were due to side effects people could have never anticipated with technological advances...namely cars.  It's funny to think there was really a time when the electric car and steam had just as big of foothold as the internal combustion engine.  Back when cars were first really being developed steam was at it's zenith, so the technology was about as reliable as anything else out there.  It would be funny to think where things would be if say steam somehow become the dominant form of propulsion for cars.  We'd probably be living in some weird steam style future that would have leveled off somewhere.

But places like China are going to run into the same problems that the U.S. did right before the EPA act.  Actually one could argue like you said that they are starting to go through the same kind of reversal even right now.  Granted I think it will happen a lot faster in China since the consequences of industrializing on such a scale are already known.

The Twin Tunnels basically is just a way of ignoring the larger problem at hand with a band-aid fix.  Basically there really isn't much water sources left to tap in California and even with better pumping process that fact isn't going to change.  At some point the state is going to have to confront the fact that with more and more people moving here to California that the agriculture is likely going to be the victim to limited resources.  I always get a chuckle out of all those signs in San Joaquin Valley saying "build more water storage now" like there is some great untapped river in the Sierras that hasn't been touched.  That's not to say that the project shouldn't be built....it could be "part" of a much larger solution which might have to include desalination.  Either way I think the agriculture industry on the scale it is now in California is going to be taking a huge decline in the next 50 years...albeit gradually.

Funny to think about old Tulare Lake.  I couldn't fathom almost anyone being okay with draining a lake of that size today to reclaim farm land.  It's funny to look back at projects like that and how much gusto there was to do things like that.  Kind of reminds me of all the "Drain the Everglades" people that were part of the history of Florida.

Yeah but the block-out-sun-stuff was really cool, especially when it was all in Art Deco.   :-D  I don't know, I was always fascinated by the prospect of the a Megalopolis and what it would take to build it.  Bottom line is skyscrapers outside of super dense cities like NYC or San Francisco just aren't as necessary anymore.  It's funny to see how different San Fransisco is at 47 square miles of land is compared to San Jose 180...both are within 200,000 people of each other. 

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sparker

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Re: California 245 and other more obscure California State Highways
« Reply #160 on: September 14, 2016, 01:45:55 AM »

It just may be that the next national mega-project -- on the inflation-adjusted scale of the original Interstate system -- will be a nationwide series of canals and pipes, reversible, of course, to transport water from where it's plentiful but likely not wanted in the quantity received (such as flooding in the Gulf states) to places that are continually subject to drought conditions.  Obviously, this concept would provoke huge levels of controversy (can't see the Ayn Randian right nor the communitarian left supporting such a proposal) centered around states' rights, project costs, national vs. regional/localized needs -- not to mention the basic hubris of such a massive undertaking.  Of course, these echo the objections to the deployment of the Interstate network in the '50's (specific objections, invariably concerning dense cities and environmentally sensitive outlying areas were forthcoming by the mid to late '60's).  It may well be that the main objection would be that such a concept would be attempting to overcome problems largely due to overdevelopment by engaging in even further development!  Nevertheless, if the climatic changes that are being felt today continue unabated (including causal variations in the jet stream), I'd be willing to wager that such a proposal will be on the table within 10-15 years! 
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cahwyguy

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Re: California 245 and other more obscure California State Highways
« Reply #161 on: September 14, 2016, 12:13:43 PM »

I suggest you read the book "Cadillac Desert" which  goes into the subject. A large part of the problem is the massive energy cost in transporting the water (an issue you don't have with electricity), that makes the cost of the water prohibitive for the usage. Energy cost is one reason that the original LA aqueduct was a success: Mullholland engineered the thing with no pumps (and note that much of 14/395 was developed as a side benefit of the aqueduct construction)
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TheStranger

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Re: California 245 and other more obscure California State Highways
« Reply #162 on: September 14, 2016, 01:57:53 PM »

Yeah but the block-out-sun-stuff was really cool, especially when it was all in Art Deco.   :-D  I don't know, I was always fascinated by the prospect of the a Megalopolis and what it would take to build it.  Bottom line is skyscrapers outside of super dense cities like NYC or San Francisco just aren't as necessary anymore.  It's funny to see how different San Fransisco is at 47 square miles of land is compared to San Jose 180...both are within 200,000 people of each other. 



To some extent that isn't entirely because SJ is naturally less dense (even though SJ does have more people in a spread out fashion, approaching/surpassing 1 million these days).

San Jose's downtown is located very close to the airport, which has created severe height restrictions for the urban core.  (San Diego's downtown has some height limits as well due to its proximity to Lindbergh Field, though those limits are not as strict as San Jose)

San Francisco's airport is pretty much in San Mateo County, 15 miles to the south on 101.  (Prior to the 1940s, Treasure Island served as a seaplane port for SF).  After what was then Mills Field became today's SFO, skyscraper development downtown still did not begin in earnest until 1959 with the Crown-Zellerbach Building (1 Bush Plaza); until the Hartford Building was erected in 1965, the tallest buildings in SF dated to the 1920s (Pacific Bell Building & Russ Building).

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Chris Sampang

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Re: California 245 and other more obscure California State Highways
« Reply #163 on: September 14, 2016, 04:47:26 PM »

It just may be that the next national mega-project -- on the inflation-adjusted scale of the original Interstate system -- will be a nationwide series of canals and pipes, reversible, of course, to transport water from where it's plentiful but likely not wanted in the quantity received (such as flooding in the Gulf states) to places that are continually subject to drought conditions.  Obviously, this concept would provoke huge levels of controversy (can't see the Ayn Randian right nor the communitarian left supporting such a proposal) centered around states' rights, project costs, national vs. regional/localized needs -- not to mention the basic hubris of such a massive undertaking.  Of course, these echo the objections to the deployment of the Interstate network in the '50's (specific objections, invariably concerning dense cities and environmentally sensitive outlying areas were forthcoming by the mid to late '60's).  It may well be that the main objection would be that such a concept would be attempting to overcome problems largely due to overdevelopment by engaging in even further development!  Nevertheless, if the climatic changes that are being felt today continue unabated (including causal variations in the jet stream), I'd be willing to wager that such a proposal will be on the table within 10-15 years! 
I suggest you read the book "Cadillac Desert" which  goes into the subject. A large part of the problem is the massive energy cost in transporting the water (an issue you don't have with electricity), that makes the cost of the water prohibitive for the usage. Energy cost is one reason that the original LA aqueduct was a success: Mullholland engineered the thing with no pumps (and note that much of 14/395 was developed as a side benefit of the aqueduct construction)
Yeah -- there's a reason why the Palmdale/Lancaster area is called the "high desert"; Mulholland was able to route the aqueduct around the edge of the desert basin, which is about 1500-2000 feet above the level of the San Fernando Valley, to give it a constant downward gradient (quite a surveying & engineering feat of the day -- comparable to Judah's Central Pacific rail route over the Sierras) so that pumping stations could be avoided.  And you're right -- deploying a 1500-mile cross-mountain version of this from Texas or the other Plains or Gulf states would be next to impossible -- extensive pumping would be required.  But we'll just have to see if, down the line, political pressure would be applied to at least attempt a preliminary water-transfer system if the drought causes some problems bordering on the existential.  Southern California isn't going away anytime soon, so their thirst will need to be dealt with in some fashion beyond the facilities utilized today.  If not interregional water transfer, then extensive desalinization -- with the accompanying costs of all types -- may be considered as an alternative that requires less long-distant infrastructure  -- although some enhanced water transport facilities would likely be part & parcel of such a proposal. 

I've had "Cadillac Desert" on my "to-read" list for some time; never got around to it.  Probably order a copy in the next week or two; right now work stuff is getting in the way of research time.   
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cahwyguy

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Re: California 245 and other more obscure California State Highways
« Reply #164 on: September 14, 2016, 05:23:43 PM »

It really is a great and enlightening book, showing why the west is in such a water mess. About my only complaint is that it doesn't go into great detail on Hetch Hetchy. But there's a lot of stuff about the San Joaquin Valley and the irrigation issues, and emphasizing why pricing of water is key to understanding irrigation. A key factor out in the west is that water -- including aqueduct water -- is extremely cheap. When you start talking cross-state pumping pipelines and desalinization and other techniques, you rapidly approach oil prices. There's a big difference on pennies for an HCF (cubic foot) vs. dollars for gallons.
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sdmichael

Re: California 245 and other more obscure California State Highways
« Reply #165 on: September 14, 2016, 09:23:04 PM »

We can always start up NAWAPA... if only Floyd Dominy were around, he'd be a big proponent of the project.
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: California 245 and other more obscure California State Highways
« Reply #166 on: September 15, 2016, 12:07:41 AM »

Speaking of the L.A. Aquaduct, had a run in with an abandoned portion up Nine Mile Canyon.  You can see it in the second picture...didn't realize what it was until I was home:





And ironically Hetch Hetchy might be on the menu for Monday since it looks like a dead day for me.  Sounds like that book might be up my alley as well.

Yeah basically the lowest elevation you're going to get an aquaduct system out from the Gulf to California would be to follow the path of I-10 at least to Tucson.  From there it would need to likely use something like Tehachpi or Walker Pass to get it to the Central Valley.  Now....if that ever got pulled off then yes that would be one of the all time great feats of engineering.  Nuclear Energy might be a cheaper way to dedicate power to pumping stations in that hypothetical scenario....but that idea isn't exactly a fan favorite in the last 30 years.

In reference to the San Jose/San Francisco comparison I drew earlier...I was hitting more on the concept of Manhattanization.  San Francisco is going through Manhattanization since the only place left to build is "up."  A lot of cities that were around before the urban sprawl that the Interstates contributed had started to go through something similar.  Cities that grew up in the post Interstate-era like Phoenix or Las Vegas really are so spread out that there is very little reason to build "up."  Even San Jose, as packed in as that city is still has way more room to grow before things get pushed skyward.
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sdmichael

Re: California 245 and other more obscure California State Highways
« Reply #167 on: September 15, 2016, 01:02:43 AM »

How do you figure "abandoned"? That section is still very much working. I'm not sure if Los Angeles is presently taking water from the Aqueduct, as not that long ago they temporarily ceased deliveries from it. Either way, I've stood on that pipe not long ago and it was quite cold. You can also see into the top of the siphon adjacent to the pipe. It is a portion of the First Los Angeles Aqueduct from 1913.

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Max Rockatansky

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Re: California 245 and other more obscure California State Highways
« Reply #168 on: September 15, 2016, 01:09:43 AM »

I couldn't find anything saying water deliveries were being resumed, good to know that it is actually still active.  I wouldn't go as far to say the Aquaduct is my forte either, I more or less know it's history on the casual side.  Isn't the second aquaduct the one just down hill east of the 1913 pipeline? 
« Last Edit: September 15, 2016, 01:14:28 AM by Max Rockatansky »
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sdmichael

Re: California 245 and other more obscure California State Highways
« Reply #169 on: September 15, 2016, 01:41:57 AM »

I couldn't find anything saying water deliveries were being resumed, good to know that it is actually still active.  I wouldn't go as far to say the Aquaduct is my forte either, I more or less know it's history on the casual side.  Isn't the second aquaduct the one just down hill east of the 1913 pipeline?

Yes, that is the Second Los Angeles Aqueduct, generally a silver or white pipe when visible. The Los Angeles Aqueduct was "doubled" as it was cheaper being a gravity-driven system. The twin-pipe system runs from Haiwee Reservoir to Los Angeles. Some locations, such as the Elizabeth Tunnel under Leona Valley, were not doubled.
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TheStranger

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Re: California 245 and other more obscure California State Highways
« Reply #170 on: September 15, 2016, 02:11:17 AM »


In reference to the San Jose/San Francisco comparison I drew earlier...I was hitting more on the concept of Manhattanization.  San Francisco is going through Manhattanization since the only place left to build is "up."

Funny enough, San Francisco's actual Manhattanization period occurred from about 1965 to 1985, when local complaints about tall buildings blocking views from Nob Hill, etc. led to strict height restrictions for all new construction north of Market Street.  (This is why the downtown skyscrapers really only get as far north as where 480 used to exit off to Washington Street, the corridor along which the Transamerica Pyrmid and the Alcoa Building/One Maritime Plaza are located, adjacent to the 1970s-1980s Embarcadero Center complex)  The "Manhattanization" term then was used pejoratively by the populace of that era.

Those height restrictions were then relaxed in recent years specifically for the Transbay development south of Market, to encourage new construction in that neighborhood - Salesforce Tower, soon to take over the tallest building in SF title from Transamerica, is located there.

There are still surprisingly quite a few (relatively) low-density sections of SF that haven't really shifted in character yet, i.e. the outside lands (Sunset, Richmond) neighborhoods.
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Re: California 245 and other more obscure California State Highways
« Reply #171 on: September 15, 2016, 08:49:30 AM »

The weird part is that the 60s was when the population of San Francisco was starting to actually decline, although it wasn't as drastic as other cities of the time like the Mid-West and didn't last very long.  I kind of suspect the lack of ease of access into and out of the city has really led to a lot of inward growth which led to taller and taller buildings.  It's funny since a lot of cities were talking about freeway removal as a means of urban renewal, so far I think of Portland as one of the few that has really followed through on that to full effect.

In reference to the Aquaduct.  If it had dawned on me what I was looking at when I was coming down 9 Mile Canyon Road there was certainly a great little landing that would have been fantastic for photos of the pipelines.  I just find it amusing that three people on this board actually have a firm understanding where 9 Mile Canyon Road even is....I haven't run into one person in my day-to-day life who has ever heard of it....much less Sherman Pass.  :-D
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TheStranger

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Re: California 245 and other more obscure California State Highways
« Reply #172 on: September 15, 2016, 12:56:47 PM »

I kind of suspect the lack of ease of access into and out of the city has really led to a lot of inward growth which led to taller and taller buildings.

I think it's more of a demographic shift: the tech boom of the last five years (Twitter, Salesforce, etc. - and Twitter's headquarters is in an older, medium-story building on Market Street) has resulted in a lot of newcomers to the city, rather than growth from pre-2000 residents creating more of a foothold in town.  Twitter did get a tax break to move to the Mid-Market neighborhood and I think other companies (Uber) also have taken advantage of the city's attempt at having a tech presence in a once-blighted district in order to try to clean up that neighborhood.

One could argue that an unintended consequence anti-Manhattanization rules enacted in the 80s - while not having a significant effect on demand then due to softer economic periods - is the extreme thirst for more office and residential space in 2016 San Francisco.
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Chris Sampang

 


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