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Author Topic: Interstate 80N  (Read 23207 times)

Alex

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Interstate 80N
« on: July 29, 2010, 02:18:50 AM »

I-80N to be I-84 May 1

Google News Timeline from April 1, 1980.

Quote
"The complaint was that it's confusing to have two Interstate 80 highways,"

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Originally, Utah and Idaho asked for the name change to cut down on travelers' confusion...

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Re: Interstate 80N
« Reply #1 on: July 29, 2010, 06:36:47 PM »

Nice find. Even more interesting was the article below that one about Trojan and Mt St Helens. Nice snapshot of the ramp-up to the coming eruption.
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Re: Interstate 80N
« Reply #2 on: July 29, 2010, 10:15:56 PM »

I'm guessing that must be the date that the road officially became I-84 and the I-80N signs were removed. I wonder if there was a period before that when both signs were up. I have a 1979 Utah State Highway Map that has the road identified on the map with both I-80N and I-84 markers.
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Re: Interstate 80N
« Reply #3 on: August 01, 2010, 10:43:24 PM »

I remember the changeover, and at least in Oregon there was no transitional period where both 80N and 84 were signed.  I don't know how long it took for all signage to be changed, though, nor if ID and UT changed at exactly the same time.  The change was about the same time that the freeway was completely finished in Oregon, and it may even predate the last section in Idaho by Glenns Ferry.  So some of the signs removed/changed in Oregon weren't very old themselves.

Anyone know what came first: 80N changing to 84 or 15W changing to 86?  Or were these two simultaneous?
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Re: Interstate 80N
« Reply #4 on: August 03, 2010, 05:19:11 AM »

If Idaho was asking for I-80N to be changed due to confusion with I-80, one would suspect that they'd request 15W be changed due to 15 at the same time.
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Re: Interstate 80N
« Reply #5 on: August 03, 2010, 09:42:02 AM »

I remember the changeover, and at least in Oregon there was no transitional period where both 80N and 84 were signed.  I don't know how long it took for all signage to be changed, though, nor if ID and UT changed at exactly the same time.  The change was about the same time that the freeway was completely finished in Oregon, and it may even predate the last section in Idaho by Glenns Ferry.  So some of the signs removed/changed in Oregon weren't very old themselves.

Anyone know what came first: 80N changing to 84 or 15W changing to 86?  Or were these two simultaneous?

I remember going through there in August 1980 and by then, 80N was 84 everywhere (though it wasn't quite finished) and 15W was 86.
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Re: Interstate 80N
« Reply #6 on: August 04, 2010, 06:34:12 AM »

I still think that 15W/86 should be a 3di.  There's already an I-86 (and I-84 for that matter) on the East coast.  :P
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Re: Interstate 80N
« Reply #7 on: August 04, 2010, 10:31:42 AM »

The people of the great state of Idaho would object. Having I-86 gives Idaho a functional cross-state east-west two digit interstate (84-86-15) that connects Boise and Idaho Falls. Most other states get to have one (all of the ones around Idaho's width too). Why shouldn't Idaho?

It's unimportant to people outside of Idaho- but those of us in Idaho love our I-86. If any renumbering took place, you'd want to call I-86 I-84 and then renumber I-84 from Burley to Brigham City as a 3di and from Ogden to Echo as an x15, but both the Boise-Salt Lake corridor and the Boise-Eastern Idaho corridor are 2-digit worthy, so I'd leave it the way it is.

It's like I-12 in Louisiana, I guess. I'm not sure what the deal is with I-97, but 86 and 12 are primary through routes, not bypasses. I-86 is certainly even less of a bypass than I-12. It's a primary through route for cross-Idaho traffic, and that's what 2 digit interstates are supposed to do.

In my mind, length has nothing to do with whether something should be 2di or 3di. The spirit of the route does. I-86 is really the only route serving that corridor, and as such is very important and worthy of 2di status

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Re: Interstate 80N
« Reply #8 on: August 04, 2010, 10:36:07 AM »

It's unimportant to people outside of Idaho- but those of us in Idaho love our I-86.


prove it.  put the state name on the shields.



there's even room for it!
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Re: Interstate 80N
« Reply #9 on: August 04, 2010, 11:05:37 AM »

I still think that 15W/86 should be a 3di.  There's already an I-86 (and I-84 for that matter) on the East coast.  :P

Was, not is.  At the time, I-86 on the east coast was being replaced with I-84.  It was very much an open number, IIRC.  Now as for that I-86 on the east coast currently...
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Re: Interstate 80N
« Reply #10 on: August 04, 2010, 11:39:39 AM »


Was, not is.  At the time, I-86 on the east coast was being replaced with I-84.  It was very much an open number, IIRC.  Now as for that I-86 on the east coast currently...

I don't think it was "very much open" because while officially the change was to be effected in 1980, and Conn went ahead and resigned everything then, Massachusetts had I-86 signed until 1984, and even then there were straggler I-86 shields as late as 1987 or so.  I distinctly remember one at exit 2.  Long long gone, but an old 1970s arrow is still there.
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Re: Interstate 80N
« Reply #11 on: August 04, 2010, 11:51:27 AM »

prove it.  put the state name on the shields.  there's even room for it!

Here ya go.  Happy?

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Re: Interstate 80N
« Reply #12 on: August 04, 2010, 12:23:19 PM »



there's precisely two of those left, both in the same area. 

the 86 I posted though, is just asking for someone to show up with a sticker...
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Re: Interstate 80N
« Reply #13 on: August 04, 2010, 07:03:49 PM »


Was, not is.  At the time, I-86 on the east coast was being replaced with I-84.  It was very much an open number, IIRC.  Now as for that I-86 on the east coast currently...
I've been in favor of making it I-88 from Erie to Binghamton.  That's the part that's getting worked on, almost done.  East of there to the Thruway would be an x88, probably 488 so as not to interfere with 287.  But that would never happen because then you have a clear free route from Erie to Albany instead of the toll route, whereas at least now you'd have to follow 86-81-88 to do it (which some people do not possess the capacity to process).  The only other number you could apply is I-82 (it dips south of I-84, and the western part is between 80 and 90 only), but that's also taken in the west.  Easier to make I-86(W) into I-284 or 484.

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Re: Interstate 80N
« Reply #14 on: August 05, 2010, 12:41:38 PM »

I still think that 15W/86 should be a 3di.  There's already an I-86 (and I-84 for that matter) on the East coast.  :P

Well, if it helps, I had this same question about I-80N, I-82, and I-86, and this is the response I received from some people from FHWA (or US-DOT):

Quote
In looking over your recent e-mail exchanges with Tony DeSimone and Ken Davis, I see that you are concerned about consistency with the numbering plan for the Interstate System.  We support consistency, but do not consider it so essential that we would renumber existing routes simply for the sake of following the plan.  From a motorist’s standpoint, it doesn’t make any difference.  Few motorists realize that we have a plan, and I don’t believe that any motorists “navigate” around the country based on their knowledge of the plan.  (They generally follow the guide signs or use maps, GPS devices, or directions provided by friends.)  Rather, the plan serves as a convenient method of picking numbers rather than doing so randomly.

There are several reasons why numbers are inconsistent.  In some cases, the numbers were applied at different times, meaning that a “consistent” number isn’t available.  Some areas have so many Interstates that they simply ran out of “consistent” numbers.  Also, some routes are numbered, then not built in whole or part, leaving routes with a number that doesn’t appear to follow the plan.  The State transportation departments and Federal Highway Administration have been fairly consistent with the numbering plan, but for these and other reasons, some anomalies have occurred.
 
Here is an excerpt from an explanation of three-digit numbering in one of our publications:

The major route numbers are routed through urban areas on the path of the major traffic stream.  Generally, this major traffic stream will be the shortest and most direct line of travel.  Connecting routes and full or partial circumferential beltways around and within urban areas carry a three-digit number.  These routes are designated with the number of the main route and an even-numbered prefix.  Supplemental radial and spur routes, connecting with the main route at one end, also carry a three-digit number, using the number of the main route with an odd-numbered prefix.

This concept for three-digit numbering in urban areas based on the route carrying the major traffic stream doesn’t apply to I-86 in Idaho, I-82 in Oregon/Washington, and I-97 in Maryland.

We don’t have records regarding the numbering of the routes you mentioned, so I don’t have any way to research the explanation.  (We sent our numbering files to the National Archives a few years ago.)  None of the routes fits the pattern for a three-digit designation.  In the late 1970s when officials decided to renumber I-80N, they had a limited number of choices between I-80 and I-90, namely 82, 84, 86, and 88.  All of those numbers were in use elsewhere.  82 was in use in OR and WA so it would have been ruled out (84, 86, and 88 in the East).  Presumably, OR and WA didn’t want to renumber existing route 82.  So the next available number not in use in one of the States in question was 84.  I-15W then took the next number, 86.   

I want to emphasize that changing numbers on existing routes (whether one-, two-, or three-digits) is very unlikely, in part because of public familiarity, the unnecessary cost of changing signs, the variance from the maps in most people’s glove compartment, the likely public reaction to incurring additional cost to change numbers for the sake of bureaucratic consistency with a plan they never heard of, etc.   Any such change would have to be initiated by a State transportation department (since they own the Interstate highways) and a proposal to change the number of an existing route would be made, I think, only for a compelling reason.

You suggested that we should designate 3-digit Interstates outside of cities where necessary and reasonable.  That would violate the consistency of the numbering plan, but if a State proposed to do so for a new route and we considered the reason valid, we would certainly consider it.  In general, State officials and area residents prefer a two-digit number because it puts the corridor on a “main” Interstate rather than auxiliary route.  I have a hard time thinking of a reason why a State would propose to change a two-digit route to a three-digit route.

I hope this information is helpful.

So, in summary, despite its shortness, I-86 was seen as a primary Interstate more deserving of a 2-digit number.  I-80N could've become something else, but I-84 (W) was decided upon, as it wasn't in use this far out west.  So, even if it doesn't make 100% sense [I-82, I-84 (W), I-86(W)], it's close enough.
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agentsteel53

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Re: Interstate 80N
« Reply #15 on: August 05, 2010, 12:45:50 PM »

Quote
We support consistency, but do not consider it so essential that we would renumber existing routes simply for the sake of following the plan.  From a motorist’s standpoint, it doesn’t make any difference.  Few motorists realize that we have a plan, and I don’t believe that any motorists “navigate” around the country based on their knowledge of the plan.  (They generally follow the guide signs or use maps, GPS devices, or directions provided by friends.)  Rather, the plan serves as a convenient method of picking numbers rather than doing so randomly.

common sense from the federal government?  well, I'll be damned. 
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Re: Interstate 80N
« Reply #16 on: August 05, 2010, 01:46:34 PM »

Quote
You suggested that we should designate 3-digit Interstates outside of cities where necessary and reasonable.  That would violate the consistency of the numbering plan, but if a State proposed to do so for a new route and we considered the reason valid, we would certainly consider it.

Except that something like I-205 (from the late 1950s) in California ALREADY fits this, so this is nothing new for the FHWA!

Similar routes in this vein include I-155 in Tennessee, what had been I-495 in Maine, I-172 in Illinois, and much of I-135 and I-335 in Kansas.
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Re: Interstate 80N
« Reply #17 on: August 05, 2010, 02:12:45 PM »

Except that something like I-205 (from the late 1950s) in California ALREADY fits this, so this is nothing new for the FHWA!

and most of 580 in its original incarnation.  It connected the MacArthur Maze to downtown Oakland and then headed out at Hayward past Dublin and CA-21 (now I-680) well into the sticks across Altamont Pass. 

I don't know how big Dublin was in the 50s - if it counted as a major city then about half of I-580 was rural, but otherwise (if Hayward was the last population center), then over 80% of it was.
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Re: Interstate 80N
« Reply #18 on: August 05, 2010, 04:17:25 PM »

and most of 580 in its original incarnation.  It connected the MacArthur Maze to downtown Oakland and then headed out at Hayward past Dublin and CA-21 (now I-680) well into the sticks across Altamont Pass. 

I don't know how big Dublin was in the 50s - if it counted as a major city then about half of I-580 was rural, but otherwise (if Hayward was the last population center), then over 80% of it was.

580 probably could be a 2di, at least the portion east of I-80.

The explanation from USDOT was pretty sensible.  A couple comments on I-82:

- Oregon probably wouldn't have objected to a renumbering of I-82 back in 1980, as they didn't build their section until the late '80's

- I don't think I-82 should be a 3di.  My problem with the number was that it should have been odd, since the route trends more N-S than E-W.  Had that thinking prevailed when I-82 was first proposed as an interstate, then the number 82 would've been available when I-80N was redesignated.  But what's done is done; it would be wasteful to renumber now.

As for I-86:

- Calling this freeway I-15W was goofy in the first place, as it wasn't a N-S freeway.

- I'm less than impressed with the argument for why this is a 2di.  There are some rural 3di's back east, so this isn't an absolute barrier to this being a 3di.  Of course, our USDOT official could bring up the lack of available numbers in the east as a justification, and that would be a good argument.  The main reason 86 is there is because Idaho wanted a 2di for that route, and weighing the 2di vs. 3di arguments I have to say the 2di status makes a little more sense.

Anyone ever consider that maybe I-84 should've been I-80, and I-80 west of Echo could've been something else?  Quite a few numbers would've been available, quite a few scenarios could've been reality.
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Re: Interstate 80N
« Reply #19 on: August 05, 2010, 04:31:04 PM »

Anyone ever consider that maybe I-84 should've been I-80, and I-80 west of Echo could've been something else?  Quite a few numbers would've been available, quite a few scenarios could've been reality.

Yes.  Had I-70 been routed to Spanish Fork, UT rather than Cove Fort, UT, it is conceivable that I-70 could've been used.  Interestingly, that would've made I-80 follow US-30 and I-70 follow US-40 more closely.
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Re: Interstate 80N
« Reply #20 on: August 05, 2010, 05:11:31 PM »


580 probably could be a 2di, at least the portion east of I-80.

Most of it originally was (as I-5W), though the most rural segment from Vernalis northwest didn't exist until after the route was renumbered.

Quote from: xonhulu

As for I-86:

- Calling this freeway I-15W was goofy in the first place, as it wasn't a N-S freeway.

Agreed.  I think I-90N (today's I-190) was in a similar vein, though I don't know if this was ever signed beyond the planning stage.

I'm not a fan of directionally-suffixed spur routes at all - IMO, the most logical, and only practical, way to use them is to have them represent two branches that rejoin.

Quote from: xonhulu

- I'm less than impressed with the argument for why this is a 2di.  There are some rural 3di's back east, so this isn't an absolute barrier to this being a 3di.  Of course, our USDOT official could bring up the lack of available numbers in the east as a justification, and that would be a good argument.  The main reason 86 is there is because Idaho wanted a 2di for that route, and weighing the 2di vs. 3di arguments I have to say the 2di status makes a little more sense.

Anyone ever consider that maybe I-84 should've been I-80, and I-80 west of Echo could've been something else?  Quite a few numbers would've been available, quite a few scenarios could've been reality.

Regarding the latter - this is probably why I-84 was I-80N in the first place, to give Portland a "major" Interstate.
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Re: Interstate 80N
« Reply #21 on: August 05, 2010, 05:55:34 PM »

They could have solved the redundancy issue with the eastern branches of the 80 series by just using I-60 for what was I-80N. Does it really make a difference that 60 is north of 80? Not anymore as the one post mentioned:

Quote
From a motorist’s standpoint, it doesn’t make any difference.  Few motorists realize that we have a plan, and I don’t believe that any motorists “navigate” around the country based on their knowledge of the plan.  (They generally follow the guide signs or use maps, GPS devices, or directions provided by friends.)

The number 60 will never be used because of the way they numbered the original series, so Portland could have gotten its x0 number by using that instead of chalking up a perfectly good x0.

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Re: Interstate 80N
« Reply #22 on: August 05, 2010, 06:22:45 PM »

They could have solved the redundancy issue with the eastern branches of the 80 series by just using I-60 for what was I-80N. Does it really make a difference that 60 is north of 80? Not anymore as the one post mentioned:

Quote
From a motorist’s standpoint, it doesn’t make any difference.  Few motorists realize that we have a plan, and I don’t believe that any motorists “navigate” around the country based on their knowledge of the plan.  (They generally follow the guide signs or use maps, GPS devices, or directions provided by friends.)

The number 60 will never be used because of the way they numbered the original series, so Portland could have gotten its x0 number by using that instead of chalking up a perfectly good x0.

Would've worked well, as would calling I-80 west of Salt Lake I-60 and making I-80N, I-80.

I've always felt the rule about having the same US and I numbers in the same state as stupid.
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Re: Interstate 80N
« Reply #23 on: August 05, 2010, 06:34:13 PM »

Well, I-60 would have started at Echo Jct., with I-80 running up I-84.  Would I-70 retain its number under this scenario, or would I-70 run from Echo Jct. to San Francisco, with I-60 taking I-70's spot?  Or would actual Interstate 80 between I-15/70 in Salt Lake and Echo Jct. be I-x15 or I-x70?  Maybe I've said too much. :P
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Re: Interstate 80N
« Reply #24 on: August 05, 2010, 07:13:19 PM »

They could have solved the redundancy issue with the eastern branches of the 80 series by just using I-60 for what was I-80N. Does it really make a difference that 60 is north of 80? Not anymore as the one post mentioned:

Quote
From a motorist’s standpoint, it doesn’t make any difference.  Few motorists realize that we have a plan, and I don’t believe that any motorists “navigate” around the country based on their knowledge of the plan.  (They generally follow the guide signs or use maps, GPS devices, or directions provided by friends.)

The number 60 will never be used because of the way they numbered the original series, so Portland could have gotten its x0 number by using that instead of chalking up a perfectly good x0.

Would've worked well, as would calling I-80 west of Salt Lake I-60 and making I-80N, I-80.

I've always felt the rule about having the same US and I numbers in the same state as stupid.

Interestingly, in the late 1950s, California attempted to rectify its duplication issues by proposing I-30 for I-40, and I-76 for what is now I-80.
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