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US Route 101 in Washington

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Amaury:
Some photos to better explain my above post.









For the last three, it's either the second and third one together or just the fourth one.

Bruce:
And now we're in Fictional Highways territory again.

There really is no need to change the current configuration of US 101. Truncating it to Sappho would denigrate a fine route that has the right to continue all the way around the Olympics to where the Salish Sea ends. Extending SR 20 south makes no sense, and would isolate several child routes of US 101 (SR 102, SR 104, SR 108, SR 119). An extra-long spur is also problematic, as few people would recognize the Spur banner and assume it is part of SR 20 (and with the east-west run it makes more sense); arguably, the San Juan Islands/Anacortes spur should be a full 3-digit route but that belongs in another thread. Similarly, adding an Alt tag to SR 112 would be confusing to people; US 97A is at least well-established as an alternate route and has custom signs to match.

Quillz:
So from what I've read and seem to remember from when I first visited the area, US-101 actually was signed as a north/south for its entire length in Washington, even though it "runs backwards" on the eastern side of the Olympic Peninsula. I'm not sure when this changed, I think it was the early 00s, and it was likely due to motorist confusion.

Which leads me to a proposal similar to inner/outer loops. Having two banners: one that says NB/SB, the other that shows the immediate direction. So something like this:

SB
101
West

NB
101
East

SB
101
North

You have this on the Port Angeles corridor, I think it gets the point across. You are heading west, but the overall orientation is southbound. This could also be useful in places like the Ventura Freeway + the Gaviota coast, where US-101 runs more than 120 miles east/west before finally turning north. (And in the SF Valley, local signage has actually changed to "101 WEST" or "101 EAST."


--- Quote ---Another, albeit hypothetical, solution could be to cut down the northern terminus of US Route 101 from Olympia to Sappho, Washington. The portion of US Route 101 signed as west and east could be changed over to an alternate alignment of Washington State Route 112, as Washington State Route 112 Alternate, similar to US Route 97 Alternate in Washington and Washington State Route 141 Alternate, the alternate alignment of Washington State Route 141 that bypasses White Salmon. For the portion of US Route 101 signed south and north, but in reverse, to Olympia, we could either have an alternate alignment of Washington State Route 3, as Washington State Route 3 Alternate, or extend the western terminus of Washington State Route 20 to Olympia. It'd be a little bit of an odd alignment, but still nowhere near as odd as current US Route 101, and it'd still have more than enough west and east miles to be a west-east route.
--- End quote ---
Similar to your I-82 thread, this is another situation where you are not looking at the overall picture. Even though 101 does not truly run north-south through Washington, due to its "northern" terminus being southeast of its northernmost extent, it's still very clearly an overall north/south route that serves the Pacific Coast. And again, Sappho? Let's be honest, does anyone outside of Washington know what or where that is? Olympia is something people have heard of, it's the state capital. (And it should also be noted the original goal of the US highways were to connect all the state capitals together). Olympia makes sense as a control city and a final destination. Not Sappho. (By that metric, you could argue Port Angeles is a better northern terminus). Truncating US-101 and then creating additional state highways just to keep 101 "in the grid" is an exercise in futility. And because the banners have been changed to reflect the true directionality, this issue has also been solved.

Amaury:

--- Quote from: Quillz on September 29, 2022, 06:16:55 PM ---You have this on the Port Angeles corridor, I think it gets the point across. You are heading west, but the overall orientation is southbound. This could also be useful in places like the Ventura Freeway + the Gaviota coast, where US-101 runs more than 120 miles east/west before finally turning north. (And in the SF Valley, local signage has actually changed to "101 WEST" or "101 EAST."
--- End quote ---

That's also why I brought up the Washington State Route 20 example in my OP, with some sections running north and south, and one section even "running backwards," similar to US Route 101 in Washington on the Olympia side. However, the difference with Washington State Route 20 is that it's still signed "normally," if you will, in those sections.


--- Quote from: Quillz on September 29, 2022, 06:16:55 PM ---Similar to your I-82 thread, this is another situation where you are not looking at the overall picture. Even though 101 does not truly run north-south through Washington, due to its "northern" terminus being southeast of its northernmost extent, it's still very clearly an overall north/south route that serves the Pacific Coast.
--- End quote ---

Yeah, you are correct. If you don't break it apart by state and view US Route 101 as a whole, then it's very clear what it is. And I certainly don't claim to be an engineering or road expert by any means.

Quillz:
The original goal of the US highways was to connect all the state capitals together. Sacramento, Salem, and Olympia are all on (former) US-99. US-101 instead connected one state capital to the two most important California population centers. I think if you wanted to make any changes at all, just have US-101 take over the WA-8 and US-12 alignments west of Olympia, so US-101 basically reaches its northern extent at Aberdeen, then has a straight west-east run to Olympia. Then you can have three different routes take over the Olympic Peninsula.


--- Quote ---we could either have an alternate alignment of Washington State Route 3, as Washington State Route 3 Alternate, or extend the western terminus of Washington State Route 20 to Olympia. It'd be a little bit of an odd alignment, but still nowhere near as odd as current US Route 101, and it'd still have more than enough west and east miles to be a west-east route.
--- End quote ---
To comment on this, this is how the original Washington primary state highway system worked. Prior to the 1964 renumbering, the entire Olympic Peninsula was served by a circular PSH-9. And then it had several lettered spurs, like 9A, 9B, etc. So in this example, creating something like a 3A is effectively reviving the old system that was abandoned because it was considered confusing and unwieldily. I should point out I have no issues with lettered suffixes at all, so it was less Washington used them, and more how numbers were assigned. Replacing the entire PSH-9 (a loop) with US-101 and then assigning directional signage does a much better job. It hits all the important locations on the peninsula (Aberdeen, Port Angeles, Olympia) while avoiding the smaller towns that PSH-9 went to. Whereas the old system... Was 9A as important as 9? Did 9B go somewhere important that I couldn't reach from 9A? And so on. Whereas you see US-101 on a map, you understand it will be "the main route."

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