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Bayshore Freeway history (US 101)

Started by Max Rockatansky, June 01, 2024, 03:46:41 PM

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Max Rockatansky

Put something together for the history of the Bayshore Freeway:

"The Bayshore Freeway is a 56.4-mile component of US Route 101 located in the San Francisco Bay Area.  The Bayshore Freeway connects the southern extent of San Jose to the Central Freeway in the city of San Francisco.  The corridor was originally developed as the Bayshore Highway between 1923 and 1937.  The Bayshore Highway would serve briefly as mainline US Route 101 before being reassigned as US Route 101 Bypass in 1938.  Conceptually the designs for the Bayshore Freeway originated in 1940 but construction would be delayed until 1947.  The Bayshore Freeway was completed by 1962 and became mainline US Route 101 during June 1963."

https://www.gribblenation.org/2024/06/the-bayshore-freeway-us-route-101.html?m=1


bing101

Yes I understand that Highway 101 Bayshore is some of the most jammed freeways in the Bay Area given that major Venture Capitalist companies and Tech Companies have their California offices near this freeway and on average is more jammed than even the nearby freeway Highway 280 which covers the same distance from San Francisco to San Jose until it forms a partial beltway with I-680 in San Jose.

Max Rockatansky

280 has the benefits of being up in the hills and not having a ton of exits.  Even on weekdays 280 tends to move fast until you get into northern San Mateo County.

TheStranger

#3
Wild seeing the cycle:

El Camino Real established as 101 (or 101W) in the 1930s

Department of Highways saw a need for bypassing El Camino via Bayshore as early as 1937 (the 101/101A saga), with the freeway proposed in 1940

Junipero Serra Boulevard as a SF-SJ corridor bypassing both El Camino and Bayshore is put forward in the 1940s and eventually becomes I-280 (and to an extent Foothill Expressway) mostly built out in the early 1960s, late 1970s

I've mentioned in one of the other threads how 280/Junipero Serra as a bypass is partially muted due to the cancellation of the section north of Font Boulevard in SF and the southernmost planned portion evolving into being part of 85 instead of 280.   (With the specific side effect of part of 280 in SF being old 101!)

(EDIT: See DTcomposer's post for correction - apparently the southern interchange is close to, but not at Monterey Road) Also creates the interesting effect that 85 as a whole essentially is a bypass of a bypass route, and also had two junctions with old El Camino-era 101 (one in south San Jose with Monterey Road, and the one that still has 1960s button copy signage over in Sunnyvale).

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I forget where I've read it but I also do recall that the upheaval that construction caused Potrero Hill and Mission Districts in SF in the mid-1950s galanized San Franciscans into being less receptive for the Embarcadero Freeway and even more starkly, the I-80 extension (Western Freeway/Panhandle Freeway) that ultimately never happened.  In other words, that the impact of the Bayshore project ca. 1950-1955 was so severe that it inspired the subsequent SF freeway revolt.

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My favorite easter eggs along the Bayshore route:

- the non-cutout 101 shield off of the southbound onramp at San Antonio, haven't had a chance to photograph this yet
- the ex-"Bypass 101" sign, still in existence, with the outline 101 shield southbound at Rengstorff.  Often my indicator of where I am when on my numerous drives to the south bay
- the variation between the pre-2019 CalTrans styled gore point signs (particularly the vertical ones) compared to the more recent, national MUTCD-compliant ones
- Sadly covered up as of about 5 years ago, but the Bayshore Freeway name was still being marked off of 280 north in SF near Alemany on a retroreflective Next 3 Exits listing, this has been replaced with a "JCT (US 101 shield)" greenout.  I recall though don't know if I ever saw photos of it, that 480 east had signage for "Bayshore Freeway" as a control, even though its east terminus was at I-80/San Francisco Skyway about 2 miles east of 101.  Not sure where else Bayshore Freeway as a name is still signed these days.
Chris Sampang

DTComposer

Quote from: TheStranger on June 02, 2024, 08:18:59 PMAlso creates the interesting effect that 85 as a whole essentially is a bypass of a bypass route, and also had two junctions with old El Camino-era 101 (one in south San Jose with Monterey Road, and the one that still has 1960s button copy signage over in Sunnyvale).

85 doesn't have an interchange with Monterey Road - there is one with Great Oaks Blvd. (which parallels Monterey on the other side of the train tracks) which I imagine was once planned to be an interchange with Monterey, but I'm sure the Southern Pacific didn't want an at-grade with freeway ramps.

Quote- the ex-"Bypass 101" sign, still in existence, with the outline 101 shield southbound at Rengstorff.  Often my indicator of where I am when on my numerous drives to the south bay

They've replaced (I believe) all of the other signs on US-101 between Brisbane and Santa Clara - I'd like to think they left this sign (which is still in great shape) up as a tribute.

Max Rockatansky

Just so happened to have a photo Rengstroff gantry US 101 Bypass gantry:

https://flic.kr/p/25qYVH9


Bickendan

Isn't the James Lick Freeway also associated with the Bayshore Freeway, I think within SF city/county limits?

Max Rockatansky

Quote from: Bickendan on June 06, 2024, 12:23:16 AMIsn't the James Lick Freeway also associated with the Bayshore Freeway, I think within SF city/county limits?

Yes, within the city limits.  I mentioned it in there somewhere. 

flowmotion

Just want to say thanks for this article, answers some questions I had about a not-so-sexy highway. (Also checking your site again for potential summer road trips.)



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