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Author Topic: Los Angeles-San Francisco no freeways  (Read 1466 times)

Max Rockatansky

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Los Angeles-San Francisco no freeways
« on: September 21, 2021, 12:02:33 AM »

A thought experiment wracked my brain today after seeing a Facebook poll regarding how to from Los Angeles to San Francisco.  The options discussed didn't really get too creative beyond someone tossing out CA 198 as a connection between I-5 and US 101.  I got to thinking; what ways could one take to get between Los Angeles and San Francisco that didn't involve a freeway?  I came up with a couple answers to this question with a couple rules in mind:

-  The roads used must be reliably open to traffic.  This automatically disqualifies much of the Old Ridge Route given the gate closures seem to be largely "non-official."
-  The roads involve can be any surface but have to be capable of being traversed by a normal passenger car. 

With the above rules in mind here is what I came up with beginning from the City Limit of Los Angeles.

San Andreas Fault Route:

-  Sierra Highway
-  Newhall Avenue
-  Railroad Avenue
-  Bouquet Canyon Road
-  Seco Canyon Road
-  Copper Hill Drive
-  San Francisquito Canyon Road
-  Los Angeles County N2 (Elizabeth Lake Road, Pine Canyon Road and Old Ridge Route)
-  CA 138
-  Gorman Post Road
-  Gorman School Road
-  Ralphs Ranch Road
-  Frazier Mountain Park Road
-  Cuddy Valley Road
-  Mil Potrero Highway and Hudson Ranch Road
-  CA 33-166
-  Soda Lake Road
-  CA 58
-  Bitterwater Road
-  CA 46-41
-  Cholame Valley Road and Cholame Road
-  Parkfield-Coalinga Road and Parkfield Grade
-  CA 198
-  CA 25
-  La Gloria and Gloria Road
-  Alta Street
-  Old Stage Road
-  Herbert Road
-  Salinas Road and San Juan Grade Road
-  The Alameda
-  Third Street, Monterey Street and First Street in San Juan Bautista
-  San Juan Highway
-  CA 129
-  Main Street in Watonsville
-  CA 152
-  Freedom Boulevard
-  Soquel Drive and Soquel Avenue to Santa Cruz
-  Front Street
-  Laurel Street
-  CA 1 to Pacifica
-  Bradford Way
-  Sharp Park Road
-  CA 35/Skyline Boulevard into San Francisco

San Joaquin Valley Route

-  Sierra Highway
-  Newhall Avenue
-  Railroad Avenue
-  Bouquet Canyon Road
-  Seco Canyon Road
-  Copper Hill Drive
-  San Francisquito Canyon Road
-  Los Angeles County N2 (Elizabeth Lake Road, Pine Canyon Road and Old Ridge Route)
-  CA 138
-  Gorman Post Road
-  Gorman School Road
-  Ralphs Ranch Road
-  Frazier Mountain Park Road
-  Cuddy Valley Road
-  Mil Potrero Highway and Hudson Ranch Road
-  CA 33-166 to Maricopa
-  CA 33 from Maricopa to Derrick Avenue (Old CA 33) north of Coalinga
-  Derrick Avenue back to CA 33
-  CA 33 to Sperry Avenue in Patterson
-  Sperry Avenue
-  Del Puerto Canyon Road
-  San Antonio Valley Road
-  CA 130 via Mount Hamilton Road
-  Alum Rock Avenue (San Jose)
-  Santa Clara Street (San Jose)
-  The Alameda (San Jose)
-  CA 82/El Camino Real to San Francisco

I prefer the first route given is mostly extremely rural and has some scenic dirt segments like Parkfield Grade, La Gloria Road and Soda Lake Road.  The first route certainly would require obtaining gas at Gorman or Gonzales depending on the direction of travel.  The San Joaquin Valley route would certainly be more reliable in terms of finding gas with the Diablo Range segment from Patterson to San Jose being the most remote part.
« Last Edit: September 21, 2021, 12:05:50 AM by Max Rockatansky »
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TheStranger

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Re: Los Angeles-San Francisco no freeways
« Reply #1 on: September 21, 2021, 01:35:04 AM »

Noticed you had Route 35 included in the first alignment from Sharp Park Road in San Bruno to SF. 

CalTrans considers the segment between Hickey Boulevard in Pacifica and Westmoor Avenue in Daly City to be freeway, even though there is only one interchange (with the Route 1 freeway). 

I'm not even sure I really think of that as "freeway" as someone who uses that about every 10 days or so, but wonder if that made that segment not qualify for the challenge.
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Chris Sampang

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Re: Los Angeles-San Francisco no freeways
« Reply #2 on: September 21, 2021, 01:37:07 AM »

This could use finessing, but here's the "Coast" Route, which joins up with your "Fault" Route in Watsonville. I forgot about the handful of freeway sections of CA-1 in Morro Bay and Cayucos, so it gets a little squirrelly in there.

-  Calabasas Road
-  Mureau Road
-  Las Virgenes Road
-  Agoura Road
-  Hampshire Road
-  Thousand Oaks Boulevard
-  Moorpark Road
-  Santa Rosa Road
-  Pleasant Valley Road
-  Fifth Street (CA-34)
-  Harbor Boulevard
-  Seaward Avenue
-  Main Street
-  Ventura Avenue
-  Baldwin Road/Casitas Pass Road (CA-150)
-  Foothill Road/East Valley Road (CA-192)
-  Sycamore Canyon Road (CA-192)
-  Stanwood Drive (CA-192)
-  Mission Ridge Road (CA-192)
-  Foothill Boulevard (CA-192)
-  Cathedral Oaks Road
-  San Marcos Road
-  San Marcos Pass Road
-  Mission Drive/CA-246
-  Purisima Road
-  Harris Grade Road
-  CA-135
-  Graciosa Road
-  Orcutt Road
-  Clark Avenue
-  Cabrillo Highway/Guadalupe Road/Willow Road/Mesa View Drive/Cienaga Street (CA-1)
-  22nd Street/Oak Park Boulevard
-  Grand Avenue
-  Carpenter Canyon Road/Broad Street (CA-227)
-  Higuera Street
-  Madonna Road
-  Los Osos Valley Road
-  Bay Boulevard
-  Main Street
-  CA-1
-  24th Street
-  Casa Avenue
-  13th Street
-  Ocean Avenue
-  CA-1 to Carmel
-  Carmel Valley Road
-  Laureles Grade Road
-  Monterey-Salinas Highway
-  Canyon del Rey Boulevard
-  General Jim Moore Boulevard
-  Inter-Garrison Road
-  Reservation Road
-  Blanco Road
-  Nashua Road
-  Cooper Road
-  Castroville Road
-  Cabrillo Highway
-  Dolan Road
-  Elkhorn Road
-  Salinas Road
-  Main Street in Watonsville
-  CA 152
-  Freedom Boulevard
-  Soquel Drive and Soquel Avenue to Santa Cruz
-  Front Street
-  Laurel Street
-  CA 1 to Pacifica
-  Bradford Way
-  Sharp Park Road
-  CA 35/Skyline Boulevard into San Francisco

An alternate for the "Fault" Route that follows a little more of the fault, starting in Soquel:
-  Soquel Drive
-  Soquel-San Jose Road
-  Summit Road/Bear Creek Road/Skyline Boulevard (CA-35)
-  Trousdale Drive
-  El Camino Real (CA-82) into San Francisco
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: Los Angeles-San Francisco no freeways
« Reply #3 on: September 21, 2021, 07:46:29 AM »

^^^

I was wondering what someone would come up with for a Coast Route.  Getting around Santa Barbara Channel and Monterey without hitting a freeway were the biggest obstacles I saw. 

Noticed you had Route 35 included in the first alignment from Sharp Park Road in San Bruno to SF. 

CalTrans considers the segment between Hickey Boulevard in Pacifica and Westmoor Avenue in Daly City to be freeway, even though there is only one interchange (with the Route 1 freeway). 

I'm not even sure I really think of that as "freeway" as someone who uses that about every 10 days or so, but wonder if that made that segment not qualify for the challenge.

Having driven it I didn’t think of it as more than an expressway.  Either way, if it is a technicality it isn’t the hard to get around by continuing east from CA 35 on Westborough Boulevard to CA 82. 
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GaryA

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Re: Los Angeles-San Francisco no freeways
« Reply #4 on: September 21, 2021, 12:12:36 PM »

The route I've had in mind for a while (at least getting from my house in Ventura County to my Dad's near San Jose) would be

Santa Susana Pass Rd into Simi Valley
Los Angeles Ave / Tierra Rejada Rd
CA-118 West
Balcom Canyon Rd
South Mountain Rd, becomes 12th St in Santa Paula
Main St (or any other crossover)
10th St (CA-150) into Ojai
CA-33 North
CA-198 West
CA-25 North
Bloomfield Rd
CA-152 West
and once you get into Gilroy, you can use Monterey Highway/El Camino Real, or any number of other surface street options to finish the drive into SF.

A couple of additional challenges, if you like:
- Do not pass any freeway onramps or offramps.  This shouldn't be too hard in most cases.
- Do not even cross a freeway.  I found this one hard, and getting harder as more of US 101 is upgraded to freeway; impossible for many starting points.
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The Ghostbuster

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Re: Los Angeles-San Francisco no freeways
« Reply #5 on: September 21, 2021, 09:00:04 PM »

If one really wants a Los Angeles-to-San Francisco freeway, just make US 101 completely freeway between the two cities. Nothing else would need to be done.
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SeriesE

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Re: Los Angeles-San Francisco no freeways
« Reply #6 on: September 21, 2021, 09:24:58 PM »

I tried mapping directions with apple and google maps. Weird neither of them suggested CA-82 and Monterey Rd/St
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pderocco

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Re: Los Angeles-San Francisco no freeways
« Reply #7 on: September 25, 2021, 06:05:15 AM »

A nice way to get from CA-154 in Los Olivos up to Santa Maria is Foxen Canyon Rd, especially in the spring with the wildflowers. You can get over the Cuyama River on CA-1, but there's also a sneaky way inland by taking Tepusquet Rd up to CA-166, which comes out on US-101 just north of the river. You can take the old US-101 alignment into Arroyo Grande, CA-227 into SLO, and Los Osos Rd up to Morro Bay. And it's possible to get onto CA-1 north of the last freeway interchange at CA-41 on surface streets.

If you go up CA-33, there are various ways to get across to CA-1, such as CA-58 and CA-46. You can also squeeze through on CA-198, Lockwood San Lucas Rd, Oasis Rd, San Lucas Rd, CR-G14 Jolon Rd down to Jolon, then take Nacimiento Fergusson Rd across the mountains (though it's temporarily closed last I checked). That's a great road, if you've never driven it.

This is right up my alley, because I do this often. I went from Pacific Palisades to Springville, UT in one day without getting on a freeway back in '06. Memorable ride.
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Re: Los Angeles-San Francisco no freeways
« Reply #9 on: September 25, 2021, 09:59:53 PM »

From Downtown LA to San Francisco, coast route:

Wilshire Blvd
San Vicente Blvd
Ocean Ave
Entrada Dr
CA 1
Las Posas Rd
CA 34/5th St
Harbor Blvd
Figueroa St
Thompson Blvd
Ventura Ave
Casitas Vista Rd
Santa Ana Rd
CA 150
CA 192
CA 154
CA 246
CA 1 (again)
Santa Lucia Canyon Rd
CA 1 (again)
Halcyon Rd
CA 227/Grand Ave
Buckley Rd
Vachell Ln
Higuera St
Los Osos Valley Rd
Bay Blvd
Main St
Yerba Buena St
CA 1 (again)
Cass Ave
23rd St
Pacific Ave
Ocean Ave
CA 1 (again, all the way through Big Sur)
Ocean Ave
San Antonio Ave
17 Mile Dr (East)
CA 68
David Ave
Lighthouse Ave/Pacific St
Del Monte Ave/Blvd
Fremont Blvd
Military Ave
Paralta Ave
Coe Ave
General Jim Moore Blvd
Inter-Garrison Rd
6th Ave
8th St
Imjin Rd
Imjin Pkwy
Reservation Rd
Blanco Rd
Cooper Rd/Nashua Rd/Molera Rd
CA 1 (again)
Jensen Rd
Hilltop Rd
Salinas Rd/Main St
Freedom Blvd
Day Valley Rd
Valencia Rd/Trout Gulch Rd
Soquel Dr/Ave
Pacific Ave
Mission St
CA 1 (again!)
Westport Dr
Lundy Way
Sharp Park Rd
CA 35
Hickey Blvd
Callan Blvd
Serramonte Blvd
St. Francis Blvd
Eastmoor Ave/Westmoor Ave
Skyline Blvd
Sloat Blvd
CA 1, finally, and take the San Francisco surface routes.
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Quillz

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Re: Los Angeles-San Francisco no freeways
« Reply #10 on: September 26, 2021, 04:49:53 PM »

CA-1 at the 135 junction is considered freeway.
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: Los Angeles-San Francisco no freeways
« Reply #11 on: September 26, 2021, 05:45:37 PM »

CA-1 at the 135 junction is considered freeway.

Graciosa Road appears to be a way to get around the freeway segment.
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Quillz

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Re: Los Angeles-San Francisco no freeways
« Reply #12 on: September 27, 2021, 03:20:03 AM »

The cited alignment of CA-1 through Big Sur (i.e. SLO to SF) also has some freeway segments. However, using the frontage roads might allow for the freeway segments to be avoided.
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RZF

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Re: Los Angeles-San Francisco no freeways
« Reply #13 on: September 27, 2021, 03:33:01 PM »

On my proposed route, I use the frontage roads when there are no other roads nearby. I guess, from what I've been told here on this thread, that the CA 1/135 interchange is considered a freeway exit. Also, I guess the Las Posas Rd exit is also considered an exit, being the beginning of a freeway portion there. Maybe those can be two very, very minor exceptions to this coast route.
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: Los Angeles-San Francisco no freeways
« Reply #14 on: September 27, 2021, 03:44:44 PM »

On my proposed route, I use the frontage roads when there are no other roads nearby. I guess, from what I've been told here on this thread, that the CA 1/135 interchange is considered a freeway exit. Also, I guess the Las Posas Rd exit is also considered an exit, being the beginning of a freeway portion there. Maybe those can be two very, very minor exceptions to this coast route.

You can get around all that by sorts of means.  Foxen Canyon Road comes to mind from CA 154. 
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GaryA

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Re: Los Angeles-San Francisco no freeways
« Reply #15 on: September 27, 2021, 05:25:03 PM »

On my proposed route, I use the frontage roads when there are no other roads nearby. I guess, from what I've been told here on this thread, that the CA 1/135 interchange is considered a freeway exit. Also, I guess the Las Posas Rd exit is also considered an exit, being the beginning of a freeway portion there. Maybe those can be two very, very minor exceptions to this coast route.

The Las Posas Rd exit from CA-1 is definitely after the "Begin Freeway"; I was just through there.

There are many ways to avoid this, although most take you quite a bit away from the coast.  One possibility would be Dexter Cyn (CA-23) -> Potrero Rd --> Reino Rd --> Lynn Rd --> Potrero Rd --> Lewis Rd -> Pleasant Valley Rd (CA-34) --> 5th St (CA-34).
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Quillz

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Re: Los Angeles-San Francisco no freeways
« Reply #16 on: September 27, 2021, 05:29:42 PM »

On my proposed route, I use the frontage roads when there are no other roads nearby. I guess, from what I've been told here on this thread, that the CA 1/135 interchange is considered a freeway exit. Also, I guess the Las Posas Rd exit is also considered an exit, being the beginning of a freeway portion there. Maybe those can be two very, very minor exceptions to this coast route.
CA-1 is freeway from Las Posas Road to the new Rice Avenue junction. It picks up as freeway again northwest of Lompoc, to roughly the CA-135 junction. Then it’s freeway again from roughly Morro Bay to Cayucos. Finally, it’s freeway from roughly Carmel to the CA-156 junction. So you’d have to find alternate routes around these areas to avoid freeway entirely.
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JustDrive

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Re: Los Angeles-San Francisco no freeways
« Reply #17 on: September 30, 2021, 01:37:16 PM »

From LA city hall:

Main St
César Chávez Ave/Sunset Blvd
Highland Ave/Cahuenga Blvd West/Ventura Blvd
Valley Circle Blvd
Calabasas Rd
Mureau Rd
Las Virgenes Rd
Agoura Rd
Westlake Blvd
Potrero Rd
Reino Rd
West Potrero Rd/Laguna Rd
Las Posas Rd
5th Street
Harbor Blvd
Figueroa St
Thompson Blvd
Ventura Ave
Casitas Vista Rd (to avoid the on-ramp to the 33)
Santa Ana Rd
Santa Ana Blvd
CA 33
CA 198
CA 25
Bloomfield Ave
Bolsa Rd/Monterey Rd/1st St
Santa Clara Ave/The Alameda/El Camino Real
San Mateo Ave
South Airport Blvd/Bayshore Blvd/Third St

There are some at-grade interchanges on Monterey Rd, but I don’t think those would be considered to be parts of a freeway
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