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Author Topic: Oregon mileposts inverted?  (Read 6934 times)

Quillz

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Oregon mileposts inverted?
« on: February 26, 2019, 01:07:14 AM »

Did a quick search and couldn't find anything:

Spending a week in Oregon on vacation and noticed the mileposts are seemingly inverted: decrease from south to north. I crossed into Oregon on the 101 and the first milepost was 363 rather than 0.

Did Oregon do this before any federal requirement so they're grandfathered in?
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Re: Oregon mileposts inverted?
« Reply #1 on: February 26, 2019, 02:27:58 AM »

Technically, the national MUTCD information about reference panels increasing in south-to-north and west-to-east directions is technically a guidance statement, not a standard requirement.
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Re: Oregon mileposts inverted?
« Reply #2 on: February 26, 2019, 02:38:35 AM »

I know that I-5's increase from south to the north, which is the opposite of 101. Not sure how that happened.
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pdx-wanderer

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Re: Oregon mileposts inverted?
« Reply #3 on: February 26, 2019, 03:01:55 AM »

The only N-S routes in Oregon without inverted mileposts are interstates. "Proper" mileposts were only added to I-5 when exit numbers were added. All other N-S routes have inverted mileposts. Non-interstate N-S freeways, like OR 217 and US 97 around Bend have inverted exit numbers. This is not the case for E-W routes. The US 26 freeway in Portland does have conventionally numbered exits.

Oregon will set non interstate mileposts according to the internal highway designations which go way back before most modern number designations... You may think of Highway 5 as being I-5, but internally for ODOT, it would be "John Day Highway No.5" in Eastern Oregon...US 101 is "Pacific Coast Highway No. 9." While that designation lasts for the entirety of 101; if it were to arrive at a new designation, the mileposts likely would reset.

For instance, US 26 goes between designations of  the aforementioned "John Day Highway No. 5", "Ochoco Highway No. 41", "Madras-Prineville Highway No. 360", "Warm Springs Highway No. 53", "Mt. Hood Highway No. 26" and "Sunset Highway No. 47". The mileposts will generally reflect these designations; it's almost like Oregon's own postmile system.

« Last Edit: February 26, 2019, 03:06:00 AM by pdx-wanderer »
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Quillz

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Re: Oregon mileposts inverted?
« Reply #4 on: February 26, 2019, 07:10:39 PM »

Using a somewhat hidden system of numbers for postmile purposes seems a bit confusing. Inverted or not, seems it would be more beneficial for motorists to have mileposts solely for US-26 and not for the older numbered highways that it comprises of.
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Bickendan

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Re: Oregon mileposts inverted?
« Reply #5 on: February 26, 2019, 10:32:30 PM »

I think ODOT was planning on resetting all of OR 140's mileposts to one series because of this,  as it has five underlying highways.
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Bickendan

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Re: Oregon mileposts inverted?
« Reply #6 on: February 26, 2019, 11:22:28 PM »

Quick rundown: Oregon Routes (I-, US, OR) are all mileposted according to their Oregon Highway (which I refer to as ORH) number. These originate either at the coast (west to east), following almost every latidutinal highway in the US, or at the Columbia River (north to south).

There are exceptions: ORH 1 Pacific Hwy (the entirety of I-5), signed south to north to match Interstates as a rule.

ORH 6 Old Oregon Trail (I-84/US 30), which simply continues ORH 2 Columbia River Hwy's where it splits off from I-84/US 30 onto US 730.

OR 35 originates at US 26, not the Columbia River, as underlying ORH 26 Mt Hood Hwy begins in Portland on US 26.

ORH 53 Warm Springs Hwy (US 26) continues ORH 26 mileposts where US 26 splits at OR 35. While US 26 is west to east, arguably ORH 53 is north to south.

ORH 2W/92 Lower Columbia River Hwy (US 30) originates at I-405, not US 101, making it a double example of reversed mileage (north to south from Portland to Rainier, and east to west from Rainier to Astoria).

ORH 215 Belknap Springs Hwy (OR 126) is unclear at the moment. This runs from ORH 15 McKenzie Hwy at the OR 126/242 split to US 20 (ORH 16 Santiam Hwy). Whether it continues ORH 15's mileposts (south to north) or uses its own (north to south) I'm unsure.
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nexus73

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Re: Oregon mileposts inverted?
« Reply #7 on: February 26, 2019, 11:37:41 PM »

Don't get too caught up on 101 mileposts.  They are not accurate over the length of the route due to rerouting of 101 over the decades.  Brookings to Gold Beach used to be 40 miles until the new 101 opened up in 1965, which cut the distance to 27 miles.  Port Orford Loop is the old 101 and was bypassed to make a shorter distance on the new 101.  101 used to go Bandon-Coquille-Coos Bay until the 101 bypass to the west was built, which changed the distance from 39 miles to 21.  101 north of the McCullough Bridge got a complete reroute with most of the work completed in 1953 and a small section finished some years later south of Reedsport.  The South Coast projects really cut the distance and drive time but did ODOT change the mileposts to reflect that?  Of course not!

Going north of Reedsport a driver will be on mostly original 101 with whatever reroutes and improvements not being so radical. 

Rick
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Re: Oregon mileposts inverted?
« Reply #8 on: February 27, 2019, 12:38:12 AM »

Don't get too caught up on 101 mileposts.  They are not accurate over the length of the route due to rerouting of 101 over the decades.  Brookings to Gold Beach used to be 40 miles until the new 101 opened up in 1965, which cut the distance to 27 miles.  Port Orford Loop is the old 101 and was bypassed to make a shorter distance on the new 101.  101 used to go Bandon-Coquille-Coos Bay until the 101 bypass to the west was built, which changed the distance from 39 miles to 21.  101 north of the McCullough Bridge got a complete reroute with most of the work completed in 1953 and a small section finished some years later south of Reedsport.  The South Coast projects really cut the distance and drive time but did ODOT change the mileposts to reflect that?  Of course not!

Going north of Reedsport a driver will be on mostly original 101 with whatever reroutes and improvements not being so radical. 

Rick
Man, I'd love to know some of those old routes. It's a mess of tiny roads now.

Quillz

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Re: Oregon mileposts inverted?
« Reply #9 on: February 27, 2019, 01:16:51 AM »

Don't get too caught up on 101 mileposts.  They are not accurate over the length of the route due to rerouting of 101 over the decades.  Brookings to Gold Beach used to be 40 miles until the new 101 opened up in 1965, which cut the distance to 27 miles.  Port Orford Loop is the old 101 and was bypassed to make a shorter distance on the new 101.  101 used to go Bandon-Coquille-Coos Bay until the 101 bypass to the west was built, which changed the distance from 39 miles to 21.  101 north of the McCullough Bridge got a complete reroute with most of the work completed in 1953 and a small section finished some years later south of Reedsport.  The South Coast projects really cut the distance and drive time but did ODOT change the mileposts to reflect that?  Of course not!

Going north of Reedsport a driver will be on mostly original 101 with whatever reroutes and improvements not being so radical. 

Rick
Interesting. You said the mileposts were not reset, but as far as I observed, there was no "jumping." It started at 363 and every milepost went down one-by-one. Granted, I was driving so I couldn't pay very close attention, but I was actually listening to the radio for traffic updates (since part of 101 near Crescent City was closed) and they pointed out mileposts, so I did make a point to check them.
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nexus73

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Re: Oregon mileposts inverted?
« Reply #10 on: February 27, 2019, 07:59:11 AM »

Don't get too caught up on 101 mileposts.  They are not accurate over the length of the route due to rerouting of 101 over the decades.  Brookings to Gold Beach used to be 40 miles until the new 101 opened up in 1965, which cut the distance to 27 miles.  Port Orford Loop is the old 101 and was bypassed to make a shorter distance on the new 101.  101 used to go Bandon-Coquille-Coos Bay until the 101 bypass to the west was built, which changed the distance from 39 miles to 21.  101 north of the McCullough Bridge got a complete reroute with most of the work completed in 1953 and a small section finished some years later south of Reedsport.  The South Coast projects really cut the distance and drive time but did ODOT change the mileposts to reflect that?  Of course not!

Going north of Reedsport a driver will be on mostly original 101 with whatever reroutes and improvements not being so radical. 

Rick
Interesting. You said the mileposts were not reset, but as far as I observed, there was no "jumping." It started at 363 and every milepost went down one-by-one. Granted, I was driving so I couldn't pay very close attention, but I was actually listening to the radio for traffic updates (since part of 101 near Crescent City was closed) and they pointed out mileposts, so I did make a point to check them.

It is what it is.  YMMV.  I just know the lay of the land over here and how the story goes.  For all I know, ODOT redid the mileposts the day before you took your trip.

Rick
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US 101 is THE backbone of the Pacific coast from Bandon OR to Willets CA.  Industry, tourism and local traffic would be gone or severely crippled without it being in functioning condition in BOTH states.

Quillz

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Re: Oregon mileposts inverted?
« Reply #11 on: February 27, 2019, 11:28:27 AM »

I'm planning to go up to Tillamook today so I'll see if I observe any milepost jumping. Turns out I got here just in time, part of the 101 collapsed near Brookings so I'll have to take an alternate way home.
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Re: Oregon mileposts inverted?
« Reply #12 on: February 27, 2019, 02:08:53 PM »

Using a somewhat hidden system of numbers for postmile purposes seems a bit confusing. Inverted or not, seems it would be more beneficial for motorists to have mileposts solely for US-26 and not for the older numbered highways that it comprises of.

Only if you assume the primary function of mileposts is to aid driver navigation.  If, however, you assume the primary function of mileposts is internal DOT record-keeping and project management, then changing is really no benefit.
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Quillz

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Re: Oregon mileposts inverted?
« Reply #13 on: February 27, 2019, 09:47:06 PM »

Using a somewhat hidden system of numbers for postmile purposes seems a bit confusing. Inverted or not, seems it would be more beneficial for motorists to have mileposts solely for US-26 and not for the older numbered highways that it comprises of.

Only if you assume the primary function of mileposts is to aid driver navigation.  If, however, you assume the primary function of mileposts is internal DOT record-keeping and project management, then changing is really no benefit.
I think they should be for driver navigation first and foremost. Just my bias, of course. But given radio reports often refer to "highway X milepost Y," I would prefer a simple milepost system not dependent on my knowing US-26 is comprised of any number of shorter, older highways.
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Bickendan

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Re: Oregon mileposts inverted?
« Reply #14 on: February 28, 2019, 01:40:54 AM »

US 26: ORH 47, 61 (I-405), 26, 53, 4 (US 97), 360, 41, 5, 7 (US 20) ;)
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sparker

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Re: Oregon mileposts inverted?
« Reply #15 on: March 01, 2019, 12:02:21 AM »

US 26: ORH 47, 61 (I-405), 26, 53, 4 (US 97), 360, 41, 5, 7 (US 20) ;)

Wow!  That's almost as bad as the 12 LRN's that comprised I-80 in CA prior to the '64 renumbering.  Hidden legal numbers are always a bit weird -- but they do tend to display the priorities of the particular state when their system(s) were being formulated (more often than not the lower numbers indicate major arteries).
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Re: Oregon mileposts inverted?
« Reply #16 on: March 01, 2019, 07:50:47 AM »

I've never really understood the point of legislative routes being different from signed routes. Here, the routes aren't even legislated, and being numbered is not the same thing as being maintained by the state.
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sparker

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Re: Oregon mileposts inverted?
« Reply #17 on: March 01, 2019, 05:16:18 PM »

^^^^^^^^
Like I mentioned in my prior post, numerous state legislatures chose to prioritize major interregional/intercity arteries with low numbers during the inception of the state's highway network.  CA did this with LRN 1 going from San Francisco north to Oregon, LRN 2 from S.F. all the way south to the Mexican border, LRN 3 from Sacramento north to Oregon, and LRN 4 from Sacramento down to L.A.  If not for the U.S. highway system being designated over these arterials, those may well have ended up being signed numbers; but for the most part US 101 ran over 1 & 2 and US 99 (or one of its suffixed splits) over 3 & 4.  After that, it was a matter of connecting cities and/or regions with ensuing LRN's.  By the time it came around to seriously posting numbers in the early '30's, the LRN system was so variegated it was almost random, so it was decided to have an "overlay" system of SSR's (state signed routes) in some sort of order (I won't go into details here, but CA's unique topography played a major role in this endeavor).  Oregon engaged in a similar process, with their legislative route #1 functionally usurped by US 99, and #2 by US 30 -- the main N-S and E-W routes respectively (now I-5 & I-84). 

The system persists simply because there is a difference in state maintenance of a road and signage for navigational purposes.  Pre-1964 the policy was to only sign those facilities that actually provided major intercity/interregional value; a lot of connecting routes, particularly in the Sacramento & San Joaquin Valleys, were left unsigned until the areas around them built up in population (CA 43 & CA 59, among the last to be signed as SSR's before the renumbering, are examples of this).  There are still a few unsigned state-maintained routes in CA; most received signage between 1964 and 1969.  Oregon has much the same situation; a lot of state-maintained roads, often in rural areas, without signage; in both states, it was considered that signage, and the $$ expense of deploying and maintaining the signage wasn't warranted due to scant usage (i.e. very low AADT numbers) or, in some cases, service duplication of another route.  CA consolidated its numbering in 1964 -- but to some degree further randomized its network in the process. 

If any other state utilizes separate internal legislative numbers but maintains an entirely separate system for field route numbering, that's something that may well deserve its own thread over in General.   
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Re: Oregon mileposts inverted?
« Reply #18 on: March 01, 2019, 05:28:14 PM »

If any other state utilizes separate internal legislative numbers but maintains an entirely separate system for field route numbering, that's something that may well deserve its own thread over in General.

Not entirely separate, because there are quite a few routes whose posted numbers still match legislatively (at least in part), but Minnesota halfway fits that.
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Re: Oregon mileposts inverted?
« Reply #19 on: March 09, 2019, 11:44:13 PM »

These originate either at the coast (west to east), following almost every latidutinal highway in the US, or at the Columbia River (north to south).

There are, of course, more exceptions: ORH 1 Pacific Hwy (the entirety of I-5), signed south to north to match Interstates as a rule.

Then you have the exception of Oregon Route 99W and 99E (Oregon Highway 91/formerly 1W and 81/formerly 1E), whose zero milepost is where the two routes intersect Burnside Street in Portland.  The mileposts between Burnside Street and their junction with I-5 near the Columbia River are negative mileposts.

However, as they are both mostly City of Portland streets now with only short sections of ODOT maintained roadway, there are no actual mileposts on these roads; but you will see the negative mile marker on ODOT bridge inventory signs (on the Steel Bridge and the Denver Avenue Viaduct, for 99W.)
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Re: Oregon mileposts inverted?
« Reply #20 on: March 09, 2019, 11:44:57 PM »

I'm planning to go up to Tillamook today so I'll see if I observe any milepost jumping.

Go north a few miles; there are posted Z mileposts between Rockaway Beach and Wheeler.
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Re: Oregon mileposts inverted?
« Reply #21 on: March 09, 2019, 11:49:43 PM »

I think they should be for driver navigation first and foremost. Just my bias, of course. But given radio reports often refer to "highway X milepost Y," I would prefer a simple milepost system not dependent on my knowing US-26 is comprised of any number of shorter, older highways.

In the Portland area, traffic reports rarely use mileposts; but they will use mileposts when referring to rural issues.  So you could have an issue with a radio report of "A major crash has U.S. 26 shut down at milepost 50".  Is that just west of Government Camp?  Or north of Banks?

Ironically...U.S. 26 east of Portland also carries Oregon Highway 26 (which continues as Oregon Route 35 north to Hood River); while U.S. 26 west of Portland is Oregon Highway 47, and Oregon Route 47 is multiplexed on the route west of Banks.
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Re: Oregon mileposts inverted?
« Reply #22 on: March 10, 2019, 12:57:59 AM »

These originate either at the coast (west to east), following almost every latidutinal highway in the US, or at the Columbia River (north to south).

There are, of course, more exceptions: ORH 1 Pacific Hwy (the entirety of I-5), signed south to north to match Interstates as a rule.

Then you have the exception of Oregon Route 99W and 99E (Oregon Highway 91/formerly 1W and 81/formerly 1E), whose zero milepost is where the two routes intersect Burnside Street in Portland.  The mileposts between Burnside Street and their junction with I-5 near the Columbia River are negative mileposts.

However, as they are both mostly City of Portland streets now with only short sections of ODOT maintained roadway, there are no actual mileposts on these roads; but you will see the negative mile marker on ODOT bridge inventory signs (on the Steel Bridge and the Denver Avenue Viaduct, for 99W.)
How do they inventory a negative milepost - is there an actual minus sign on there? This is hot stuff!

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Re: Oregon mileposts inverted?
« Reply #23 on: March 10, 2019, 04:03:46 AM »

Another oddity: ORH 29 Tualatin Valley Highway (OR 8 and 47) Zero point is at US 26 exit 71 at Sylvan, runs west to Forest Grove, then south toward Lafayette. The OR 47 portion is correctly aligned (north to south), but the OR 8 portion is reversed, and the portion of OR 8 west of OR 47 is either Forest Grove city streets (E St, Pacific Ave, B St, 19th Ave), or a Washington County road (NW Gales Creek Rd).
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Re: Oregon mileposts inverted?
« Reply #24 on: March 10, 2019, 02:49:01 PM »

Oregon has much the same situation; a lot of state-maintained roads, often in rural areas, without signage;
Having grown up in California, that's something I've definitely noticed about Oregon: reassurance markers are almost nonexistent on a lot of state highways (at least out here in the east side). You'd be lucky to see a single shield between junctions.
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