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Author Topic: California  (Read 221863 times)

J N Winkler

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Re: California
« Reply #1375 on: September 25, 2021, 03:27:07 AM »

Why does California not have a statewide toll road like NYS, Indiana, New Jersey, Florida and others?

The California legislature commissioned a highway financing study in 1946 as part of the policy development that led to the Collier-Burns Act of 1947.  The study's authors looked at the interurban toll roads that were then being developed in the Eastern states and specifically rejected that method of funding new road capacity because most auto travel in California was within cities, meaning urban freeways were seen as the more pressing need.  Later on, in 1951, the Division of Highways (Caltrans' predecessor agency) studied a Los Angeles-San Francisco toll road, and judged it infeasible because US 99 and US 101 would have siphoned off too much traffic.

A better question is why so many eastern states have toll roads instead of paying for their freeways with gas taxes.  Most of the money the tolls collect goes to pay the toll takers, not to pay for road construction or maintenance.  Collecting gas taxes is very efficient.

The story varies from state to state, but common themes included a desire to avoid raising fuel taxes just to cater to interurban traffic and studies showing that turnpike corridors served very high percentages of out-of-state traffic.  (We see similar dynamics today in Florida relying on turnpikes to keep the gas tax lower than it would otherwise be, and Arizona and Wyoming trying to toll I-15 and I-80 respectively.)

As a general rule, economists consider turnpikes a second-best approach because tolls claw back a part of the consumer's surplus arising from the improvement.  A common theme in the highway finance literature of the late 1940's and the 1950's is amazement at motorists' willingness to pay what were then fantastic sums to use toll roads.

I can't speak for all toll agencies, but I would expect that most if not all of the traditional public-authority turnpikes publish annual reports that include financial statements.  I work to the rule of thumb that toll collection and related overheads are about 30% of tolls collected, but the actual numbers and the way they are reported vary from agency to agency.  For example, in the fiscal year ended June 30, 2018, the Kansas Turnpike Authority reported spending $7.8 million to collect $118 million in tolls, or 6.7%.  The question is what expenses are reported under other headings that would vanish if toll collection stopped overnight.

It's certainly true that collection expenses associated with fuel taxes are quite low--about 1%.
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kkt

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Re: California
« Reply #1376 on: September 26, 2021, 02:31:07 PM »

Why does California not have a statewide toll road like NYS, Indiana, New Jersey, Florida and others?

The California legislature commissioned a highway financing study in 1946 as part of the policy development that led to the Collier-Burns Act of 1947.  The study's authors looked at the interurban toll roads that were then being developed in the Eastern states and specifically rejected that method of funding new road capacity because most auto travel in California was within cities, meaning urban freeways were seen as the more pressing need.  Later on, in 1951, the Division of Highways (Caltrans' predecessor agency) studied a Los Angeles-San Francisco toll road, and judged it infeasible because US 99 and US 101 would have siphoned off too much traffic.

A better question is why so many eastern states have toll roads instead of paying for their freeways with gas taxes.  Most of the money the tolls collect goes to pay the toll takers, not to pay for road construction or maintenance.  Collecting gas taxes is very efficient.

The story varies from state to state, but common themes included a desire to avoid raising fuel taxes just to cater to interurban traffic and studies showing that turnpike corridors served very high percentages of out-of-state traffic.  (We see similar dynamics today in Florida relying on turnpikes to keep the gas tax lower than it would otherwise be, and Arizona and Wyoming trying to toll I-15 and I-80 respectively.)

As a general rule, economists consider turnpikes a second-best approach because tolls claw back a part of the consumer's surplus arising from the improvement.  A common theme in the highway finance literature of the late 1940's and the 1950's is amazement at motorists' willingness to pay what were then fantastic sums to use toll roads.

I can't speak for all toll agencies, but I would expect that most if not all of the traditional public-authority turnpikes publish annual reports that include financial statements.  I work to the rule of thumb that toll collection and related overheads are about 30% of tolls collected, but the actual numbers and the way they are reported vary from agency to agency.  For example, in the fiscal year ended June 30, 2018, the Kansas Turnpike Authority reported spending $7.8 million to collect $118 million in tolls, or 6.7%.  The question is what expenses are reported under other headings that would vanish if toll collection stopped overnight.

It's certainly true that collection expenses associated with fuel taxes are quite low--about 1%.

Thank you, I appreciate the explanation.
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gonealookin

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Re: California
« Reply #1377 on: September 30, 2021, 02:42:58 PM »

In an alleged DUI crash, a Toyota Tundra smacked the aging Mt. Murphy Bridge near Coloma and caused significant damage.

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Levi Nuesmeyer, 37, of Placerville was arrested early Saturday morning on suspicion of driving under the influence after the 2022 Toyota Tundra he was driving reportedly struck railing and a column on the bridge.
...
County Department of Transportation Maintenance Division staff assessed the bridge and reported “severe structural damage caused by a reckless driver running into one of the main columns.” DOT officials say they expect the bridge to remain closed for “several months” until repairs are made.

We'll see if they repair it or just tear it down.  The bridge was due for replacement in the near future anyway.

Quote
The Mt. Murphy Bridge was built in 1915. “The main span is 160 feet long with two concrete approach structures of 140 feet and 60 feet long, which were rebuilt in 1931. The bridge approaches are narrow (10.5-feet) with no separation of vehicles from pedestrians,” states a DOT fact sheet, which also notes that due to the popularity of the state park about 38,000 pedestrians cross the bridge every year.

Despite upkeep efforts, the bridge has received a failing grade from Caltrans for more than a decade and DOT staff’s preference is an on-alignment alternative that requires demolition of the old structure and building a new, wider bridge in its place that will include a separated, 8-foot-wide sidewalk for pedestrians and a lookout over the river on the west side.

Mt. Murphy Bridge on Bridgehunter.
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: California
« Reply #1378 on: September 30, 2021, 03:28:50 PM »

Geeze, good thing I already took pictures of that bridge. 
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Techknow

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Re: California
« Reply #1379 on: October 03, 2021, 05:45:12 PM »

Drove around some highways in the Bay Area yesterday! From San Francisco, I crossed north of the Golden Gate Bridge to drive in CA 1 between Mill Valley to Muir and Stinson Beach. This section of CA 1 has been opened for over two years but the last time I went to Bolinas it was closed for a long time so I never got to drive on it until now. There are some nice scenic views over valleys but nowhere to stop easily.

That day was a busy day for traffic though and even though it was clear skies it was also foggy in a lot of areas. At some point the other direction was blocked due to a car accident. I saw some CHP vehicles a few minutes later and I decided to take the Panoramic Highway to go back east to US 101 rather than get stuck on slow moving traffic. Going east was very nice because there was no traffic on my lane through Mt. Tam state park although there were some cars coming in the opposite direction so it's hard to say which highway takes less time to get from one side to another, it'd depend on the time of day.

Then I went to clinch CA 131 on Tiburon and drove through the Richmond Bridge on I-580 and went back home at SF. On I-580 I wanted to see if a certain guide sign was replaced because it was said that it would be replaced with external exit tabs. Sorry folks but I can say the graffiti-damaged sign has yet to be replaced with anything. I can say now that I been on all of I-580 though! Getting back home was just typical stop-and-go traffic on the Bay Bridge and I-80, but that was the only toll I had to pay!
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: California
« Reply #1380 on: October 03, 2021, 05:53:29 PM »

Panoramic Highway is almost always faster than CA 1 to Stinson Beach. 
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TheStranger

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Re: California
« Reply #1381 on: October 04, 2021, 06:12:47 PM »

Noticed a couple of days ago that the South Airport Boulevard exit off US 101 southbound now has the larger-sized (national MUTCD style) exit gore point sign, as opposed to the vertical or square California-style gore point signage.
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Chris Sampang

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Re: California
« Reply #1382 on: October 31, 2021, 07:00:26 PM »

According to Wikipedia, there were proposals in the 70s to make the Big Sur Highway into a 4 lane freeway and the only thing stopping that from happening was the creation of the California Coastal Commission. Is that true or is it because, as I suspect, the terrain and seismic risks make building a 4 lane freeway impossible?
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: California
« Reply #1383 on: October 31, 2021, 07:48:34 PM »

According to Wikipedia, there were proposals in the 70s to make the Big Sur Highway into a 4 lane freeway and the only thing stopping that from happening was the creation of the California Coastal Commission. Is that true or is it because, as I suspect, the terrain and seismic risks make building a 4 lane freeway impossible?

Would be news to me, but if it was the 1970s it would have been post CHPW where it could easily be referenced.  The closest freeway segment to Big Sur is Carmel-Castroville.  CA 1 (old CA 3 and US 101A was planned for a freeway upgrade in addition to a segment over Montara Mountain.

Pertaining to the CHPWs it was a publication that ran from 1924-67.  Generally freeways Route adoptions were well publicized in the 1950s/1960s CHPW era.  The blog on did on the overall history on CA 1 in Big Sur and the Monterey Peninsula has sublinks to the applicable CHPW volumes hosted on archive.org.  You can run a simple search for notable words (example; “Sur”) to narrow down what your looking for.

https://www.gribblenation.org/2020/02/california-state-route-1-cabrillo.html?m=1

Also Daniel’s site doesn’t list a freeway alignment being adopted for CA 1 in Big Sur:

https://www.cahighways.org/ROUTE001.html

Here is the relevant text:

[SHC 253.2] From Route 101 near San Luis Obispo to San Simeon; the northern limits of Carmel to the west city limits of Santa Cruz; the Higgins-Purisima Road to Route 280 south of San Francisco. Constructed as freeway for 5 miles near Morro Bay, from Route 68 to Route 156, from south of Watsonville to Santa Cruz, and from Pacifica to Route 280. Added to the Freeway and Expressway system in 1959 (Chapter 1062).

It sounds like you might have encountered someone who thinks Cambria and/or Carmel is part of the Big Sur Area in that Wikipedia article.
« Last Edit: October 31, 2021, 08:01:38 PM by Max Rockatansky »
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kernals12

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Re: California
« Reply #1384 on: October 31, 2021, 10:11:05 PM »

According to Wikipedia, there were proposals in the 70s to make the Big Sur Highway into a 4 lane freeway and the only thing stopping that from happening was the creation of the California Coastal Commission. Is that true or is it because, as I suspect, the terrain and seismic risks make building a 4 lane freeway impossible?

Would be news to me, but if it was the 1970s it would have been post CHPW where it could easily be referenced.  The closest freeway segment to Big Sur is Carmel-Castroville.  CA 1 (old CA 3 and US 101A was planned for a freeway upgrade in addition to a segment over Montara Mountain.

Pertaining to the CHPWs it was a publication that ran from 1924-67.  Generally freeways Route adoptions were well publicized in the 1950s/1960s CHPW era.  The blog on did on the overall history on CA 1 in Big Sur and the Monterey Peninsula has sublinks to the applicable CHPW volumes hosted on archive.org.  You can run a simple search for notable words (example; “Sur”) to narrow down what your looking for.

https://www.gribblenation.org/2020/02/california-state-route-1-cabrillo.html?m=1

Also Daniel’s site doesn’t list a freeway alignment being adopted for CA 1 in Big Sur:

https://www.cahighways.org/ROUTE001.html

Here is the relevant text:

[SHC 253.2] From Route 101 near San Luis Obispo to San Simeon; the northern limits of Carmel to the west city limits of Santa Cruz; the Higgins-Purisima Road to Route 280 south of San Francisco. Constructed as freeway for 5 miles near Morro Bay, from Route 68 to Route 156, from south of Watsonville to Santa Cruz, and from Pacifica to Route 280. Added to the Freeway and Expressway system in 1959 (Chapter 1062).

It sounds like you might have encountered someone who thinks Cambria and/or Carmel is part of the Big Sur Area in that Wikipedia article.

There seems to an assumption in popular culture that every time a freeway is cancelled it was some great big David vs Goliath battle when really, most freeways die with a whimper, being too expensive to build.
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: California
« Reply #1385 on: October 31, 2021, 10:28:20 PM »

According to Wikipedia, there were proposals in the 70s to make the Big Sur Highway into a 4 lane freeway and the only thing stopping that from happening was the creation of the California Coastal Commission. Is that true or is it because, as I suspect, the terrain and seismic risks make building a 4 lane freeway impossible?

Would be news to me, but if it was the 1970s it would have been post CHPW where it could easily be referenced.  The closest freeway segment to Big Sur is Carmel-Castroville.  CA 1 (old CA 3 and US 101A was planned for a freeway upgrade in addition to a segment over Montara Mountain.

Pertaining to the CHPWs it was a publication that ran from 1924-67.  Generally freeways Route adoptions were well publicized in the 1950s/1960s CHPW era.  The blog on did on the overall history on CA 1 in Big Sur and the Monterey Peninsula has sublinks to the applicable CHPW volumes hosted on archive.org.  You can run a simple search for notable words (example; “Sur”) to narrow down what your looking for.

https://www.gribblenation.org/2020/02/california-state-route-1-cabrillo.html?m=1

Also Daniel’s site doesn’t list a freeway alignment being adopted for CA 1 in Big Sur:

https://www.cahighways.org/ROUTE001.html

Here is the relevant text:

[SHC 253.2] From Route 101 near San Luis Obispo to San Simeon; the northern limits of Carmel to the west city limits of Santa Cruz; the Higgins-Purisima Road to Route 280 south of San Francisco. Constructed as freeway for 5 miles near Morro Bay, from Route 68 to Route 156, from south of Watsonville to Santa Cruz, and from Pacifica to Route 280. Added to the Freeway and Expressway system in 1959 (Chapter 1062).

It sounds like you might have encountered someone who thinks Cambria and/or Carmel is part of the Big Sur Area in that Wikipedia article.

There seems to an assumption in popular culture that every time a freeway is cancelled it was some great big David vs Goliath battle when really, most freeways die with a whimper, being too expensive to build.

Pertaining to Cambria the four expressway gets close by way of Cayucos.  North of there I can’t imagine there was much of a justification for expansion.  I believe the downtown bypass in Cambria is considered a two lane expressway.
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Max Rockatansky

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Alps

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Re: California
« Reply #1387 on: November 02, 2021, 06:50:10 PM »

Discussion of CA 1 around Carmel has been moved to: https://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=30492.0

kernals12

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Re: California
« Reply #1388 on: November 07, 2021, 05:48:58 PM »

According to Wikipedia, there were proposals in the 70s to make the Big Sur Highway into a 4 lane freeway and the only thing stopping that from happening was the creation of the California Coastal Commission. Is that true or is it because, as I suspect, the terrain and seismic risks make building a 4 lane freeway impossible?

Would be news to me, but if it was the 1970s it would have been post CHPW where it could easily be referenced.  The closest freeway segment to Big Sur is Carmel-Castroville.  CA 1 (old CA 3 and US 101A was planned for a freeway upgrade in addition to a segment over Montara Mountain.

Pertaining to the CHPWs it was a publication that ran from 1924-67.  Generally freeways Route adoptions were well publicized in the 1950s/1960s CHPW era.  The blog on did on the overall history on CA 1 in Big Sur and the Monterey Peninsula has sublinks to the applicable CHPW volumes hosted on archive.org.  You can run a simple search for notable words (example; “Sur”) to narrow down what your looking for.

https://www.gribblenation.org/2020/02/california-state-route-1-cabrillo.html?m=1

Also Daniel’s site doesn’t list a freeway alignment being adopted for CA 1 in Big Sur:

https://www.cahighways.org/ROUTE001.html

Here is the relevant text:

[SHC 253.2] From Route 101 near San Luis Obispo to San Simeon; the northern limits of Carmel to the west city limits of Santa Cruz; the Higgins-Purisima Road to Route 280 south of San Francisco. Constructed as freeway for 5 miles near Morro Bay, from Route 68 to Route 156, from south of Watsonville to Santa Cruz, and from Pacifica to Route 280. Added to the Freeway and Expressway system in 1959 (Chapter 1062).

It sounds like you might have encountered someone who thinks Cambria and/or Carmel is part of the Big Sur Area in that Wikipedia article.

There seems to an assumption in popular culture that every time a freeway is cancelled it was some great big David vs Goliath battle when really, most freeways die with a whimper, being too expensive to build.

I think the best example of this are the proposals to turn the LA River's concrete flood channel into a freeway. There seems to be an assumption that it was something that almost happened when the truth was that the idea went through a predictable cycle. First, some ill-informed politician would suggest it. Second, Caltrans or the Army Corps of Engineers would study it. Third, a report would be issued saying the idea would not work.
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: California
« Reply #1389 on: November 11, 2021, 04:58:26 PM »

Apparently there is a snag in California’s share of Federal Transportation Funds:

https://www.yahoo.com/news/feds-block-billions-public-transit-193917145.html
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Re: California
« Reply #1390 on: November 11, 2021, 11:28:59 PM »

Apparently there is a snag in California’s share of Federal Transportation Funds:

https://www.yahoo.com/news/feds-block-billions-public-transit-193917145.html

California could win in court. This isn't much different from the history of federal employees. CSRS took care of federal civil servants until the mid-80's. Employees hired after that date got the less generous for the same money FERS; the government justified the change by saying new employees now had the flexibility to move in-and-out of government employment as they now pay Social Security. The donation percentage has increased over the years arbitrarily. It's hard to argue states violated the law when the federal government is doing the same thing.
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Re: California
« Reply #1391 on: November 24, 2021, 05:42:30 PM »

A couple of interesting incidents occurred along Interstate 5 in San Diego County over the past week.

The first was flying cash from an unsecured armored car traveling on I-5 through Carlsbad.

https://fox5sandiego.com/news/local-news/photos-authorities-look-to-identify-motorists-accused-of-scooping-up-money-on-freeway/

Quote
Calls began coming in about 9:15 a.m. Friday (11/19/21) to California Highway Patrol dispatchers about “a large sum of money in the roadway” on I-5 near Cannon Road, as well as about drivers getting out to collect the bills. A man and a woman were arrested on suspicion of taking cash after they got stuck on the freeway with their keys locked in the car, blocking traffic, according to CHP. ...

Travis Fisher, a driver caught in the chaos, told FOX 5 he initially thought it was an accident. Fisher estimated there were thousands of dollars scattered on the road. “I see all these things floating around and I realize it’s money,” Fisher said. “It was pretty crazy. Just everywhere, there was a sea of bills, everywhere.”

On Sunday evening (11/21/21), two water main breaks occurred. One was downtown at 11th Avenue and A Street (south end of State Route 163), and the other was above the transition ramp between SR 163 south and I-5 north/Fourth Avenue. This break sprouted a geyser of water that flowed to the lowest point, in the S-curve of I-5, which flooded and blocked the northbound lanes most of the day Monday (11/22/21).



https://timesofsandiego.com/crime/2021/11/22/water-main-breaks-close-northbound-i-5-in-downtown-san-diego-flood-area/

Quote
The first of the two pipeline failures began flooding traffic lanes at A Street and 11th Avenue about 3:30 p.m. Sunday, city officials reported. By 6:45 p.m., when repair workers got the overflow halted, the surging water had created a sinkhole and inundated at least one business.

About 3 1/2 hours after the first round of flooding began, an Uber driver reported that a geyser of water had burst through his windshield and a passenger window, injuring a customer, on an Route 163 offramp near I-5, the California Highway Patrol said. It took crews roughly six hours to get the flow of water under control. The extent of the Uber rider’s injuries was unclear.

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Re: California
« Reply #1392 on: November 25, 2021, 06:16:18 PM »

I was driving by Hawthorn St (exit 17, the reverse angle) the next morning and it was all mud and muck that they were digging out with a front loader.
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Re: California
« Reply #1393 on: November 28, 2021, 09:23:53 PM »

Speaking of turnpikes and toll roads….


Quote
Road companies soon formed to build turnpikes, or toll roads, to charge travelers to cross over the ridge to the coast. The Redwood City and San Gregorio Turnpike was built in 1868 up what is now Kings Mountain Rd., named for the Mountain Brow House Resort owned by Frank King and later by his widow. The turnpike followed what is present-day Tunitas Creek Rd. until it forked left through the Star Ranch to San Gregorio. A year earlier, Eugene Froment bought 750 acres on the backside of the ridge. It was a tow-day haul to Redwood City. At the resting spot, east of Skyline ridge, he built the Summit Springs Hotel one mile east of the ridge, complete with store, blacksmith shop, saloon and school

http://www.bocranebooks.com/blog/2015/5/25/the-truth-about-tunitas

Quote
In 1868, Alpine Road was granted as a franchise toll road by the county supervisors to the Menlo Park and Santa Cruz Turnpike Corporation.  However, within a few years, residents began complaining that the poorly maintained road had become impassible in winter. In 1874, the company forfeited the road to the county. At that time, the four-mile road had only extended a little beyond the Portola Corners stop sign, ending opposite Willowbrook at the bottom of a former Native American footpath to the coast. The path was used by Mission Dolores soldiers chasing after a renegade from the missions named Pomponio, who hid out in Devil's Canyon, named in his honor, near the Alpine-Skyline crest. What became known as the Old Spanish Trail ascends Coal Mine Ridge, named after what was prematurely thought to be a valuable discovery.  Users of the toll road that stopped at the base of the ridge discovered that easily getting all the way to Santa Cruz from there was a fantasy of its own.

http://www.bocranebooks.com/blog/2015/5/28/biking-the-loop-secrets-of-alpine-road


Quote
All drivers had to pay a toll to use the private turnpike (twenty-five cents for one man with one horse and one dollar for a loaded wagon pulled by four horses). Officially known as the Saratoga and Pescadero Turnpike and Wagon Road, the road was opened in 1871 to access the redwood timber in the upper San Lorenzo Valley and the Pescadero basin. The turnpike never came close to its initial objective, the town of Pescadero. Later it became known simply as the Saratoga Toll Road. At one point there were separate toll houses on either side of the Santa Clara/Santa Cruz county line. There were numerous complaints about the condition of the toll road, and within twenty years, the roadway had been purchased by the respective counties and made public.

Summit Road, the forerunner of Skyline Boulevard, came through the gap in 1884, providing an important link to the toll road. Before this time there had only been a trail along the summit linking the different ranches. When one of the ranchers began charging a toll to pass over his property, his neighbors petitioned the county for a public road, putting an end to this practice.

https://www.santacruzwaves.com/2015/11/skyline-boulevard-the-ever-evolving-saratoga-gap/
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Re: California
« Reply #1394 on: Today at 11:19:31 AM »

Interstate Kyle does a 3 part tour of CA-49


There is even a cut showing the historic CA-49 alignment.








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