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Author Topic: OLD US-66 routing through NM madness  (Read 8793 times)

Max Rockatansky

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Re: OLD US-66 routing through NM madness
« Reply #50 on: June 26, 2016, 08:46:25 AM »

The other issue is that the interstates were 'new'. I'm sure maps hadn't even standardized how to show their numbers. I'm also not sure whether it was common to call it "Interstate Ten" or "I-Ten" back then. Calling it "Route Ten", might have been what was expected. Not realizing how we'd switch to the I- prefix or the 'long name'.

I grew up not far from US 19, and even as a kid it was called Route 19. And yet all the state routes were also called by their names "Route 18", "Route 58", "Route 11", "Route 82", "Route 322", "Route 19". Didn't matter the designation. I don't even really recall my parents ever calling I-79 or I-80 that. Though they would say, such as a trip to North Dakota as "We're getting on the interstate", as if it were it's own entity, but even then I recall them just calling it Route 80, Route 90, Route 94, Route 29, etc.

All roads with numbered signs are technically "Routes". The route may jump from road to road, but it's always a 'route'. Regardless which classification.

My guess is, as with my parents, and many before them, it was just simpler to make sure there was as least confusion and duplication as possible. Same reason the rule on 3dis not being reused in the same state. Yet 264 and 265 can exist in one metro area, 275 in Cincinnati and 275 in Toledo would be considered a Rubik's Cube for travelers. (As for Louisville, even I have taken the wrong one forgetting which one was the inner and outer bypass around Louisville) when I'm not hawk-eyeing the road signs.

But, going back to U.S. routes, the ability to realign the routes, sometimes drastically, was probably because the roads hadn't yet been solidifed mentally. Once "Route 19" was "Route 19" for twenty years, it's hard to go back and try to change it.  Which is the problem with rerouting a road today. They can truncate it or decommission it entirely, but putting it on a new alignment seems to be wizardry to the general public.

Businesses not wanting to 'change what road they're on' is not the reason for Business Routes. They still have to change their directions, signage, legal addresses, etc, to the new route. People still have to know that the hardware store didn't relocate to the shoulder of the new freeway bypass.

It's mostly to make sure idiots that are driving through town that forget to follow the new route can navigate their way through the town back to the primary road they were already on. My dad did this a few months ago with US 422 in New Castle. He didn't realize he needed to exit heading west to follow the freeway and called me from town asking where he was. He still followed the US 422 Business signs faithfully, until one intersection downtown where the signage is a bit confusing (you turn right to then turn left, jogging one main road up, essentially). Well, he missed it and called again. This time even further lost. But, managed to find US 224, and knew that road would take him toward I-376.

So, there is a round-about way why realigning roads isn't a great idea and labeling things "Bypass" might be better. But, it definitely makes me realize why some of the things are done they way they are when I see my 60+ year old parents try to navigate just by memory and road signs with no maps or GPS.

That's actually the most cited reason I used to hear about I-19 not switching over from kilometers years ago to miles.  Apparently there some business owners that were freaking out that they might have to change a sign or two...granted in all my travels south of Tucson near the border I never once saw an example...or at least one that comes to mind.

One remembering that I can think of that actually worked in modern times was US 27 becoming US 127 north of Lansing Michigan to Grayling.  When the US 127 freeway was completed from I-69 to St. Johns basically they went ahead with the truncation of US 27 back to Fort Wayne since it basically multiplexed I-69 to Lansing.  What was left of US 27 north of St. Johns was renumbered as US 127.  Granted this was back in 2001 or 2002 I believe and MDOT actually did a great job at advertising the change well in advance.  I have a lot of family and friends in the area, nobody seemed all that confused about the changed.  For them US 27 became Old 27 and north of St. Johns it was just US 127.  But I'm aware that I'm talking about a state that has a history of highway realignments and changes some drastic like US 10 or the change of routes for US 12.  I remember in driving school when I was a kid they actually taught what a State Trunk Line, US Route and Interstate were.  It just goes to show that if put an effort into roadway education it can positive results.


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