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Author Topic: historic look at numbering patterns  (Read 19818 times)

roadfro

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Re: historic look at numbering patterns
« Reply #25 on: October 13, 2013, 02:41:40 AM »

The Nevada legislature created a Highway Commission and a bare-bones system of routes 1-4 in 1917 (Victory Highway, Lincoln Highway, Bonanza Highway, and Midland Trail, respectively), adding 5-6 in 1919, 7-9 in 1921, and so on until ending up with at least 93 routes plus lettered spurs. The first numbered routes to be marked in Nevada were apparently the U.S. Highways, with signs installed in 1927-28. It's not clear when the state routes were finally marked.

Almost the entire system was renumbered in 1976 (28 and 88 remained to match California). Redundant numbers given to U.S. Highways and Interstates were eliminated, and numbers were dropped from sections of state routes that were not state maintained (such as SR 2, the old Lincoln Highway east of US 93). Instead, as best as I can tell, routes were numbered in clusters according to their (proposed?) funding status: federal aid secondary from 100 to 499, federal aid urban from 500 to 699, and state aid from 700 to 899. This included many short highways that had not previously been signed as state routes.

Maps and logs:
http://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=5112
http://www.aaroads.com/west/nevada.html

I'm curious: How do you know the state highways weren't signed until after the U.S. Routes were established?

In the 1976 renumbering, SR 140 was retained to match Oregon--it had been part of SR 8A previously and renumbered to 140 shortly prior to the statewide renumbering, and was the only number higher than 93 in the original numbering. Another fact is that the state highway numbers and descriptions were given in state laws, but that was removed with the renumbering process.

Post-1976 numbers were indeed based on funding classification. This had the interesting dynamic of giving some roads more than one number for maintenance purposes (not sure how/if these were signed).
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NE2

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Re: historic look at numbering patterns
« Reply #26 on: October 13, 2013, 06:16:16 PM »

I'm curious: How do you know the state highways weren't signed until after the U.S. Routes were established?
The 1926 and 1927 Rand McNally don't show a shield design, and http://books.google.com/books?id=7Wg4AQAAMAAJ&pg=RA3-PA49 (1927-28) strongly implies (by omission) that state routes were not yet marked. Photos of U.S. shields show no co-signing with state routes: http://books.google.com/books?id=7Wg4AQAAMAAJ&pg=RA4-PA10 and I thought I saw another one but I can't find it.

In the 1976 renumbering, SR 140 was retained to match Oregon--it had been part of SR 8A previously and renumbered to 140 shortly prior to the statewide renumbering, and was the only number higher than 93 in the original numbering. Another fact is that the state highway numbers and descriptions were given in state laws, but that was removed with the renumbering process.
The 1978-79 map shows that 140 was going to be renumbered 291, so the decision to keep the number was made rather late in the process.

Post-1976 numbers were indeed based on funding classification. This had the interesting dynamic of giving some roads more than one number for maintenance purposes (not sure how/if these were signed).
It seems that the FAS/FAU numbers were changed in 1976 to match the new state numbers; pre-1976 county maps show different numbers that don't match.
« Last Edit: October 13, 2013, 06:22:48 PM by NE2 »
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Re: historic look at numbering patterns
« Reply #27 on: October 13, 2013, 07:07:12 PM »

West Coast:

California's first state highways were "special appropriation roads" designated individually by the legislature, mostly in the mountains where the counties were unwilling to do the work. In 1909 the legislature instructed the Department of Engineering to lay out a system of state highways that would provide two north-south trunks and connect all county seats (Markleeville was omitted from the system because it was already on several special appropriation roads). The voters approved a bond issue to pay for the system in 1910. In 1915 the legislature proposed a second bond issue to complete the highways of the first and construct a list of additional highways; the voters approved it in 1916.

In the next few years, probably by 1917, the California Highway Commission numbered the bond issue and special appropriation roads. 1-4 were the major north-south trunks, 5-8 connected the trunks in the bay area, but 9-34 seem to have been numbered almost randomly. Special appropriation roads, where not forming parts of bond issue routes, were given numbers 35-42 (essentially in order from north to south), with 43-45 assigned in order to new roads legislated through 1919. A third bond issue, legislated and approved by the voters in 1919, added more state highways, which (where not extending existing routes) were numbered 46-64 in order from north to south (except that 63 and 64 were in the east part of the state). 65-80 were assigned to routes added by laws through 1931, and a 1933 law added 213 routes, which (where not numbered as extensions of existing routes) became 81-202. Finally in 1935 the legislature began to use these numbers and assign numbers to new routes (which reached 296 in 1963, the last year of the old numbering).

None of these legislative numbers were signed for navigational purposes (though they did appear on maintenance related-signs and postmiles). A system of sign routes was created in 1934 to supplement the U.S. Highways; most sign routes were state highways (exceptions included SR 1 along the "Lost Coast" and SR 33 between Coalinga and Mendota), but far from all state highways were sign routes. Numbers 1-199 (many skipped) were assigned in a complicated grid with directional parity (even numbers east-west, odd numbers north-south). Half the numbers were given to northern California and half to southern California (0 and 1 mod 4 in the north, 2 and 3 mod 4 in the south).
0 mod 4: 4-44 from south to north (28 was a bit out of place); 96 in the far north; 108-180 south of 4 from north to south
1 mod 4: 1-13 from west to east; 25-45 from west to east, alternating between south and north (hence 25-33-41 were south of the 1-13 band, and 29-37-45 were north); 49 off to the east; 65 off to the south (almost all far enough south that it should be 3 mod 4); 89 off to the north
2 mod 4: 2-26 from north to south; 74-78 and 94-98 off to the south; 118-198 north of 2 from south to north
3 mod 4: 3-19 from west to east; 23-27 off to the west; 35-39 off to the east; 55-79 off to the southeast; 95 off to the northeast; 111-195 in the far east

New sign routes mostly followed the general rules until 1964, when the dual system was dropped and the legislature adopted sign route numbers (hence all heretofore unsigned state highways got new sign route numbers).

Maps and logs:
Separate maps and logs of each bond issue http://books.google.com/books?id=yXwaAAAAYAAJ&pg=RA1-PA12
1934 (sign routes) http://archive.org/stream/californiahighwa193436calirich#page/n275/mode/2up
http://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=5112
http://www.cahighways.org/

The Oregon State Highway Commission officially adopted a system of 36 named and numbered highways on November 27, 1917. The main routes were numbered 1-7, with 8-35 clustered across the state, and 36 probably added late in planning. Signs with numbers (later also including names) were installed beginning in early 1920. There were few changes to the system until 1931-32 (at which time the number had reached 47), when a fair number of county roads were taken over as secondary highways. These secondary highways received three-digit numbers, with the first two digits representing the county in a geographic clustering pattern, from 102 in Clatsop County to 458 in Malheur County (I don't know why 100 was skipped, though 101 was presumably not used due to US 101).

A separate system of signed routes was adopted in 1932, making the highway numbers for internal use only. Every primary highway received a one- or two-digit route number, assigned in a grid. (I haven't found the original number for Highway 6 from Cairo to Nyssa, later US 30S.) Only numbers equal to 2 or 3 mod 4 were used to leave room for expansion. 3-51 were given to north-south routes from east to west, while east-west routes were split into four bands, in which they were numbered from north to south: 2-46 west of Highway 1 (30 was skipped because of US 30), 50-70, 74-78, and 82-90. (Note that 8 (0 mod 4) appears on the 1935 map; it was probably originally part of 47 before that route was sent north from Forest Grove on secondary Highway 102.)

A few years later, selected secondary highways (and perhaps certain connecting county roads) received route numbers greater than 200; unlike the primary routes, no numbers were skipped, so later numbers violated the grid. Odd numbers from 201 to 229 were assigned to north-south routes from east to west, and even numbers from 202 to 238 went east-west from north to south.

Maps and logs:
1917 http://www.oregon.gov/ODOT/HWY/GEOMETRONICS/ROW_Eng/HistoryHighwaysOregon/statehwypropsed1917_0001.tif
1935 http://www.davidrumsey.com/luna/servlet/detail/RUMSEY~8~1~24578~900063:1935-road-map-Western-United-States
http://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=5112
http://www.oregonhighways.us/
http://www.angelfire.com/or3/oroads/roads/

In 1905, the Washington legislature created the office of State Highway Commissioner and defined ten state roads (an amendment later that year added two more) through the less developed parts of the state, which included several highways that had previously been declared state roads. The legislature explicitly gave them numbers in 1907 and added State Road 13, another pre-existing state road; 14-17 and 18 were added in 1909.

A connected system linking all parts of the state was finally created in 1913 with the definition of eight named primary state highways. The existing state roads remained as secondary highways, and this dichotomy of named primary and both numbered and later-added named secondary highways persisted until 1923, by which time there were 15 named primary highways, two named secondary highways (Cascade [Wagon] Road and Roosevelt Highway), and six numbered secondary highways (4, 5, 18, 20, 21, 22). Then in 1923 every primary highway received a number (also see the biennial report); five secondary highways remained (4, 21, 22, Methow Valley Highway, Cascade Wagon Road). These gradually became primary, with the last one (Cascade Wagon Road) holding on until 1937, when it was numbered 17. (Two named primary highways, Inland Empire Highway Eastern Route and Methow Valley Highway, also survived until then, receiving numbers as part of 3 and new 16.) At this time a large new system of secondary state highways was created, designated by letter suffixes from the primary highway they spurred from.

It's not clear when the numbers were first marked on signs; the 1927 Rand McNally does not show any marking for Washington.

Of all the pre-1913 numbers which had been assigned by the legislature, only State Road 4 survived mostly untouched through all of this. State Roads 21 and 22, which were assigned in 1915 as an extension of the pre-1913 numbers, also retained these numbers in 1923. In addition, State Roads 5, 8, 9, and 10, which became named primary highways in 1913, were resurrected in similar locations in 1923 with the same numbers (a small piece of SR 5 did survive from 1913 to 1923 to rejoin the rest). The numbers newly chosen in 1923 followed a rough clustering pattern: 1-3 were major cross-state highways, 6, 7, and 11 were in the eastern part of the state, and 12-14 were in the west. Later numbers, 15 (1931) and 16-18 (1937), were assigned in order.

In 1963, the legislature directed the State Highway Commission to renumber the state highways; this was completed in 1964 (?), and until 1970 the new numbers were signed, while the legislature continued to amend the old primary/secondary definitions. The new system was a very rough grid with spurs.

Maps and logs:
http://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=5112
http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/Library/History.htm
http://www.angelfire.com/wa2/hwysofwastate/
« Last Edit: October 04, 2016, 11:51:30 AM by NE2 »
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Re: historic look at numbering patterns
« Reply #28 on: October 14, 2013, 04:22:27 PM »

Southeast:

The Texas State Highway Department was created in 1917 and laid out a proposed system of 26 state highways that year, several of which followed auto trails. 1-8 were assigned to major cross-state highways, with odd numbers east-west and even numbers north-south; 9-26 were weakly clustered on more minor routes. Alternate routes and spurs received letter suffixes. Since then, new routes have usually received the next available number. I don't know when signs were first posted, but the 1926 Rand McNally shows a shield design, and the 1922-24 biennial report implies that they were being installed by then.

Maps and logs:
http://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=5112
http://www.dot.state.tx.us/tpp/search/query.htm

The Florida State Road Department created a map in 1917 that listed roads numbered 1-15. These numbers were used in the 1916-18 biennial report, but the 1918-20 report shows a partial renumbering. 1-5 remained, 9 became 6, and 11 became 7; all the other routes (except Bronson to Cedar Key) were replaced by state aid roads numbered from 101 to 133, which also added new roads to the state-funded highway system. 8, 9, and 134-137 were added in 1921.

The original 1917 numbers were clustered: 1 east-west in the panhandle, 2-5 north-south in the peninsula, 6-7 east-west in the peninsula, 8-11 from east to west in the panhandle, and 12-15 back to the peninsula from south to north. The partial renumbering put 6-7 in the panhandle, while the state aid roads were mostly clustered. 105, 106, 107, 108, 109, and 110 were parts of old 5, 6, 7, 8, 8 (not 9), and 10, and 111 was somewhat randomly west of Tallahassee, but 101-104 were clustered near Jacksonville, 112-118 went from west to east in the panhandle, and 119-129 were nicely clustered in the peninsula. 130-133 were probably added afterwards, as were 134-137 (and 8-9).

1923 saw the legislative establishment of many of these routes as state roads (most others joined in 1925 or 1927, but the last straggler, 112/537, remained a county road until 1939). Numbers 1-9 were kept with minor changes, but all of the state aid numbers were changed. Signs were posted in 1925 or 1926. Many of the initial 1923 numbers were clustered, with 10-18 and 21-27 running from northwest to south in two bands, but 19 and 20 are randomly up in the panhandle, 28 is near 13, and 29-38 are stranger yet: even numbers are all in the central and south parts of the peninsula, while odd numbers are in the panhandle or the north part of the peninsula.

After a bunch of duplicated numbers and other flubs in 1927, numbering control was shifted to the State Road Department, which labeled new routes in order, but also reused numbers that had been absorbed by other routes. In 1945 all routes were renumbered. 1-2 digit numbers were used for a grid, with 3-digit numbers assigned to shorter routes in horizontal bands between the x0 routes. This is still mostly followed, but in addition to minor violations there are more major violations such as 112 in Miami and 727 near Pensacola.

Maps and logs:
1917 http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00053687/00001/1x
1921 http://archive.org/stream/BiennialreportoftheStateRoadDepartmentoftheStateofFloridafortheperiod1921-22#page/n81/mode/2up
1929-1939 http://archive.org/search.php?query=subject%3A%22Roads--Florida.%22
http://neroute2.blogspot.com/search/label/pre-1945 http://neroute2.blogspot.com/search/label/route%20log

Virginia's legislature created a state highway system in 1918, comprising 28 numbered routes. 1-5 were major north-south routes, with 6-13 (and perhaps 14) as major east-west routes. 15-20 were clustered from north to south in the middle of the state, while 21-28 were somewhat randomly assigned to short connections, mostly leading to state lines. The State Highway Commission initially assigned lettered suffixes to spurs of these routes, but decided in 1923 to instead use three-digit numbers in much the same manner; for example 121 and 122 (rather than 12X and 12Y) were spurs of 12. Since this system did not work with single-digit numbers, 1-9 were renumbered as 31-39. Additionally, at this time, 15 (a rather minor route) became 331, and the number was reassigned to what had been 12Z. 29 and 30 were given to what had been long spurs of 9, while a second 12X became 40, and 41 was assigned to a newly-taken over route that didn't connect to any others. Two four-digit numbers, 1411 and 3111, were spurs of spurs, and 1010 to (probably) 1013 continued the sequence of spurs from 10 after 101-109 were all used.

Route markers were installed by mid-1925, but a 1922 (?) map shows a sample direction sign for Route 5, meaning that the numbers were being marked before the 1923 renumbering.

A second renumbering in 1928 got rid of the spur numbers, replacing them with a clustering pattern, where the first digit was the district (1 to 8) in which the route lay. 42 to 55 (and later 56-59) were given to routes that crossed district lines. Finally, 1933 saw a third renumbering, which essentially compressed all the ranges to make way for the new secondary numbers beginning at 600. (Which, in hindsight, was silly, since some counties have reached five-digit secondary numbers by now.)

Maps and logs:
http://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=5112
http://www.vahighways.com/route-log/

The Georgia legislature reorganized the State Highway Department in 1919 and directed it to lay out a 4800-mile system of state-aid roads to connect the county seats. A preliminary system was chosen on January 1, 1920, but according to the State Highway Engineer in the 1919-20 annual report (p. 23):
Quote
In preparing the map, I found that the roads necessary to make a complete State system, and equitably serve every community, exceeded the 4,800 mile limitation. Therefore, I have shown additional roads on the map and designated them "Federal Aid Roads." I consider these roads of equal importance and necessity as the State aid roads shown on the map of the State system, and recommend that the State system be enlarged to include these additional roads, designated as Federal Aid roads.
These proposed federal aid roads are not numbered on what seems to be the original plan, but (mostly) are on the map at the end of the 1919-20 report. They are also all included in a revised map at the end of the 1920-21 annual report. In 1921 the legislature increased the mileage to 5500 miles and directed the State Highway Department to take over maintenance of the state-aid roads; the system approved September 23, 1921 made more changes.

Numbering in the 1920 plan was mostly according to a simple grid, with odd numbers from 1 to 27 running north-south from west to east (with a few minor violations) and even numbers from 2 to 32 running east-west from north to south. 29-53 were short north-south routes, roughly clustered (it appears that 51 and 53 were numbered late in the process), while 38-46 were short east-west routes with no clustering apparent.

The 1918-19 annual report (p. 25) shows a sample "mile post" with route numbers and alphanumeric codes for towns (?). These may have never been used. The 1923-24 annual report (p. 136) shows a "truck operated by sign posters. Every route is being thoroughly marked by this party." The 1924-25 annual report (p. 136) shows examples of these signs, including route shields both on posts and painted on poles. Therefore it appears that signs were being posted by 1923.

Maps and logs:
http://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=5112
http://georgiaroads.tripod.com/

The North Carolina State Highway Commission laid out and numbered a connected system of state highways in 1921, pursuant to a law passed that year; routes were being marked by 1922. Main routes were numbered as multiples of ten, with 10 and 20 being the major east-west routes, 30-80 north-south routes from east to west, and 90 a relatively minor spur of 10. Reasonably major spurs of these routes got two-digit numbers (e.g. 12 from 10), and minor spurs of any two-digit route received three-digit numbers (e.g. 104 from 10 and 125 from 12). One-digit numbers were not used until the 1930s.

Maps and logs:
http://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=5112
http://www.vahighways.com/ncannex/route-log/

In 1920, South Carolina created a State Highway Department, which laid out a system of state highways that year. Routes were numbered and signs first posted in 1921. Some numbers were chosen to match adjacent states: 12 and 21 (and perhaps 2, 8, 10, and 17) continuing from Georgia, and 16, 19, 23, 26, 29, and 50 from North Carolina. 1 to 10 were assigned to relatively major routes, and most other numbers from 11 to 47 followed a rough clustering across the state. 34, 35, 38, and 43 did not fit the clustering or any other pattern I can discern.

Subsequently-added routes began at 51, with 48 and 49 being skipped initially. Three-digit numbers were used for spurs, such as 392 from 39 and 301 from 30. Two-digit spurs were also created off of routes 6 to 9, such as 72 off 7.

Maps and logs:
http://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=5112
http://www.angelfire.com/sc3/scroads/

In accordance with state law, the West Virginia State Road Commission laid out and numbered a system of state roads which connected the county seats and adjacent states in 1921 (or perhaps early 1922); these routes were marked on poles by 1923. Numbers were assigned based on direction: odd numbers were east-west and even numbers were north-south. 1-9 and 2-6 (or 8) were the most major highways, and then each direction had three passes: 11-23, 25-43, and 55-67 (all increasing from north to south, though 17 and 19 were inexplicably switched); and 8-28, 32-50 (both increasing from west to east), and 52-66 (roughly in reverse order, from east to west). 45-49 are clustered in the eastern panhandle, and 30, 51, 53, and 68 do not seem to fit the system.

Maps and logs:
1922 http://books.google.com/books?id=7XDVAAAAMAAJ&pg=RA1-PA2 (no numbers, but system seems to have had few if any changes to 1926)
1926 http://broermapsonline.org/online/NorthAmerica/UnitedStates/Midatlantic/
1927 http://www.davidrumsey.com/luna/servlet/detail/RUMSEY~8~1~33741~1171457:Rand-McNally-junior-auto-road-map-D
http://www.millenniumhwy.net/wvroads/wvroads.html

In 1921, the Louisiana state legislature created the Highway Commission and a state highway system of 98 routes. 1-7 were major cross-state routes (several of them auto trails), with 8-27 clustered west of the Atchafalaya River, 28-31 clustered between the Atchafalaya and Mississippi, and 32-37 clustered east of the Mississippi. 38-98 were probably tacked on to the bill later as pork, as 1-37 served all the parish seats except Cameron. It's unclear when the routes were first signed; the 1927 Rand McNally shows no shield design.

A complete renumbering was made in 1955. Low numbers were assigned in a grid: 1-23 (except 5) were north-south from west to east, and 2-14 were east-west from north to south, with a second pass from 16 to 20 in the east. Beyond that, no obvious pattern jumps out.

Maps and logs:
http://www.southeastroads.com/la_route_log.html

On October 1, 1923, the Tennessee Department of Highways approved a network of federal aid and state aid highways, the former also approved by the federal government on that date. Federal aid routes received numbers from 1 to 40, numbered in two passes: 1-9 were the most major routes, and 10-40 were clustered from west to east. State aid routes were numbered from 41 to 78 (there was also a state aid extension of 36 south of Erwin), with 41 to 68 clustered from west to east, 69 out of place, and 70 to 78 on remaining routes from east to west. Subsequent changes eliminated the numeric separation between federal and state aid, as many state aid routes became extensions of routes 1-40.

I don't know exactly when signs were posted, but they were by 1925-26.

Maps and logs:
1923, 1926 http://neroute2.blogspot.com/2013/10/early-tennessee-route-logs.html
http://www.vahighways.com/tn-annex/index.htm

In 1915 the Alabama legislature defined a system of "state trunk roads" numbered 1-34. Other routes were subsequently added, but these numbers seem to have been used only internally. A new system of state highways was laid out by 1925 and marked by 1926. Numbers 1-10 were assigned to main routes, including several auto trails, and 26 was the Dixie Overland Highway to match Georgia. 11-30 and 31-48 were roughly clustered in two groups, south and north of 26, and 49 was probably added after the numbers were initially assigned. The numbers had reached 62 by 1927 or 1928, when a complete renumbering was made. The new numbers do not seem to have followed any strict pattern. 2-12 were east-west in order from north to south, and 1-5 and 13 were north-south from east to west, but 7-11 were diagonal. 14-30 were rather weakly clustered, and 31-63 made a second pass, but 42, 47, and 58 don't seem to have fit. A final partial renumbering in the mid-1950s brought directional parity, making all odd numbers north-south and even numbers east-west.

Maps and logs:
http://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=5112
http://www.ajfroggie.com/roads/alroutes/index.html
http://colepages.com/asrni.html

The Mississippi legislature defined a system of legislative route numbers in 1924, separated into federal aid (1-28) and other (30-78, amended to 30-135 in 1926). These numbers do not seem to have been used except internally, and signed numbers were not assigned until about 1929. These were numbered in a rough grid: 1-25 went north-south, mostly in order from west to east, in the north part of the state (I can't find original 17 or 21), 55-63 were in a small band in the south part of the state, and a few other numbers were in between (35, 39, 41 existed by 1931). 2-26 were east-west routes in order from north to south (4 and 14 may have been skipped initially), and by 1931 30, 32, 42, and 48 were present in between other routes.

Later details in msubulldog's post.

Maps and logs:
1931, 1938 http://alabamamaps.ua.edu/historicalmaps/us_states/mississippi/index2_1926-1940.htm
http://www.ajfroggie.com/roads/msroutes/index.html

Kentucky also had an early legislative system, first defined in 1920 and appearing on some maps. Signed routes waited until about 1929, and were numbered in a rough grid. Some numbers were skipped initially, and it appears that the grid of odd numbers north-south in order from east to west and even numbers east-west in order from north to south was followed pretty well by the original routes, but when gaps were filled in the pattern did not hold. By 1939 all 1-2 digit numbers were in use (except perhaps 24).

Maps and logs:
http://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=5112
http://bunkerblast.info/roads/
« Last Edit: October 21, 2013, 08:30:49 AM by NE2 »
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Re: historic look at numbering patterns
« Reply #29 on: October 14, 2013, 04:49:06 PM »

1-8 were assigned to major cross-state highways, with even numbers east-west and odd numbers north-south;

TX-1 later became US-67 from Texarkana to the DFW area, and then US-80 to El Paso.  this is not particularly north-south.
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Re: historic look at numbering patterns
« Reply #30 on: October 14, 2013, 04:58:08 PM »

1-8 were assigned to major cross-state highways, with even numbers east-west and odd numbers north-south;

TX-1 later became US-67 from Texarkana to the DFW area, and then US-80 to El Paso.  this is not particularly north-south.

Oops - got the directions backwards.
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Re: historic look at numbering patterns
« Reply #31 on: October 15, 2013, 07:33:57 PM »

In 1921, the Louisiana state legislature created the Highway Commission and a state highway system of 98 routes. 1-7 were major cross-state routes (several of them auto trails),

1 Jefferson Highway
2 Old Spanish Trail
3 Mississippi River Scenic Highway
4 Dixie Overland Trail
5 Pershing Highway
6 Old San Antonio Road?
7 Evangeline Highway (at least west of Baton Rouge)
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Re: historic look at numbering patterns
« Reply #32 on: October 15, 2013, 07:37:12 PM »

Quote
Virginia's legislature created a state highway system in 1918, comprising 28 numbered routes. 1-5 were major north-south routes, with 6-13 (and perhaps 14) as major east-west routes. 15-20 were clustered from north to south in the middle of the state, while 21-28 were somewhat randomly assigned to short connections, mostly leading to state lines. The State Highway Commission initially assigned lettered suffixes to spurs of these routes, but decided in 1923 to instead use three-digit numbers in much the same manner; for example 121 and 122 (rather than 12X and 12Y) were spurs of 12. Since this system did not work with single-digit numbers, 1-9 were renumbered as 31-39. Additionally, at this time, 15 (a rather minor route) became 331, and the number was reassigned to what had been 12Z. 29 and 30 were given to what had been long spurs of 9, while a second 12X became 40, and 41 was assigned to a newly-taken over route that didn't connect to any others. Two four-digit numbers, 1411 and 3111, were spurs of spurs, and 1010 to (probably) 1013 continued the sequence of spurs from 10 after 101-109 were all used.

Route markers were installed by mid-1925, but a 1922 (?) map shows a sample direction sign for Route 5, meaning that the numbers were being marked before the 1923 renumbering.

A second renumbering in 1928 got rid of the spur numbers, replacing them with a clustering pattern, where the first digit was the district (1 to 8) in which the route lay. 42 to 55 (and later 56-59) were given to routes that crossed district lines. Finally, 1933 saw a third renumbering, which essentially compressed all the ranges to make way for the new secondary numbers beginning at 600. (Which, in hindsight, was silly, since some counties have reached five-digit secondary numbers by now.)

Maps and logs:
http://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=5112
http://www.vahighways.com/route-log/

1922 Auto Trails Maps are the only ones I've seen with the route marker sign as you've described.  I do believe the pre-1923 system was posted because I got an e-mail once from someone who wanted to confirm their grandfather's insistence that route 1 went through Clarksville.  Seems to me you would really only know that if the routes were posted.  CTB minutes back to 1920 do not mention posting.  The Virginia State Library has CTB minutes from 1919 and supposedly a 1918 Official map but I haven't gone to read them.
The 1923 Official Map shows a shield in use for Virginia - a 'V' with a smaller 'A' inside and the number above the 'A.'
  Never seen a picture but did see one in an antique store nearly 20 years ago.
I have a 1922 Clasons map that describes a posting but does not show a graphic.  This map shows many of the lettered suffix routes in use before Virginia discovered 3-digits could be used on routes.

Here are the 1922 Clasons, 1923 and 1926 Official legends:



The 1926 Official Map is the first to show the spade shape in its earliest form.  This design was conceived by 1925 (there are a couple 1925 dated bridges with this shape and the date).


There was a substantial state line renumbering of state routes in 1940 as well.

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Re: historic look at numbering patterns
« Reply #33 on: October 15, 2013, 08:02:06 PM »

3 Mississippi River Scenic Highway
Are you sure? http://www.davidrumsey.com/luna/servlet/detail/RUMSEY~8~1~201735~3000680:Commercial-Atlas-of-America--Rand-M and http://www.davidrumsey.com/luna/servlet/detail/RUMSEY~8~1~33762~1171478:Rand-McNally-junior-auto-road-map-L both show the MRSH only on the east side of the river through Mississippi, and then crossing at New Roads and following the west side through Port Allen.
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Re: historic look at numbering patterns
« Reply #34 on: October 16, 2013, 08:56:09 AM »

3 Mississippi River Scenic Highway
Are you sure? http://www.davidrumsey.com/luna/servlet/detail/RUMSEY~8~1~201735~3000680:Commercial-Atlas-of-America--Rand-M and http://www.davidrumsey.com/luna/servlet/detail/RUMSEY~8~1~33762~1171478:Rand-McNally-junior-auto-road-map-L both show the MRSH only on the east side of the river through Mississippi, and then crossing at New Roads and following the west side through Port Allen.


Old LA 30 continued the route south of BR, but there is no question that the MRSH entered BR via old LA 3 (Bus US 61/190, US 61, LA 964). The road is still called Scenic Highway to this day, at least in EBR Parish. I think, at least in the MRSH's case, that there could have been multiple stems of the route, which was not uncommon in the auto trail era.
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Re: historic look at numbering patterns
« Reply #35 on: October 20, 2013, 01:22:00 AM »

Northeast:

The Pennsylvania legislature established a large network of state routes in 1911, connecting county seats to each other and to other states. These legislative route numbers were clustered: 1-8 were the route from Harrisburg to Port Jervis, then the actual clustering began with 9-10 north out of Scranton, 11-15 north out of Wilkes-Barre, etc. The first pass of clustering appears to end with 174; then the rest of the original routes to 296 are rather weakly clustered to fill in gaps.

The first signed "traffic routes" were numbered, mostly along auto trails, in 1924 or 1925, with 1-9 east-west in order from south to north, 2-8 north-south from east to west, 11 east-west in the southwest corner (south of 1), 12 extending southwest from Philly (where 2 ended), 13 on an arc from Maryland to Philly, partly overlapping 3, and 19 on a diagonal from Lewistown northeast. By 1926, 41 had been created as a spur of 1 from Lancaster to Harrisburg, and 1927 saw the addition of 10 (north-south between 6 and 8), 17 (east-west between 3 and 5, then overlapping 3 and replacing much of 13 to Philly), and 24 (spur from 4 at Harrisburg to Maryland). These may have been the only signed routes, but the 1927 map shows that all legislative routes (as they existed in 1925) had received two-digit traffic route numbers. In general, north-south routes were even, east-west routes were odd, and Route AB was usually close to Route B. Many routes had multiple sections with gaps in between.

A 1927-28 renumbering got rid of most of these multi-part routes and gave a traffic route number to every new legislative route. Most one-digit and some two-digit numbers were kept, while others were newly-numbered branches. Three-digit numbers through 799 were also branches, e.g. 401 off 1 and 380 off 80. 800 and up were assigned to shorter spurs, numbered in reverse order based on the parent. After 1931, not all legislative routes had signed numbers, and some local roads were signed as part of a longer route. The legislative routes were finally eliminated in 1987, and every route without a traffic route number was assigned a four-digit reference number.

More details in a separate thread.

Maps and logs:
1925 http://www.mapsofpa.com/art9pics/1925-452-2.jpg
1926 http://www.mapsofpa.com/art9pics/1926-1335-2.jpg
1927 http://www.mapsofpa.com/art9pics/1927-272-2.jpg
http://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=5112
http://www.pahighways.com/
http://www.m-plex.com/roads/numbering.html

In 1916, the New Jersey legislature created a system of 13 routes. There was no real pattern other than a very rough clustering. Starting in 1923, the legislature began to add routes with duplicate or missing numbers; all the State Highway Commission could do was add a suffix representing the part of the state (e.g. 18-N was in North Jersey and 18-S was in South Jersey). Signs were apparently posted by 1922.

A completely new system was legislated in 1927, with an obvious clustering pattern: 1-10 radiated from Jersey City, 21-29 from Newark, 30-37 from Trenton, and 38-50 from Camden; 11 may have been assigned late in the process and 12 definitely was, while 13-20 were skipped. An S prefix, e.g. S-25, was used for a short spur, with a few routes such as S-4-A having both prefix and suffix. Those pieces of former routes that did not fit in the new system, yet had already been taken over by the state, kept their old numbers, but with an "N" suffix: 18-N north of Fort Lee (which had been 18-N, explaining the suffix), 4-N from Eatontown to Belmar (later Brielle), 5-N from Morris Plains to Denville, and 8-N from Sussex to New York. 18-N would soon be absorbed by a realigned 1, but 10-N and 11-N were created later from changes to 5 and 7 that left behind the old highways. A final partial renumbering in 1953 got rid of all the prefixes, suffixes, and numbers that conflicted with U.S. Routes.

Maps and logs:
http://www.jimmyandsharonwilliams.com/njroads/1920s/njhwy20s.htm
http://www.alpsroads.net/roads/nj/log/

New England did not have a system of numbered routes until 1922, when the six states got together to lay one out. Although a preliminary plan was completed in 1922, at least some of the states waited several years before marking the routes, especially Maine, which made major changes to 1, 18, 20, and 24. Except for 1, along the east coast, even numbers were supposed to run north-south and odd numbers east-west. The "New England zone", probably meaning that numbers would repeat in other zones, was to extend west to the Hudson River, but New York didn't adopt the plan and instead created its own numbering in 1924 that continued most of the New England routes for consistency.

Odd numbers from 1 to 15 were assigned in a nice sequence from south to north, with 17 and 25 seemingly two pieces of an incomplete second pass (19 to 23 were skipped). Even numbers were not so nice, with the sequence going 30-4-8-2-10-32-12-6-16-26-20-24 from west to east (roughly; some of them crossed along the way). 14 was diagonal, 18 was clearly east-west, and 30 and 32 may have been the beginning of a second pass. 22 was skipped (perhaps reserved for New York, which in fact created 22 along its eastern border) and 28 was added after the original plan. Lettered suffixes were used for alternate routes (and at least one spur, 30B towards Rouses Point). The routes disappeared in 1926-27 where followed by U.S. Highways, except in Connecticut, which seems to have kept them until 1932. 7 was renumbered 2 due to intersecting US 7 (and 2 was newly free, having become US 5).

Three-digit numbers were reserved for state routes, and except for Maine also followed the parity-direction rule. New Hampshire's only original route, 101, appears on a 1922 map; Connecticut and Vermont seem to have started by 1923, with Massachusetts in 1924, Rhode Island about then, and Maine in 1925. Most states did not conflate state maintenance with state numbering at the beginning; Massachusetts and Rhode Island still do not.

New Hampshire started out with only 101, but added 102 to 111 by 1927. It's not clear if these new routes followed the directional parity or if they were assigned in any pattern (some weak clustering may be evident).

Connecticut's first numbers were assigned generally from east to west, with 101-131 and 102-136 fitting the pattern. 3xx routes, assigned by 1926, followed a similar pattern, with 300-336 assigned from west to east and 301-338 from north to south. Higher numbers were assigned either as a second pass or later, and a 299 was probably part of the 3xx system. A complete renumbering in 1932 (except for several of the old New England routes) appears to have given every state-maintained road a number.

Vermont assigned 101 to 105 from south to north; even numbers were not as well arranged, going 104-100-106-102 from west to east. By 1927 the numbers had reached 121 (odd) and 130 (even), and the first 1-2 digit non-New England route had been created, 3 in southwestern Vermont. Routes F1 to F10, as well as F9A and F10A, were created to serve Lake Champlain ferries. (F1 replaced 30B and would soon become US 2; F4 was on Burlington city streets.)

Massachusetts, according to a Boston Globe article, started in 1924 with only a few routes: 101 from Rhode Island to Middleboro (continuing the number from Connecticut through Rhode Island), 109 from Pittsfield to Northhampton, 122 from Rhode Island to Athol, 138 from Fall River to Boston, and 140 from New Bedford to Taunton. The reason for choosing these numbers is unknown, but by 1926 most of them had been extended, and others had been added, reaching at least 141 (odd) and 134 (even, plus 138 and 140). 103 continued from Connecticut through Rhode Island, and 101-106 were all clustered in southeastern Mass. Even numbers after that mostly increased from west to east (108, 110, 114, and 118 didn't fit), and odd numbers were rather roughly clustered from north to south (107, 123, and 131 were out of place; 139 and 141 were the only ones in western Massachusetts). By 1927 several two-digit routes had been added.

Rhode Island was stuck between Connecticut and Massachusetts, and continued routes from each: 101 and 103 came from Connecticut and passed through to Mass, while 122 and 138 came from Massachusetts. 102, 104, and 108 were all north-south in the north part of the state (106 was skipped), but there seems to be no pattern with 107, 112, and 117 (unless someone really liked 2 mod 5).

Maine was probably the last New England state to number its state routes (though at least 100 may be older than 1925), and the only one to eschew directional parity altogether. 100 to 108 were the most major routes, and a rather tight clustering begins with 109 in the southwest and ends at 192 in the southeast. 193 to 212 may have been tacked on afterwards, as they follow no pattern except perhaps a weak clustering.

Maps and logs:
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:1922_New_England_road_map_1.jpg (the best source I have for the preliminary numbers; map 2 has most of Connecticut-Rhode Island)
1926 http://broermapsonline.org/online/NorthAmerica/UnitedStates/NewEngland/
1927 http://www.davidrumsey.com/luna/servlet/detail/RUMSEY~8~1~33737~1171453:Rand-McNally-junior-auto-road-map-M
Connecticut 1930
http://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=5112 (Vermont)

Connecticut http://www.kurumi.com/roads/ct/
Maine http://www.floodgap.com/roadgap/me/
Massachusetts http://www.schlichtman.org/mahighways/

In 1908 the New York legislature adopted a new highway law, including 37 routes along which any state-funded improvements would continue to be maintained by the state. Numbers were clustered, with 1-3 south from Albany, 4 across the Southern Tier, 5-20 moving west across the state, 21-34 to the north, mostly in the Adirondacks, 35 on Long Island, and 36-37 probably added after the initial list was created. Previously, back to 1898, the state had improved county roads but given them back to the counties afterwards. These county highways received sequential numbers beginning with 1 (part of Union Street east of Schenectady), retaining them when taken over as state highways; segments specifically improved as state highways started with 5000 (Ulster Avenue from Kingston to Lake Katrine, part of Route 3). Numbers beginning with 8000 and 9000 were later used for federal aid highways and "special highways" (it's likely that federal aid later spilled into the 9000s), and eventually the state took over maintenance of the original state-improved county highways.

The route numbers were amended at least through 1921, but were only used internally. In 1924 the state began numbering and posting major cross-state touring routes, following the same parity-direction pattern as New England (and Pennsylvania; I'm not sure which state came first). 1, 5, 7, 9, and 30 were extensions of New England routes, while 8 and 17 continued from New Jersey, and 2 and 4 may have matched Pennsylvania (or vice versa). 3 was assigned to the entire New York extent of the Theodore Roosevelt International Highway from Rouses Point to Niagara Falls, and the remaining east-west routes became 11-23 in a rough clustering pattern. North-south routes from 6 to 18 were assigned numbers in order from east to west, but 20-34 appear to have no pattern beyond a weak clustering. Numbering had reached 63 and 80 in 1930, when a major renumbering was carried out and all previously unnumbered state highways received touring route numbers. At this time the directional parity was thrown out. There's no obvious pattern to which numbers were changed, and new numbers have only pieces of rough clustering, including 74-78 in the southwest, 101-115 on Long Island, 116-142 in Westchester County, and 237-280 in the Buffalo-Rochester area. The highest number appears to have been 429; growth afterwards was slow, only reaching 435 by 1940.

Maps and logs:
http://gis.ny.gov/gisdata/quads/drg24/ (shows the state highway numbers)
http://www.gribblenation.net/nyroutes/

Maryland seems to have begun maintaining roads in the 1910s, but waited until 1927 (after the U.S. Highways) to number and sign routes. Only major routes were numbered, with 2-6 in the area south of Baltimore, 7-10 skipped, 12-21 on the Eastern Shore (with 20 crossing a ferry to Baltimore), and 22-37 moving west across the northern part of the state. 313 and 413 were spurs of US 213 on the Eastern Shore.

It appears that in about 1929 all the remaining state highways were assigned numbers, clustered from 38 in the northwest to 378 in the southeast. Subsequent routes received the next available number. However, official maps only label selected routes until the 1939 edition (by which time numbers had reached at least 701), meaning that most were probably not marked at first.

Maps and logs:
http://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=5112
http://www.mdroads.com/

Delaware was the last state in the Northeast, and perhaps the last of the 48, to sign a network of state routes. The state was maintaining roads by 1920, but these were initially known only by name and later by the road numbers that are still in use today. A grid of state routes was created between 1932 and 1936, with even numbers east-west from 2 in the north to 26 in the south (4 may have been initially skipped, but probably started out through Middletown; one map shows 22 on what had become 5 by 1938), with 28 diagonal and 42-44 probably assigned afterwards near Dover, and apparently only three original odd numbers (north-south): 7, 9, and 11. Other routes were numbered to match adjacent states; the 1936 map shows 41 and 52 (Pennsylvania), 48 (New Jersey), and 273, 300, and 404 (Maryland).

Maps and logs:
http://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=5112
http://www.aaroads.com/delaware/
« Last Edit: October 21, 2013, 02:22:47 AM by NE2 »
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Re: historic look at numbering patterns
« Reply #36 on: October 21, 2013, 02:23:01 AM »

And that's it for the original 48 states.
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Re: historic look at numbering patterns
« Reply #37 on: October 21, 2013, 08:46:12 AM »


Delaware was the last state in the Northeast, and perhaps the last of the 48, to sign a network of state routes. The state was maintaining roads by 1920, but these were initially known only by name and later by the road numbers that are still in use today. A grid of state routes was created between 1932 and 1936, with even numbers east-west from 2 in the north to 26 in the south (4 may have been initially skipped, but probably started out through Middletown; one map shows 22 on what had become 5 by 1938), with 28 diagonal and 42-44 probably assigned afterwards near Dover, and apparently only three original odd numbers (north-south): 7, 9, and 11. Other routes were numbered to match adjacent states; the 1936 map shows 41 and 52 (Pennsylvania), 48 (New Jersey), and 273, 300, and 404 (Maryland).

Maps and logs:
http://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=5112
http://www.aaroads.com/delaware/

According to a 1941 Rand McNally in my college library, what is now DE 299 was once DE 4.  At one time it connected to MD 299 but doesn't now.  DE 71 was originally routed southwest from Middletown along the current US 301, and connected to what was then MD 71.
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Re: historic look at numbering patterns
« Reply #38 on: October 21, 2013, 09:06:50 AM »

Yeah, that's what the 1947 official shows, but it's not on the 1946 official: http://www.deldot.gov/archaeology/historic_pres/historic_highway_maps/index.shtml
I think the 1946 map is incomplete, given that it lacks 796, which is on the 1946 Maryland official (and actually, so is 4). Damn the war for putting a gap in official map production.
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Re: historic look at numbering patterns
« Reply #39 on: October 27, 2013, 01:15:14 PM »

So I did some random sampling and Michigan almost certainly did the same as Wisconsin: numbered in reverse order of length.
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Re: historic look at numbering patterns
« Reply #40 on: January 07, 2014, 11:46:11 AM »

the idea of having the legislative route numbers not match the sign ones seems completely perverse.  so one or two states did it because they didn't know any better - but dozens?? 
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Re: historic look at numbering patterns
« Reply #41 on: January 07, 2014, 12:32:31 PM »

the idea of having the legislative route numbers not match the sign ones seems completely perverse.  so one or two states did it because they didn't know any better - but dozens?? 
I see the following:
Michigan: early legislative numbers didn't cover all state highways
Illinois: started with a perfect match, but made changes for better route continuity
Minnesota: again perfectly matched until 1934
Nebraska: legislative numbers were not suited for signs, with trans-state highways essentially changing number at every county seat
California: sign routes were not assigned until after U.S. Routes, and then by the ACSC/CSAA rather than the state
Oregon: similarly assigned after U.S. Routes, though most highway numbers could have been used
Washington: only mismatched in the 1960s when the renumbering was ongoing
Virginia: the state highway department renumbered some routes in 1923 without legislative concurrence, and continued to do so afterwards
Kentucky: the legislative numbering was shite, including spurs identified by fractions (e.g. 58 3/4)
Pennsylvania: like Nebraska, the numbers mostly reset at county seats
New Jersey: the legislature was unable to keep up with changes
New York: like Michigan, only some highways were given legislative route numbers

The only states I see that could have relatively easily used the legislative numbers to create a system similar to that which resulted are California and Oregon.

One obvious reason for not using legislative numbers is that changing a route doesn't require legislative approval. This caused a few states that originally matched to stop doing so.
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Re: historic look at numbering patterns
« Reply #42 on: January 07, 2014, 12:51:55 PM »

the idea of having the legislative route numbers not match the sign ones seems completely perverse.  so one or two states did it because they didn't know any better - but dozens?? 
I see the following:
Illinois: started with a perfect match, but made changes for better route continuity

Then, later on, Illinois's route numbering has two systems.  One, for navigation (signed and on the official state maps); the other is used by IDOT (on plans and some maps).  What started as a simple system of State Bond Issue (SBI) routes morphed into a byzantine system of Federal Aid Interstate (FAI), Federal Aid Primary (FAP), Federal Aid Secondary (FAS), Other Road (OR), and County Road (CR) (the latter two as financed via other means).  Sometimes one can find HB and SB on the bridge plates for the House Bill or Senate Bill that authorized the funding for the route.  One can therefore find SBI-4 (IL-4) on a section of former US-66 that is now incorporated as a frontage road for part of FAI-55 (I-55).
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Re: historic look at numbering patterns
« Reply #43 on: June 12, 2017, 03:54:25 PM »

I don't see a history for Tennessee.
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Re: historic look at numbering patterns
« Reply #44 on: June 13, 2017, 02:12:39 PM »

Maryland, continuing from the numbers 2-37 scattered systematically across the state, gives each county, excluding Baltimore city, at least one alotted set of state route numbers between 38 and almost 400. A lot of these routes go a few miles into an adjoining county. So, in my home county, Harford County, they're given route numbers 152-165. Route 165 goes a little bit into Baltimore County. Routes 157 and 158 are actually in Baltimore County.
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