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Author Topic: Stray (California) State Highway Shields  (Read 1888 times)

coatimundi

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Stray (California) State Highway Shields
« on: August 09, 2016, 08:46:38 PM »

I had never noticed this until this afternoon, when I was driving back from northern Salinas:
https://www.google.com/maps/@36.6970488,-121.6687576,3a,75y,200.66h,85.08t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sCD0_J10ogStzp1uJnSj_MA!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

A few things that make this shield odd:
- 183 is a pretty minor highway. It does provide a way to reach SR 1 from US 101, but the traffic seems to be mostly local.
- Davis Road is not a state highway. It does serve as a defacto bypass of Salinas though.
- This is just south of the Laurel Drive exit off the 101 and this is the shortest route for reaching 183 from 101 south. However, there is no signage for 183 at the 101 exit.
- The approaching intersection serves some commercial properties, but mostly loops back to Calle del Adobe/Laurel. It's a minor intersection.

The only reconciliation I can figure for this is that Boronda Road, at one point, crossed the railroad tracks and reached 183. This section of Davis was built later and actually does reach 183 so, after the closure, they put up signs to route people to the highway.

But this is one of the more random instances I've encountered of a state highway shield's presence. I have seen them before where, when approaching a freeway or other major route, it serves as a sort of "You're almost there" pat on the back. But this one is just weird to me.
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sparker

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Re: Stray (California) State Highway Shields
« Reply #1 on: August 09, 2016, 10:08:22 PM »

Unless someone's doing a local commercial "route", there's no real reason to access northbound 183 from southbound 101; my guess why the shield is there is just to let the driver on Davis know they haven't passed 183 as of yet.  Prior to moving back up to San Jose in 2012, I've used 183 on numerous occasions to get from northbound 101 to the Santa Cruz area and thence north to Redwood Estates, where I normally made my Bay Area base at a friend's house.  Lots of trucks -- agricultural and (I am guesstimating here) long-distance delivery to the Watsonville-to-Santa Cruz corridor.  While a dinky little connector on a map, 183 seems to carry more than its share of regional commercial traffic.  The fact that it's now the route going under the famous "artichoke capital" sign in Castroville is simply icing on the cake, so to speak!
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coatimundi

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Re: Stray (California) State Highway Shields
« Reply #2 on: August 10, 2016, 12:54:07 AM »

I guess it depends on your definition of "lots of". Dole has several farms in that part of the county and its packing plant just south of Castroville, so I would expect that traffic. The other produce goes to Spreckels or Salinas (Tanimura and Antle is in Spreckels). The artichokes though are all west and a little south. I think it's more of a stupid gimmick: Castroville isn't going to have its motto be "Home of the only drag show in Monterey County" and Watsonville already has strawberries, so may as well grab the crop that no one knows how to cook without a ton of butter.
But I've never seen much of any traffic on it, even at rush hour, and I'm on iy at least once per week.

I was looking to get some other instances of other random state shields out there. This can't be that isolated.
I also kinda wonder who put it up. The city?
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sparker

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Re: Stray (California) State Highway Shields
« Reply #3 on: August 10, 2016, 02:34:26 AM »

You want random shields?  Just come up to San Jose sometime.  Most "north-south" (more NNW/SSW) streets emanating from downtown:  Monterey Road, 7th Street, 10th Street, Senter Ave (yeah, that's how it's spelled!) have shields at major cross-street intersections directing traffic west to CA 87 or east to US 101.  And most of them are state-spec shields -- but without the normal Caltrans "property of" stickers on the back.  Most of these seem to have been deployed about the same time that CA 82 was decommissioned south of I-880 (about 2010 or so); the city of San Jose, it seems, would greatly prefer that all traffic heading out of town utilize the freeways rather than surface streets.  Locals blithely ignore this; Monterey Road (original US 101) and Santa Teresa Blvd. (the functional southern extension of CA 87) serve as "safety valves" for US 101 and its "tributary", CA 85 -- effectively de facto Alternate/Business US 101 during morning and afternoon peak-traffic periods.  A friend who lives in Hollister and works in Morgan Hill ("normal" 8-5 hours) claims he hasn't touched 101 during peak hours for months now -- he managed to scope out several alternatives through Gilroy & San Martin that get him where he needs to go much quicker than with the freeway.   I suppose in this particular instance the best laid plans of traffic planners often go astray!
« Last Edit: August 10, 2016, 03:49:31 AM by sparker »
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coatimundi

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Re: Stray (California) State Highway Shields
« Reply #4 on: August 10, 2016, 09:17:30 PM »

87 is a freeway though. I had said in that last post about how it was common for municipalities to put up signs pointing toward their freeways, especially in their CBDs. Oh well though.
Monterey Road seems to have its signals too well-signed and its speed limit too high for the ignorance of the South Valley commuters.
There's also McKean Road, which drops you at the end of the Almaden "Expressway" and provides an easy route to a light rail terminus, regardless of how useless that particular light rail line is.
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sparker

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Re: Stray (California) State Highway Shields
« Reply #5 on: August 11, 2016, 03:40:37 AM »

What's unusual about the San Jose "trailblazer" signage is that it is posted almost randomly on the N-S streets, even directing traffic toward either 87 or 101 along E-W streets that don't even come close to interchanges on either freeway facility.  Just today I was on South 7th Street; there's a "double direction" sign at the Phelan Ave. intersection directing US 101-bound traffic straight ahead, but 87-bound traffic is prompted to turn right on Phelan, which ends a couple of blocks west at Monterey Road -- with no additional directional signage at that intersection.  One would have to (intuitively?) turn left on Monterey Road for about 3/4 mile to the Tully/Curtner intersection before seeing any more trailblazer signage.  In that area, the Tully Road/Curtner Ave. "continuum" is the only E-W facility that has interchanges with both US 101 and CA 87; it would seem logical to direct traffic to continue south on the various streets to Tully or Curtner, then indicate at that point that 101 is to the left and 87 to the right.  Southbound 10th Street has a trailblazer sign at the Alma Ave. intersection directing CA 87 traffic to turn right on Alma (there is access to 87 north directly from Alma, but not 87 south), but 101-bound traffic directs traffic east on Alma -- which goes about four blocks before ending at Senter -- again, with no trailblazer signage at that intersection -- leaving the driver wondering which way to go to get to 101 (the answer is both ways! -- the Story Road interchange is reached by turning north and then east, while a turn south gets you to the aforementioned Tully Road).  It's patently obvious that the San Jose traffic department is shooting itself in the foot if its general policy is to direct through traffic to the nearest freeway (or at least attempting to shoot itself in the foot; I don't think its aim is even that good!).     
« Last Edit: August 11, 2016, 03:08:13 PM by sparker »
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djsekani

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Re: Stray (California) State Highway Shields
« Reply #6 on: August 11, 2016, 04:40:51 PM »

Well, does the infamous CA 30 shield in La Verne count? https://goo.gl/maps/FpMHXDrpBPt

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sparker

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Re: Stray (California) State Highway Shields
« Reply #7 on: August 11, 2016, 05:50:46 PM »

I'd say that was less a "stray" shield than a District 7 signage error; someone didn't read the decommissioning memo!  Unless (pause for dramatic soap-opera music here!).......someone forgot to actually decommission the route, and the signing crew was simply following orders! 
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coatimundi

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Re: Stray (California) State Highway Shields
« Reply #8 on: August 11, 2016, 06:15:40 PM »

There's definitely some laziness in terms of removing signage for decommissioning. There are still a number of SR 1 shields around Oxnard Boulevard.
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Exit58

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Re: Stray (California) State Highway Shields
« Reply #9 on: August 12, 2016, 12:41:44 AM »

There's definitely some laziness in terms of removing signage for decommissioning. There are still a number of SR 1 shields around Oxnard Boulevard.

No that SR 30 shield was replaced in 2012ish. It's been decommissioned since the freeway was built up in that area - over 12 years ago. Funny because they replaced that one, but not the trailblazer further south on Foothill Blvd/US 66.
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