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Author Topic: Old US 101 and old LRNs around San Juan Bautista  (Read 1843 times)

Max Rockatansky

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Old US 101 and old LRNs around San Juan Bautista
« on: October 18, 2017, 08:31:48 AM »

I noticed something interesting while doing map research for CA 183, it would seem that a couple roads out of San Juan Bautista were once state maintained back in the 1930s.  Specifically it would seem that San Juan Highway north to US 101 was state maintained in addition to San Juan Grade Road south to Salinas, both are apparent on the 1935 Divisions of Highways Map of San Benito County:

https://www.davidrumsey.com/luna/servlet/detail/RUMSEY~8~1~247336~5515379:San-Benito-County-?sort=Pub_List_No_InitialSort%2CPub_Date%2CPub_List_No%2CSeries_No&qvq=q:california%2Bdivision%2Bof%2Bhighways;sort:Pub_List_No_InitialSort%2CPub_Date%2CPub_List_No%2CSeries_No;lc:RUMSEY~8~1&mi=59&trs=163

Both roads are shown state maintained on the 1934 State Highway Map:

https://www.davidrumsey.com/luna/servlet/detail/RUMSEY~8~1~239594~5511896:Road-Map-of-the-State-of-California?sort=Pub_List_No_InitialSort%2CPub_Date%2CPub_List_No%2CSeries_No&qvq=q:caltrans;sort:Pub_List_No_InitialSort%2CPub_Date%2CPub_List_No%2CSeries_No;lc:RUMSEY~8~1&mi=73&trs=86

But no longer were by the 1936-37 edition of the State Highway Map:

https://www.davidrumsey.com/luna/servlet/detail/RUMSEY~8~1~239591~5511894:Road-Map-of-the-State-of-California?sort=Pub_List_No_InitialSort%2CPub_Date%2CPub_List_No%2CSeries_No&qvq=q:caltrans;sort:Pub_List_No_InitialSort%2CPub_Date%2CPub_List_No%2CSeries_No;lc:RUMSEY~8~1&mi=71&trs=86

So my question is what Legislative Route Numbers did San Juan Highway and San Juan Grade Road actually carry?  I would surmise that San Juan Highway was possibly part of LRN 67 but I haven't seen anything really supporting that theory.
« Last Edit: October 18, 2017, 12:04:46 PM by Max Rockatansky »
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: Lost LRNs in and around San Juan Bautista
« Reply #1 on: October 18, 2017, 12:04:12 PM »

It would seem I found an answer, it appears that San Juan Highway and San Grade Road were part of US 101/LRN 2 originally.  The alignment of US 101 directly from Salinas northeast to San Juan Bautista can be seen on the 1930 edition of the state highway map:

https://www.davidrumsey.com/luna/servlet/detail/RUMSEY~8~1~239599~5511899:Road-Map-of-the-State-of-California?sort=Pub_List_No_InitialSort%2CPub_Date%2CPub_List_No%2CSeries_No&qvq=q:caltrans;sort:Pub_List_No_InitialSort%2CPub_Date%2CPub_List_No%2CSeries_No;lc:RUMSEY~8~1&mi=76&trs=86

By 1932 US 101 appears to have been pushed west of San Juan Bautista but the previous route is still under state maintenance. 

https://www.davidrumsey.com/luna/servlet/detail/RUMSEY~8~1~239597~5511898:Map-Showing-State-Highway-System--C?sort=Pub_List_No_InitialSort%2CPub_Date%2CPub_List_No%2CSeries_No&qvq=q:caltrans;sort:Pub_List_No_InitialSort%2CPub_Date%2CPub_List_No%2CSeries_No;lc:RUMSEY~8~1&mi=75&trs=86

A quick look at the GSV of the San Juan Grade has me intrigued, it looks like a pretty hostile and narrow little road.  I suppose it makes sense that US 101 went through San Juan Bautista since it was on the El Camino Real:



I might be inclined to go have a look this week possibly, not every day I stumble onto something odd like this that early in the signed highway era in California.
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kphoger

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Re: Old US 101 and old LRNs around San Juan Bautista
« Reply #2 on: October 18, 2017, 12:09:24 PM »

I'm probably the only one who read the topic and wondered what in the world LRNs could possibly have to do with US-101.
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: Old US 101 and old LRNs around San Juan Bautista
« Reply #3 on: October 18, 2017, 12:28:15 PM »

I'm probably the only one who read the topic and wondered what in the world LRNs could possibly have to do with US-101.

The really weird thing is how many acronyms and abbreviations are really generally just accepted as part of California Highway speak.  Here is a general list of what I've observed used over the years:

LRN:  Legislative Route Number; these are generally referenced to unsigned state highways prior to the 1964 renumbering or highways that were never signed afterwards.
SSR:  Signed State Route; generally referenced to signed state highways prior to the 1964 renumbering.
CA:  Pretty much just the two letter designation everyone uses for a state highway but for some reason this seems to often refer to post-1964 signed state highways.
CASR:  California State Route; for some reason this popular also and seemed to be a combination of SSR and CA.
SCR:  Signed Couty Route; basically referring to the letter designated signed county highways.

Generally when I'm writing a road blog or some sort of historical thread on something in California I'll usually refer to full name of what I'm talking about following by the acronym from then on.  Really this is the only state I've lived in where this just seems to be part of the road geek culture.  Most other states I've lived in you generally hear what you expect; State, County, US, Interstate, etc.  I suppose there are some oddities like Trunk-Lines in Michigan or State Road in Florida.
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kkt

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Re: Old US 101 and old LRNs around San Juan Bautista
« Reply #4 on: October 18, 2017, 12:40:15 PM »

I thought every California highway had a LRN, which before 1964 was different from the signed route number.  One of the things the 1964 renumbering did was make all the LRNs the same as the signed route number for all the signed routes.
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TheStranger

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Re: Old US 101 and old LRNs around San Juan Bautista
« Reply #5 on: October 18, 2017, 12:53:05 PM »

I thought every California highway had a LRN, which before 1964 was different from the signed route number.  One of the things the 1964 renumbering did was make all the LRNs the same as the signed route number for all the signed routes.

That is correct.  There were several roads that existed pre-1964 only as LRNs but then got signed (i.e. recent subjects Route 201 and 216); in comparison, very few existed only as LRNs with no signage history ever (one that I can think of is the portion of LRN 98 in Sacramento (north of former Bypass US 50) that crossed the H Street Bridge and traveled up Howe Avenue).
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: Old US 101 and old LRNs around San Juan Bautista
« Reply #6 on: October 18, 2017, 04:50:55 PM »

I thought every California highway had a LRN, which before 1964 was different from the signed route number.  One of the things the 1964 renumbering did was make all the LRNs the same as the signed route number for all the signed routes.

That is correct.  There were several roads that existed pre-1964 only as LRNs but then got signed (i.e. recent subjects Route 201 and 216); in comparison, very few existed only as LRNs with no signage history ever (one that I can think of is the portion of LRN 98 in Sacramento (north of former Bypass US 50) that crossed the H Street Bridge and traveled up Howe Avenue).

Some other examples that I can think of that were renumbered but never signed were LRN 94/CA 188 near Lake Tahoe and LRN 36/CA 194 near Downiville.  I want to say CA 226 was never signed but I don't have my notes in front of me, that should be in the CA 63 thread links.
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Kniwt

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Re: Old US 101 and old LRNs around San Juan Bautista
« Reply #7 on: October 18, 2017, 06:22:52 PM »

The California Highways and Public Works archive contains several articles about the original San Juan Grade and the eventual relocation of US 101 to its current location. Here's one of the more interesting ones, from October 1931:

https://archive.org/stream/californiahighwa193031calirich#page/n903/mode/2up
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: Old US 101 and old LRNs around San Juan Bautista
« Reply #8 on: October 18, 2017, 11:30:52 PM »

The California Highways and Public Works archive contains several articles about the original San Juan Grade and the eventual relocation of US 101 to its current location. Here's one of the more interesting ones, from October 1931:

https://archive.org/stream/californiahighwa193031calirich#page/n903/mode/2up

Interesting to see that article, weird to consider that much of that relocation is still largely part of US 101 today.  It's kind of odd to me that the San Juan Grade was built in 1915 when a much lower pass was available to the west.  Really the difference in distance between modern US 101 to San Juan Bautista from Salinas is only about 2 miles longer than the San Juan Grade.
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TheStranger

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Re: Old US 101 and old LRNs around San Juan Bautista
« Reply #9 on: October 19, 2017, 12:45:54 PM »

The California Highways and Public Works archive contains several articles about the original San Juan Grade and the eventual relocation of US 101 to its current location. Here's one of the more interesting ones, from October 1931:

https://archive.org/stream/californiahighwa193031calirich#page/n903/mode/2up

Interesting to see that article, weird to consider that much of that relocation is still largely part of US 101 today.  It's kind of odd to me that the San Juan Grade was built in 1915 when a much lower pass was available to the west.  Really the difference in distance between modern US 101 to San Juan Bautista from Salinas is only about 2 miles longer than the San Juan Grade.

Isn't the planned Prunedale Bypass alignment closer to San Juan Grade, interestingly enough?  Though it doesn't seem that project will ever happen (with spot improvements to the existing 101/156 routing occurring instead).
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: Old US 101 and old LRNs around San Juan Bautista
« Reply #10 on: October 19, 2017, 08:34:42 PM »

The California Highways and Public Works archive contains several articles about the original San Juan Grade and the eventual relocation of US 101 to its current location. Here's one of the more interesting ones, from October 1931:

https://archive.org/stream/californiahighwa193031calirich#page/n903/mode/2up

Interesting to see that article, weird to consider that much of that relocation is still largely part of US 101 today.  It's kind of odd to me that the San Juan Grade was built in 1915 when a much lower pass was available to the west.  Really the difference in distance between modern US 101 to San Juan Bautista from Salinas is only about 2 miles longer than the San Juan Grade.

Isn't the planned Prunedale Bypass alignment closer to San Juan Grade, interestingly enough?  Though it doesn't seem that project will ever happen (with spot improvements to the existing 101/156 routing occurring instead).

Yeah...I can't ever see 101 getting improvements near Prunedale or pretty much anywhere in Monterey County now that all the traffic lights are long gone.  156 is the route that really needs the help, it ought to be an expressway with the traffic it gets between 1 and 101.

Incidentally speaking of the San Juan Grade, I did drive over it today.  The San Benito side largely is worn down to the concrete sub layer with minimal asphalt left, it almost felt like a mini Ridge Route.  The Monterey County side is much more well maintained with a fairly modern resurfacing.  If the entire route was maintained a little better on the San Benito side it would be a much more viable alternate between Salinas and Hollister IMO.  I'll have an album up sometime tonight....
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: Old US 101 and old LRNs around San Juan Bautista
« Reply #11 on: October 19, 2017, 11:47:55 PM »

Finished my photo album on the San Juan Grade, lots of really old concrete that I would speculate might be from the service era of 101:

https://www.flickr.com/gp/151828809@N08/M865pg
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Kniwt

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Re: Old US 101 and old LRNs around San Juan Bautista
« Reply #12 on: October 20, 2017, 12:31:19 AM »

If the entire route was maintained a little better on the San Benito side it would be a much more viable alternate between Salinas and Hollister IMO.

San Juan Grade is pretty much the only viable direct bicycle route between Salinas and SJB/Hollister (and is used by many annual events). And yes, that San Benito side is nasty, nasty, nasty to ride and a real challenge to one's tender manly and/or womanly bits on the saddle.

However ... if the road were resurfaced, it would definitely attract more cars from 101, especially on weekends and other heavy-traffic periods, which usually coincide with the periods of bicycling. As it is now, there are already way too many (presumably) locals who drive way, way too fast on San Juan Grade. Adding bike lanes or wider shoulders? As I'm sure you noticed, an absolute non-starter on that alignment.

Having cycled San Juan Grade several times in both directions, I'm definitely of mixed view on the whole thing. I absolutely hate riding the nasty San Benito side, but I'd hate even more having to compete with a steady line of 50mph cars passing just inches away from me.
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: Old US 101 and old LRNs around San Juan Bautista
« Reply #13 on: October 20, 2017, 09:41:28 AM »

If the entire route was maintained a little better on the San Benito side it would be a much more viable alternate between Salinas and Hollister IMO.

San Juan Grade is pretty much the only viable direct bicycle route between Salinas and SJB/Hollister (and is used by many annual events). And yes, that San Benito side is nasty, nasty, nasty to ride and a real challenge to one's tender manly and/or womanly bits on the saddle.

However ... if the road were resurfaced, it would definitely attract more cars from 101, especially on weekends and other heavy-traffic periods, which usually coincide with the periods of bicycling. As it is now, there are already way too many (presumably) locals who drive way, way too fast on San Juan Grade. Adding bike lanes or wider shoulders? As I'm sure you noticed, an absolute non-starter on that alignment.

Having cycled San Juan Grade several times in both directions, I'm definitely of mixed view on the whole thing. I absolutely hate riding the nasty San Benito side, but I'd hate even more having to compete with a steady line of 50mph cars passing just inches away from me.

Interestingly I only encountered one car but two cyclists on the Monterey side.  I'm fairly certain that the Monterey side is covering that the ancient concrete surface, it certainly is smooth enough to make you think you can go a little TOO fast.  I don't recall any places where I don't think two vehicles couldn't pass at low speed, but given were talking a road built during the Ridge Route era it was obviously designed with 20-30 MPH in mind.  I would like to see some Historic US 101 signage, its pretty rare to see that surface preserved like that....not to mention it probably wouldn't hurt given San Juan Bautista pulls some tourism already.
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: Old US 101 and old LRNs around San Juan Bautista
« Reply #14 on: October 21, 2017, 12:50:18 AM »

Put together a little road blog on the San Juan Grade:

http://surewhynotnow.blogspot.com/2017/10/old-us-101-san-juan-grade.html
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