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Author Topic: Why US 491 and not 291?  (Read 1184 times)

Henry

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Re: Why US 491 and not 291?
« Reply #25 on: January 10, 2019, 10:25:22 AM »

I can live with 491 being chosen, since it meets up with 191 at Monticello, UT.

Even when 666 still existed, I'd take a hard pass on it, given its reputation as the Devil's Number, and I do not miss it at all.

I do understand 420 a little better.
Along with 13 and 69...
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kphoger

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Re: Why US 491 and not 291?
« Reply #26 on: January 10, 2019, 02:18:21 PM »

I'm not religious, that's why I didn't know the meaning behind 666.

Ancient peoples tended to find more significance in numbers than we do in our society.  In Judaism, the number 7 was perhaps the most significant, indicating completeness.  God created the heavens and the earth in seven days (including the day of rest), for example.  The number 6, therefore, came to mean not complete.  7 = good, 6 = bad.  So, although the number 666 does not appear in the Jewish scriptures, if it did it would have a most decidedly negative connotation.

Fast-forward to the 1st Century AD.  Judaism held a special place under Roman rule, meaning that the Jews were often exempted from laws requiring adherence to the state religion, but that special relationship was becoming strained.  Part of the reason it was becoming strained is that Christians were considered to be trouble-makers, and Christianity was still seen by many as a cult within Judaism.  Christian churches therefore found themselves ostracized by the Jews and persecuted by the Romans.  It was in this religious environment that a letter was written by a Christian leader named John, to be delivered and read to various churches in Asia Minor.  In the letter, there was a small section devoted to specific encouragement or chastisement for each congregation, but the bulk of the letter was written as general encouragement to persevere in the faith in the face of heavy persecution.  It's possible—though debated—that the letter was written by the same John as wrote the Gospel of John, and also that it was written from exile on the island of Patmos.

At any rate, the letter is an example of apocalyptic literature.  The chief thing that sets apocalyptic literature apart is its heavy use of symbolism.  Generally, nothing in an apocalypse should be taken at its literal face value.  I like to explain this kind of symbolism to people by comparing it to a political cartoon of an elephant fighting a donkey.  We naturally understand those symbols because we're part of this current society, but someone from 17th-century Spain would likely have no clue what the cartoon was about.  This letter came to be known as the "Book of Revelation" or the "Revelation to Saint John."

One of the symbols used in the letter was to refer to the Emperor by number rather than name.  To do this, the author employed the use of gematria, in which each letter is assigned a numerical equivalent.  The reader would then un-translate the number to find its meaning.  Depending on which of the surviving manuscript copies you look at, this number was either 616 or 666.  For reasons perhaps related to the connotation of the number 6 outlined above, or perhaps unrelated, 666 came to be regarded as the correct original.  Either way, though, the number works out in gematria to mean "Caesar Nero" (the difference between 616 and 666 being explained by either including or dropping a final n from Nero's name, in that the Greek form is Neron and the Latin form is Nero).

Apocalyptic literature also generally focuses on end-of-the-world stuff and the final triumph of good over evil.  The Book of Revelation does touch on this subject but, in my opinion, far less than most modern readers assume it does.  In my estimation, the majority of the symbolism referred to current events and people and places and situations of the day, rather than to things yet to come.  Whenever the subject matter would move to things of the"end times, the author would do a sort of "reset" and start a new "cycle" again, beginning with current events of the day.  But such is not the only interpretation of Revelation, and a great many scholars over the years have understood this "Beast," whose number is 666, to be a great Antichrist to come on the scene at any time and wreak havoc on the Church.

With all of this put together—the one whom the number identifies being in opposition to God, the digits of the number connoting something imperfect or even evil, the fact that it comes from a type of literature focused on the grand spiritual battle between good and evil—it's easy to understand how the number came to be associated with the devil.  A lot of people even today are superstitious about the number 666, and it's common for a hotel to skip from room 665 to 667 in order to avoid booking guests into a room with that number.



Back when I drove on US-666 (Cortez to Monticello), I only saw a single route shield, and that was way up on a stoplight mast arm in Monticello—too high up for vandals to get to, I imagine.
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Re: Why US 491 and not 291?
« Reply #27 on: January 10, 2019, 02:21:04 PM »

The number 6, therefore, came to mean not complete.  7 = good, 6 = bad.  So, although the number 666 does not appear in the Jewish scriptures, if it did it would have a most decidedly negative connotation.

The relevant number is 666, not just three sixes in a row. It has nothing to do with digits.
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kphoger

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Re: Why US 491 and not 291?
« Reply #28 on: January 10, 2019, 02:43:07 PM »

The number 6, therefore, came to mean not complete.  7 = good, 6 = bad.  So, although the number 666 does not appear in the Jewish scriptures, if it did it would have a most decidedly negative connotation.

The relevant number is 666, not just three sixes in a row. It has nothing to do with digits.

Except that 666 = 600 + 60 + 6.  This matters.  For example...

Genesis 4:24 — If Cain is avenged sevenfold, truly Lamech seventy-sevenfold.
Matthew 18:22 — Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy times seven."

That is, if 7 is a complete number, then 77 is a super-complete number.
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sparker

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Re: Why US 491 and not 291?
« Reply #29 on: January 10, 2019, 06:21:53 PM »

OK:  The decimal/base 10 system was in widespread use 2K years ago -- and since -- so breaking down 666 (prime factoring) we get (37)(3 squared)(2).  For those scholars out there, since divisibility by 2 or 3 is commonplace with wide application -- does 37, a medium-high prime number, have any historical or religious significance? 

BTW, both of the numbers used to replace US 666 (191, 491) are prime: not evenly divisible by any lower numbers but themselves and 1.  I'd sure like to see anyone attach any significance to those numbers (although some charlatans might take a stab at it!). 
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Re: Why US 491 and not 291?
« Reply #30 on: January 11, 2019, 01:45:50 PM »

does 37, a medium-high prime number, have any historical or religious significance? 

This thread is close to derailing into gematria and theology, but...
Yes, according to gematria, 37 is the number for "Word" (ρημα)—that is, the living Word of God.
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sparker

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Re: Why US 491 and not 291?
« Reply #31 on: January 11, 2019, 03:53:33 PM »

^^^^^^^^
Hmmm.....that indeed might be applicable; it may well be appropriate to say a prayer before venturing onto the 2-lane section of CA 37, K-rail or not (and more so in foul weather like we've been having for a couple of weeks).
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KeithE4Phx

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Re: Why US 491 and not 291?
« Reply #32 on: January 11, 2019, 09:17:52 PM »

^^^^^^^^
Hmmm.....that indeed might be applicable; it may well be appropriate to say a prayer before venturing onto the 2-lane section of CA 37, K-rail or not (and more so in foul weather like we've been having for a couple of weeks).

That was true years ago of IN 37 between Bloomington and Martinsville (now the newest section of I-69), between its opening in 1950 and when it was finally 4-laned in 1972.  It was one of the most dangerous highways in the state when it was a 2-lane road.
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abqtraveler

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Re: Why US 491 and not 291?
« Reply #33 on: January 11, 2019, 09:31:42 PM »

I can live with 491 being chosen, since it meets up with 191 at Monticello, UT.

Even when 666 still existed, I'd take a hard pass on it, given its reputation as the Devil's Number, and I do not miss it at all.

I do understand 420 a little better.
Along with 13 and 69...

Another curious thought...why was 491 chosen instead of an x64 designation (I think 364 would be the next available number), given that it would have intersected its parent route in Shiprock had a x64 designation been selected?
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US 89

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Re: Why US 491 and not 291?
« Reply #34 on: January 11, 2019, 11:34:35 PM »

Another curious thought...why was 491 chosen instead of an x64 designation (I think 364 would be the next available number), given that it would have intersected its parent route in Shiprock had a x64 designation been selected?

Probably because it’s a N/S route. While the directional numbering conventions don’t technically apply to 3dus routes, for the most part they’re followed. So overall, the x91 designation was likely seen as preferable to an x60 or x64 designation.
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Interstate clinches: 14, 82, 215 (UT), 225, 345, 444, 575
US clinches: 491, 550

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abqtraveler

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Re: Why US 491 and not 291?
« Reply #35 on: January 12, 2019, 04:52:12 PM »

Another curious thought...why was 491 chosen instead of an x64 designation (I think 364 would be the next available number), given that it would have intersected its parent route in Shiprock had a x64 designation been selected?

Probably because it’s a N/S route. While the directional numbering conventions don’t technically apply to 3dus routes, for the most part they’re followed. So overall, the x91 designation was likely seen as preferable to an x60 or x64 designation.

There are plenty of even numbered 3-digit US routes that run N-S. For example: US Routes 220, 550, 130, and 206 to name a few. It wouldn't be completely unprecedented if x64 was selected instead of 491.
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Re: Why US 491 and not 291?
« Reply #36 on: January 12, 2019, 05:58:59 PM »

There are plenty of even numbered 3-digit US routes that run N-S. For example: US Routes 220, 550, 130, and 206 to name a few. It wouldn't be completely unprecedented if x64 was selected instead of 491.
Sure, there are a few.  But as US 89 said, for the most part N/S routes have been assigned odd numbers (see the maps on this page). 
Possibly for that reason, NMDoT had the (perhaps mistaken) idea that the replacement number for 666 needed to be odd (see post #7 in this thread).
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DJStephens

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Re: Why US 491 and not 291?
« Reply #37 on: January 15, 2019, 11:18:31 PM »

The number doesn't bother me any, although I don't see why 666 had to be renumbered in the first place. Just because US 66 was decommissioned in 1985 doesn't mean it was an obsolete numbering.

It wasn’t renumbered because 66 was gone. It was because keeping the route number as 666 had become too much of a headache for all parties involved. 166 and 266 are still around.

Exactly-there's plenty of precedent for 3dus routes whose parents no longer exist (see also US 138, 199, and more). The primary reason for renumbering was that sign theft got to a point where none of the three involved DOTs could actually keep the US 666 signs up.

For the same reason, I'm sure AZ was happy when they got to renumber their US 666 segment as US 191.
There's a fire and brimstone preacher at testament Baptist Church in Safford.  His church is on the old US 666.  Imagine he was very happy.
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Re: Why US 491 and not 291?
« Reply #38 on: March 05, 2019, 02:36:24 PM »

I thought I already posted in this topic before, and while I understand the rationale for going with 491 (so not as to duplicate 291 or 391 in New Mexico, Colorado, or Utah), I’ve got bump this topic and ask: Why didn’t those states and AASHTO go with another unused (albeit orphaned) child of US-66 not already used on a state route in any of those states, like US-366 or US-766, to keep former 666’s ties to US-66 intact?
« Last Edit: March 05, 2019, 02:46:18 PM by Rover_0 »
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US 89

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Re: Why US 491 and not 291?
« Reply #39 on: March 05, 2019, 03:13:24 PM »

I thought I already posted in this topic before, and while I understand the rationale for going with 491 (so not as to duplicate 291 or 391 in New Mexico, Colorado, or Utah), I’ve got bump this topic and ask: Why didn’t those states and AASHTO go with another unused (albeit orphaned) child of US-66 not already used on a state route in any of those states, like US-366 or US-766, to keep former 666’s ties to US-66 intact?

I have two guesses: one is that US 66 didn't exist anymore, so a new x66 designation would have been technically incorrect, similar to the modern US 121. The other is that it was a N/S route, so decision makers may have incorrectly assumed it had to be an odd number.
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Interstate clinches: 14, 82, 215 (UT), 225, 345, 444, 575
US clinches: 491, 550

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Rover_0

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Re: Why US 491 and not 291?
« Reply #40 on: March 09, 2019, 12:13:09 AM »

I thought I already posted in this topic before, and while I understand the rationale for going with 491 (so not as to duplicate 291 or 391 in New Mexico, Colorado, or Utah), I’ve got bump this topic and ask: Why didn’t those states and AASHTO go with another unused (albeit orphaned) child of US-66 not already used on a state route in any of those states, like US-366 or US-766, to keep former 666’s ties to US-66 intact?

I have two guesses: one is that US 66 didn't exist anymore, so a new x66 designation would have been technically incorrect, similar to the modern US 121. The other is that it was a N/S route, so decision makers may have incorrectly assumed it had to be an odd number.

Those are probably right, but I wished that there would be more of an effort to preserve/repurpose orphaned routes and keep the occasional “Wrong direction” US Route (particularly 3-digit US Routes) intact where reasonable in such a renumbering.
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