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Author Topic: CA 2/Glendale Freeway  (Read 939 times)

Max Rockatansky

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CA 2/Glendale Freeway
« on: February 08, 2020, 12:53:45 PM »

This past December I drove much of CA 2 on the Glendale Freeway while visiting the Los Angeles Area.  The Glendale Freeway in it's present configuration opened in segments between 1955 through 1978.  During the 1960s the Glendale Freeway was planned to reach the Hollywood Freeway but the plans were ultimately cancelled during the 1970s.  While the connector between the Golden State Freeway and Hollywood Freeway ultimately was cancelled I've still found in my own travels that CA 2 on the Glendale Freeway is kind of a decent back door to get close to downtown Los Angeles.  The Glendale Freeway south of the Foothill Freeway does include a pretty nice vista of downtown Los Angeles as it snakes through the San Rafael Hills.

https://www.gribblenation.org/2020/02/california-state-route-2-on-glendale.html
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nexus73

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Re: CA 2/Glendale Freeway
« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2020, 06:37:08 PM »

Sssh, don't tell anyone about the Glendale Freeway or it will wind up swamped with traffic! 

There was a time when most Southland freeways were drivable....

Rick
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US 101 is THE backbone of the Pacific coast from Bandon OR to Willets CA.  Industry, tourism and local traffic would be gone or severely crippled without it being in functioning condition in BOTH states.

Concrete Bob

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Re: CA 2/Glendale Freeway
« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2020, 06:51:35 PM »

When I lived in Glendale back between January 1989 and March 1990, I used to take my old 1979 Mazda RX-7 for 80 MPH drives under the 134 ramps on up to the 210 regularly.  I also loved heading south on the 2 from the CHIPS point near 210 and seeing downtown Los Angeles peer out from the hills from my windshield.  That freeway is a total treasure !!  It's too bad it was never finished to at least the 101 in Hollywood. It would have been a blast to drive to Santa Monica.
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: CA 2/Glendale Freeway
« Reply #3 on: February 08, 2020, 06:54:41 PM »

When I lived in Glendale back between January 1989 and March 1990, I used to take my old 1979 Mazda RX-7 for 80 MPH drives under the 134 ramps on up to the 210 regularly.  I also loved heading south on the 2 from the CHIPS point near 210 and seeing downtown Los Angeles peer out from the hills from my windshield.  That freeway is a total treasure !!  It's too bad it was never finished to at least the 101 in Hollywood. It would have been a blast to drive to Santa Monica.

That lack of connectivity to the Hollywood Freeway coupled with the unintuitive alignment for most commuters probably are the biggest factors keeping the Glendale Freeway relatively quiet.  Coupled with I-210 East from I-5 makes for some really scenic freeway driving. 
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sparker

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Re: CA 2/Glendale Freeway
« Reply #4 on: February 09, 2020, 02:15:03 AM »

The connecting bus from LAUPT (Union Station) to Bakersfield for passengers on Amtrak California's San Joaquin service from Bakersfield to Oakland or Sacramento always uses the Glendale/CA 2 freeway up to I-210 and then west back to I-5 in Sylmar to avoid the frequent backups on I-5 from Glendale up through the Valley; the extra 6 miles or so are calculated into the bus schedule.  I've done this twice northbound only -- but conversing with the driver after reaching Bakersfield it seems that the I-210/CA 2 route is utilized southbound as well.  Considering that CA 2 doesn't generally see a lot of congestion except for truly peak commute times -- and the section of I-210 west of there has similar traffic patterns, this seems like a great way to maintain a reasonably tight schedule. 
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mrsman

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Re: CA 2/Glendale Freeway
« Reply #5 on: February 09, 2020, 10:34:10 AM »

Sssh, don't tell anyone about the Glendale Freeway or it will wind up swamped with traffic! 

There was a time when most Southland freeways were drivable....

Rick

The 2 is a great freeway, especially if your ultimate destination is the central part of Downtown.  You can head down Glendale Blvd, which leads to 2nd street, that tunnels under much of Bunker Hill to get to 2nd and Hill.  Even the surface street portions of the route have a lot of grade separations, so you avoid long* traffic signals at Sunset, Beverly-1st, and the western downtown N-S streets excluding Figueroa (i.e. Flower, Hope, Grand, Olive).  The only major cross streets you faced were Alvarado, Temple, and Figueroa.

This was even better before the bike lanes were put up through the 2nd street tunnel.

*long signals, as there are still some signals for the interface with the ramps to Beverly-1st.
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mrsman

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Re: CA 2/Glendale Freeway
« Reply #6 on: February 09, 2020, 10:41:10 AM »

When I lived in Glendale back between January 1989 and March 1990, I used to take my old 1979 Mazda RX-7 for 80 MPH drives under the 134 ramps on up to the 210 regularly.  I also loved heading south on the 2 from the CHIPS point near 210 and seeing downtown Los Angeles peer out from the hills from my windshield.  That freeway is a total treasure !!  It's too bad it was never finished to at least the 101 in Hollywood. It would have been a blast to drive to Santa Monica.

That lack of connectivity to the Hollywood Freeway coupled with the unintuitive alignment for most commuters probably are the biggest factors keeping the Glendale Freeway relatively quiet.  Coupled with I-210 East from I-5 makes for some really scenic freeway driving.

Correct.  Given all the job growth in the Westside, if the Glendale Fwy were extended to the 101, and even more so if the Beverly Hills Fwy got built from there to the 405, this would likely be one of the busiest freeways in L.A.  It would provide a direct connection for the communities along 210 east of Pasadena to the Westside without passing through Downtown L.A.  Combining that with the current traffic from due north and northwest who use it to get into the center of Downtown L.A. by way of 2nd street (and avoiding the worst part of the 110's traffic) means that the drive would not be very pleasant.  The current commuters in La Canada and any of the 210 communities to the west of there are really lucky to have this.

There is a meme that I once saw illustrating the frustration of driving many L.A. area freeways, but when it mentioned the 2, it showed a picture of a very happy driver.  Fun stuff.
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sparker

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Re: CA 2/Glendale Freeway
« Reply #7 on: February 10, 2020, 12:33:26 AM »

The section of the CA 2/Glendale freeway between I-5 and CA 134 is part of the main all-freeway route between downtown L.A. and downtown Pasadena (and vice-versa, of course).  That section can get congested SB between 6am and 9am and NB 3pm-7pm -- but in my experience that cleared out quickly in the midday and evening off-peak hours -- one of the few freeways anywhere near the L.A. urban core that doesn't exhibit regular congestion at midday.  Perhaps its relative lack of commercial traffic is a contributing factor to its status as a free-flowing daytime facility. 
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The Ghostbuster

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Re: CA 2/Glendale Freeway
« Reply #8 on: February 11, 2020, 05:01:39 PM »

Does anyone think the Glendale Freeway should have been completed to the Hollywood Freeway? How about the long-proposed, never-will-be-built tunnel extension to the Antelope Valley Freeway?
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sparker

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Re: CA 2/Glendale Freeway
« Reply #9 on: February 11, 2020, 06:15:46 PM »

Does anyone think the Glendale Freeway should have been completed to the Hollywood Freeway? How about the long-proposed, never-will-be-built tunnel extension to the Antelope Valley Freeway?

Even back in 1953 when it was constructed, the Hollywood Freeway featured the lane separation near the Melrose exit that was intended to accommodate LH ramps to and from the Glendale/Beverly Hills Freeway in a similar fashion to the present I-5/I-710 interchange in the City of Commerce (itself a holdover from '50's design standards).  The Glendale Freeway was completed to its present Glendale Blvd. terminus back in 1962; plans were active to extend it to US 101 as late as 1975, but those plans were put on hold when Adriana Gianturco became Caltrans' chief that year and drastically curtailed freeway planning and building statewide.  Eight years later, when administrations changed along with agency mission, the Echo Park/Silver Lake area through which CA 2 would have run had become quite gentrified, resulting in NIMBY opposition that was echoed within L.A. city government.  At that point the freeway extension was effectively dead.  But the simple truth is that even if that segment connecting to US 101 had been built, the regional politics had shifted enough that a western extension through the south part of Hollywood and into Beverly Hills would be D.O.A. as well.  Given the trajectory of the adopted Glendale Freeway alignment and the configuration of the originally planned 101/2 interchange, the traffic from CA 2 would have simply segued onto NB 101 -- which, unless immediately departing the Hollywood Freeway in its namesake neighborhood, would have been duplicative of other freeway service (i.e., CA 134).  Given all that, the final decision to scrap the freeway extension was hardly surprising.

The tunnel through the San Gabriels from La Canada to near Palmdale was originally contemplated when it was through that LAX would become overutilized to the point where capacity and congestion would render it functionally useless -- and it was thought that a massively expanded Palmdale Airport could take up the slack (all this was in the '70's and early '80's).  But of course the big extended curve through the canyons that is CA 14 was deemed inadequate to handle presumably huge levels of airport traffic -- and the only potential solution was a tunnel, with the 2/210 interchange being the most rational place to collect and disperse traffic (210/605 was considered as well, but inefficient for central L.A. traffic).  But like with most massive speculative projects of this type, nothing ever came of it; while overall LAX volume has increased, it never reached the level of "critical mass" that would render it perennially problematic.  And, frankly, very few L.A.-area residents relished the idea of schlepping out to the desert to get on a plane -- and a tunnel, likely with a significant toll attached -- would have been no one's idea of a pleasant first leg of a journey! 
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: CA 2/Glendale Freeway
« Reply #10 on: February 11, 2020, 09:25:24 PM »

Personally Iím cool with having the Angeles Crest Highway and Angeles Forest Highway stay the two lane back roads they are.   It would be nice to have another option of getting out of San Fernando Valley but if I had to pick I would prefer the planned corridor of CA 118 be developed over new ground. 
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sparker

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Re: CA 2/Glendale Freeway
« Reply #11 on: February 12, 2020, 06:18:03 PM »

Personally Iím cool with having the Angeles Crest Highway and Angeles Forest Highway stay the two lane back roads they are.   It would be nice to have another option of getting out of San Fernando Valley but if I had to pick I would prefer the planned corridor of CA 118 be developed over new ground. 

Along that train of thought -- for several years after the '64 renumbering, the L.A. regional Thomas Guide showed Angeles Forest Hwy. as CA 249 -- taking literally the state highway map's overlay of that existing road with its normal line of circles indicating an alignment not yet formally adopted.  Of course, adoption never took place despite some exhortation at the time from Antelope Valley interests to do so for the sake of navigation from CA 2 (and by extension the Glendale/Pasadena area) out to the desert.  But the road was, starting in the late '60's very well signed as County Road N3; those signs were still posted in the mid-1980's, although many of them disappeared in the 30-odd years since (I was last on this road about 2011, and remember seeing a couple of "rustbucket" N3 signs, but that's about all).   Regarding an eastern CA 118 extension -- it would largely parallel Big Tujunga Road through B.T. Canyon and, if ever developed (at this time unlikely) would likely be as a "modern" 2-lane expressway with periodic passing lanes.  But any further incursion into the San Gabriels by the state highway system is itself unlikely -- particularly since the western terminus of the unbuilt CA 122 was relocated in the late '70's from its original mountain location to CA 14 beteween Acton and Palmdale, indicating that keeping through interregional facilities away from that range had become a Caltrans priority -- which doesn't portend well at all for any future action regarding improvement or signage for CA 249.   
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Sub-Urbanite

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Re: CA 2/Glendale Freeway
« Reply #12 on: February 13, 2020, 01:53:49 PM »

No. Imagine Echo Park with another freeway through it. Imagine the congestion of the 2-101 merge between Echo Park and downtown. No no no.

As for the northern tunnelÖ seems like your ROI is higher with high speed rail than a freeway there.

Does anyone think the Glendale Freeway should have been completed to the Hollywood Freeway? How about the long-proposed, never-will-be-built tunnel extension to the Antelope Valley Freeway?
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don1991

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Re: CA 2/Glendale Freeway
« Reply #13 on: May 30, 2020, 02:50:23 AM »

Personally Iím cool with having the Angeles Crest Highway and Angeles Forest Highway stay the two lane back roads they are.   It would be nice to have another option of getting out of San Fernando Valley but if I had to pick I would prefer the planned corridor of CA 118 be developed over new ground. 

Along that train of thought -- for several years after the '64 renumbering, the L.A. regional Thomas Guide showed Angeles Forest Hwy. as CA 249 -- taking literally the state highway map's overlay of that existing road with its normal line of circles indicating an alignment not yet formally adopted.  Of course, adoption never took place despite some exhortation at the time from Antelope Valley interests to do so for the sake of navigation from CA 2 (and by extension the Glendale/Pasadena area) out to the desert.  But the road was, starting in the late '60's very well signed as County Road N3; those signs were still posted in the mid-1980's, although many of them disappeared in the 30-odd years since (I was last on this road about 2011, and remember seeing a couple of "rustbucket" N3 signs, but that's about all).   Regarding an eastern CA 118 extension -- it would largely parallel Big Tujunga Road through B.T. Canyon and, if ever developed (at this time unlikely) would likely be as a "modern" 2-lane expressway with periodic passing lanes.  But any further incursion into the San Gabriels by the state highway system is itself unlikely -- particularly since the western terminus of the unbuilt CA 122 was relocated in the late '70's from its original mountain location to CA 14 beteween Acton and Palmdale, indicating that keeping through interregional facilities away from that range had become a Caltrans priority -- which doesn't portend well at all for any future action regarding improvement or signage for CA 249.

I still always think of that small final ramp from the 210 to Foothill Blvd. as CA-249, since the CA-2 portion technically follows I-210 east before splitting off again.  I know its not but that little short stretch with the nice wide median just looks so ready to continue on north.  Oh well.
« Last Edit: May 31, 2020, 06:00:07 PM by don1991 »
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don1991

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Re: CA 2/Glendale Freeway
« Reply #14 on: May 30, 2020, 02:52:56 AM »

Does anyone think the Glendale Freeway should have been completed to the Hollywood Freeway? How about the long-proposed, never-will-be-built tunnel extension to the Antelope Valley Freeway?

Yes on both though I know its not a popular opinion.  The Echo Park portion is congested anyway so I don't see how a freeway would make things worse.  I realize that the US-101 Hollywood Freeway is overloaded but some spot widening there should allow for a workable transition.

Traffic always finds a way.  Not building that last stretch has simply made Alvarado and Glendale Blvds. miserable.  I'm not sure how that made Echo Park "livable".  I was sad to see them build those new housing units close to the stub, which seemed to put the death knell into any tiny possibility that the freeway would be finished.
« Last Edit: May 31, 2020, 05:58:55 PM by don1991 »
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mrsman

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Re: CA 2/Glendale Freeway
« Reply #15 on: May 31, 2020, 01:15:32 PM »

I still always think of that small final ramp from the 210 to Foothill Blvd. as CA-249, since the CA-2 portion technically follows I-210 east before splitting off again.  I know its not but that little short stretch with the nice wide median just looks so ready to continue on north.  Oh well.

Personally Iím cool with having the Angeles Crest Highway and Angeles Forest Highway stay the two lane back roads they are.   It would be nice to have another option of getting out of San Fernando Valley but if I had to pick I would prefer the planned corridor of CA 118 be developed over new ground. 

Along that train of thought -- for several years after the '64 renumbering, the L.A. regional Thomas Guide showed Angeles Forest Hwy. as CA 249 -- taking literally the state highway map's overlay of that existing road with its normal line of circles indicating an alignment not yet formally adopted.  Of course, adoption never took place despite some exhortation at the time from Antelope Valley interests to do so for the sake of navigation from CA 2 (and by extension the Glendale/Pasadena area) out to the desert.  But the road was, starting in the late '60's very well signed as County Road N3; those signs were still posted in the mid-1980's, although many of them disappeared in the 30-odd years since (I was last on this road about 2011, and remember seeing a couple of "rustbucket" N3 signs, but that's about all).   Regarding an eastern CA 118 extension -- it would largely parallel Big Tujunga Road through B.T. Canyon and, if ever developed (at this time unlikely) would likely be as a "modern" 2-lane expressway with periodic passing lanes.  But any further incursion into the San Gabriels by the state highway system is itself unlikely -- particularly since the western terminus of the unbuilt CA 122 was relocated in the late '70's from its original mountain location to CA 14 beteween Acton and Palmdale, indicating that keeping through interregional facilities away from that range had become a Caltrans priority -- which doesn't portend well at all for any future action regarding improvement or signage for CA 249.

Where would it go north of Foothill Blvd.  You hit the mountains in half a mile.  To continue onto Angeles Crest, just take the 210 east for one exit.
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sparker

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Re: CA 2/Glendale Freeway
« Reply #16 on: May 31, 2020, 03:45:00 PM »

I still always think of that small final ramp from the 210 to Foothill Blvd. as CA-249, since the CA-2 portion technically follows I-210 east before splitting off again.  I know its not but that little short stretch with the nice wide median just looks so ready to continue on north.  Oh well.

Personally Iím cool with having the Angeles Crest Highway and Angeles Forest Highway stay the two lane back roads they are.   It would be nice to have another option of getting out of San Fernando Valley but if I had to pick I would prefer the planned corridor of CA 118 be developed over new ground. 

Along that train of thought -- for several years after the '64 renumbering, the L.A. regional Thomas Guide showed Angeles Forest Hwy. as CA 249 -- taking literally the state highway map's overlay of that existing road with its normal line of circles indicating an alignment not yet formally adopted.  Of course, adoption never took place despite some exhortation at the time from Antelope Valley interests to do so for the sake of navigation from CA 2 (and by extension the Glendale/Pasadena area) out to the desert.  But the road was, starting in the late '60's very well signed as County Road N3; those signs were still posted in the mid-1980's, although many of them disappeared in the 30-odd years since (I was last on this road about 2011, and remember seeing a couple of "rustbucket" N3 signs, but that's about all).   Regarding an eastern CA 118 extension -- it would largely parallel Big Tujunga Road through B.T. Canyon and, if ever developed (at this time unlikely) would likely be as a "modern" 2-lane expressway with periodic passing lanes.  But any further incursion into the San Gabriels by the state highway system is itself unlikely -- particularly since the western terminus of the unbuilt CA 122 was relocated in the late '70's from its original mountain location to CA 14 beteween Acton and Palmdale, indicating that keeping through interregional facilities away from that range had become a Caltrans priority -- which doesn't portend well at all for any future action regarding improvement or signage for CA 249.

Where would it go north of Foothill Blvd.  You hit the mountains in half a mile.  To continue onto Angeles Crest, just take the 210 east for one exit.

Most fanciful potential uses for those long extended CA 2 ramps involve heading directly into a long tunnel; likely one intended to emerge somewhere in the upper reaches of Tujunga Canyon, with several more tunnels, each burrowing through a ridge, to follow until it finally came out near Acton or Vincent to segue into CA 14 and/or the long-proposed CA 122.  Such a proposal has, over the years, been introduced and reintroduced with added incentives like HSR or even a BART-like dedicated commute system.  Tunnel plans proliferated when it was proposed in the mid-80's that Palmdale Airport be expanded to divert air traffic away from LAX for various reasons (prominent among which were complaints by folks living in the landing path of that facility).  That never happened, so while tunnel proposals crop up from time to time, they hardly bombard the media like they did 35 years ago.   Nevetheless, those rather spectacular ramps seem to figure into quite a few cross-range proposals (the north end of I-605 has also been considered a likely "starting point" for more easterly proposals intended to descend to the desert near Littlerock or Pearblossom). 
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