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Author Topic: Are turnpikes in Oklahoma and Kansas referred to by name or number?  (Read 1088 times)

rte66man

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The Chickasaw is still the Chickasaw even though it is now a free road.

Most of the Chickasaw isn't a free road, just the useful part between SH-7 and US-177. This was given the designation of "SH-7 Spur" (why we have to deal with "spur" designations when we have the stronger precedent of letter suffixes like 7D, I don't know). It would make sense for people to still call it the Chickasaw though.

Did ODOT change the BGS on OK7 approaching the Chickasaw and put a shield on it?
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kphoger

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I use the "Canal Route" phrase to sidestep the whole conversation about I-135 being only a child of I-35, which carries less traffic and is basically a blind corridor through southeast Wichita.

Except where it isn't.  I remember when we had a cable tech working here from Arkansas on a temporary basis, he got directions from someone that involved taking Kellogg to "I-35", which meant the Canal Route.  He called dispatch from clear out by the east Lowe's (just past the actual I-35 interchange) because he couldn't figure out how to follow the directions from there.
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stridentweasel

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Except where it isn't.  I remember when we had a cable tech working here from Arkansas on a temporary basis, he got directions from someone that involved taking Kellogg to "I-35", which meant the Canal Route.  He called dispatch from clear out by the east Lowe's (just past the actual I-35 interchange) because he couldn't figure out how to follow the directions from there.

I hear stories on here about people in Wichita misnaming I-135 as "I-35" rather often, and it's kind of fascinating.  How did this happen?  It was never I-35 in reality.  It was I-35W, but wasn't the Turnpike already I-35 at that point?  It was proposed to be I-35 on paper, when US 50 from Newton to Emporia was proposed to be part of I-35, but that never went anywhere outside of some paper documents, right?

It's always surprised me, because I've spent a lot of time in Wichita, but I suppose I would have been exposed to it IRL by now if I had ever actually lived in Wichita.

There's gotta be a way to fix this so people don't end up confused about it, but how?  Take down the Interstate shields and let it be US 81 (it could be another one of those weird hidden Interstate designations)?  Re-number it (if people already call it "I-35," I doubt changing it to I-33 would help)?  Have a public ad campaign?

Does a similar situation happen anywhere else in the U.S.?  Do people mistakenly refer to I-476 as "I-76?"  Is I-195 or I-295 in New Jersey ever mistaken for I-95?  I could honestly understand why people might call I-294/Tri-State Tollway "I-94" by mistake, but does that ever happen?

I feel like the "Mystery of I-35" in Wichita could be a whole documentary.
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Brandon

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I could honestly understand why people might call I-294/Tri-State Tollway "I-94" by mistake, but does that ever happen?

That I-35 in Wichita thing is odd.  Here, the Tri-State Tollway is more likely to get called "I-294" north of Lake-Cook Road by south suburbanites (who associate the Tri-State with I-294) or non-locals (who don't quite realize it's different).  However, around Chicago, names predominate with a few exceptions ("355" being one), thus you're more likely to hear "Tri-State" and "north" or "south" for I-94 (which is actually marked east-west there).
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kphoger

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Take down the Interstate shields and let it be US 81 (it could be another one of those weird hidden Interstate designations)

This is what I think should happen to I-135 anyway, because all but a half-mile of it is multiplexed with US-81.  That remaining southern bit can simply be signed with [TO] banners.
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kphoger

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FWIW...  My ex-boss claimed that calling the Canal Route "I-35" is just as correct as calling the local street Ar-kansas rather than Arkan-saw:  simply a local variation in pronunciation.  So, basically, he says Wichitans "pronounce" I-135 differently.

I was not convinced.
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corco

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Does a similar situation happen anywhere else in the U.S.?  Do people mistakenly refer to I-476 as "I-76?"  Is I-195 or I-295 in New Jersey ever mistaken for I-95?  I could honestly understand why people might call I-294/Tri-State Tollway "I-94" by mistake, but does that ever happen?

I feel like the "Mystery of I-35" in Wichita could be a whole documentary.

I do occasionally hear people in Boise call I-184 "I-84" (usually "the connector" though - never "I-184")  - but it doesn't sound quite as widespread as the I-135 Wichita thing.

J N Winkler

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FWIW...  My ex-boss claimed that calling the Canal Route "I-35" is just as correct as calling the local street Ar-kansas rather than Arkan-saw:  simply a local variation in pronunciation.  So, basically, he says Wichitans "pronounce" I-135 differently.

I was not convinced.

I wouldn't be either.

I think the confusion occurs because "the Turnpike" is the identifier for the real I-35 that locally predominates.  One option might be simply to lift tolls on the Turnpike, so that it is called I-35 instead.

I am not too keen on "hiding" the I-135 designation because of the potential for confusion with I-235, which has been called (and signed) "81 Bypass" within living memory.  (The bottom mile or so of I-135 was once marked as I-235, too.)
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sprjus4

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Here in Virginia, Iíve heard at least a few people refer to the VA-168 freeway as I-68.

The VA-164 freeway is largely referred to as I-164 - I can understand this one more - a freeway linking I-264 and I-664, logically should be Interstate 164.

Iíve never heard I-64 used incorrectly though on a spur route.
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stridentweasel

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I think the confusion occurs because "the Turnpike" is the identifier for the real I-35 that locally predominates.  One option might be simply to lift tolls on the Turnpike, so that it is called I-35 instead.

Or build I-35 along US 50 from Newton to Emporia, as in the original plan.  It's sometimes a preferred route from southbound I-35 to westbound US 54, anyway.  This would be a shunpiker's fantasy and the KTA's nightmare.

I'm not convinced, however, that we can keep building new major freeways without user fees, unless we switch from the gas tax to a VMT charge, which has its own set of logistical nightmares.  But that's another topic.

Quote
I am not too keen on "hiding" the I-135 designation because of the potential for confusion with I-235, which has been called (and signed) "81 Bypass" within living memory.  (The bottom mile or so of I-135 was once marked as I-235, too.)

Bring back named freeways?  Sign it as "Canal Route Freeway" and put that at the top of the signs?  Maybe KDOT could get an MUTCD variance for that.  This option seems just as unlikely as all the others, though.
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Roadgeekteen

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I think the confusion occurs because "the Turnpike" is the identifier for the real I-35 that locally predominates.  One option might be simply to lift tolls on the Turnpike, so that it is called I-35 instead.

Or build I-35 along US 50 from Newton to Emporia, as in the original plan.  It's sometimes a preferred route from southbound I-35 to westbound US 54, anyway.  This would be a shunpiker's fantasy and the KTA's nightmare.

I'm not convinced, however, that we can keep building new major freeways without user fees, unless we switch from the gas tax to a VMT charge, which has its own set of logistical nightmares.  But that's another topic.

Quote
I am not too keen on "hiding" the I-135 designation because of the potential for confusion with I-235, which has been called (and signed) "81 Bypass" within living memory.  (The bottom mile or so of I-135 was once marked as I-235, too.)

Bring back named freeways?  Sign it as "Canal Route Freeway" and put that at the top of the signs?  Maybe KDOT could get an MUTCD variance for that.  This option seems just as unlikely as all the others, though.
Is I-35 or US 50 clogged enough for a Newton to Emporia freeway to be necessary?
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stridentweasel

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Is I-35 or US 50 clogged enough for a Newton to Emporia freeway to be necessary?

Not that I'm aware of.  And I've driven both several times.
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In_Correct

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Take down the Interstate shields and let it be US 81 (it could be another one of those weird hidden Interstate designations)

This is what I think should happen to I-135 anyway, because all but a half-mile of it is multiplexed with US-81.  That remaining southern bit can simply be signed with [TO] banners.

Or upgrade the rest of U.S. 81 and designate it as Interstate 135.
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rte66man

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Take down the Interstate shields and let it be US 81 (it could be another one of those weird hidden Interstate designations)

This is what I think should happen to I-135 anyway, because all but a half-mile of it is multiplexed with US-81.  That remaining southern bit can simply be signed with [TO] banners.

Or upgrade the rest of U.S. 81 and designate it as Interstate 135.

Drove from I-80 at York, NE down 81 to Salina a few years ago. A surprising amount of traffic and an upgrade would be useful, especially as it would have to include a bypass of Concordia.  Also wondered why the diamond  interchange with US36 on the south side of Belleville favored 36 over 81.
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mvak36

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Take down the Interstate shields and let it be US 81 (it could be another one of those weird hidden Interstate designations)

This is what I think should happen to I-135 anyway, because all but a half-mile of it is multiplexed with US-81.  That remaining southern bit can simply be signed with [TO] banners.

Or upgrade the rest of U.S. 81 and designate it as Interstate 135.

Drove from I-80 at York, NE down 81 to Salina a few years ago. A surprising amount of traffic and an upgrade would be useful, especially as it would have to include a bypass of Concordia.  Also wondered why the diamond  interchange with US36 on the south side of Belleville favored 36 over 81.

I've always thought that it should be interstate grade from Salina up to I-80.

This next part is fictional, but I would like the freeway to go further north following US81 up to Norfolk and then the NE-35 corridor up to Sioux City and replacing I-135 with either I-31 or I-33.
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kphoger

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US 50 from Newton to Emporia ... It's sometimes a preferred route from southbound I-35 to westbound US 54, anyway. 

If I'm only going to KC, then I usually take US-50.  If, however, I'm driving the 700 miles to Minnesota, then I stick with the Turnpike.

Bring back named freeways?  Sign it as "Canal Route Freeway" and put that at the top of the signs?  Maybe KDOT could get an MUTCD variance for that.  This option seems just as unlikely as all the others, though.

I-135 should simply be signed as US-81.  Locals can still call it the Canal Route, but maybe they'd stop calling it I-35 then.

Is I-35 or US 50 clogged enough for a Newton to Emporia freeway to be necessary?

AADT runs between approximately 4000 to 6000 along there.  But what you don't realize from those numbers alone is that almost the entire stretch runs 45-60% heavy commercial traffic.  It also has a reputation for bad accidents at crossroads.

Or upgrade the rest of U.S. 81 and designate it as Interstate 135.

Doesn't solve the problem described, which is Wichitans calling I-135 "I-35".
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Brandon

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I am not too keen on "hiding" the I-135 designation because of the potential for confusion with I-235, which has been called (and signed) "81 Bypass" within living memory.  (The bottom mile or so of I-135 was once marked as I-235, too.)

Bring back named freeways?  Sign it as "Canal Route Freeway" and put that at the top of the signs?  Maybe KDOT could get an MUTCD variance for that.  This option seems just as unlikely as all the others, though.

No need for a variance.  Just follow what IDOT does around Chicago: https://goo.gl/maps/Nnj2wkAQQ3FNsJAg9
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sprjus4

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AADT runs between approximately 4000 to 6000 along there.  But what you don't realize from those numbers alone is that almost the entire stretch runs 45-60% heavy commercial traffic.  It also has a reputation for bad accidents at crossroads.
Perhaps 4 lane widening?
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kphoger

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AADT runs between approximately 4000 to 6000 along there.  But what you don't realize from those numbers alone is that almost the entire stretch runs 45-60% heavy commercial traffic.  It also has a reputation for bad accidents at crossroads.

Perhaps 4 lane widening?

There are four-lane spots for passing.  I'm not saying the whole thing needs to be four-laned or become an Interstate, but just that traffic is more of a problem on it than first meets the eye.

By way of reference, I-10 between Fort Stockton and I-20 has AADT in roughly the same ballpark.
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J N Winkler

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AADT runs between approximately 4000 to 6000 along there.  But what you don't realize from those numbers alone is that almost the entire stretch runs 45-60% heavy commercial traffic.  It also has a reputation for bad accidents at crossroads.

Perhaps 4 lane widening?

We have built flat-country freeway segments with sub-10,000 AADT, but the Newton-Emporia length of US 50 is due to receive only additional passing lanes and an extension of the four-lane segment just west of Emporia.

I live in west Wichita near the I-235/Zoo Boulevard interchange, so I don't use US 50 to shunpike on Wichita-to-Kansas-City trips:  that carries a distance penalty of six miles and a time penalty of (usually) ten minutes.  The K-254 expressway is also on my way, and that allows me to cut out 21 miles' worth of tolls on the Towanda segment of the Turnpike (total distance from US 54/Exit 50 in Wichita to free I-35/Exit 127 in Emporia is 77 miles).
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bwana39

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Except where it isn't.  I remember when we had a cable tech working here from Arkansas on a temporary basis, he got directions from someone that involved taking Kellogg to "I-35", which meant the Canal Route.  He called dispatch from clear out by the east Lowe's (just past the actual I-35 interchange) because he couldn't figure out how to follow the directions from there.

I hear stories on here about people in Wichita misnaming I-135 as "I-35" rather often, and it's kind of fascinating.  How did this happen?  It was never I-35 in reality.  It was I-35W, but wasn't the Turnpike already I-35 at that point?  It was proposed to be I-35 on paper, when US 50 from Newton to Emporia was proposed to be part of I-35, but that never went anywhere outside of some paper documents, right?

It's always surprised me, because I've spent a lot of time in Wichita, but I suppose I would have been exposed to it IRL by now if I had ever actually lived in Wichita.

There's gotta be a way to fix this so people don't end up confused about it, but how?  Take down the Interstate shields and let it be US 81 (it could be another one of those weird hidden Interstate designations)?  Re-number it (if people already call it "I-35," I doubt changing it to I-33 would help)?  Have a public ad campaign?

Does a similar situation happen anywhere else in the U.S.?  Do people mistakenly refer to I-476 as "I-76?"  Is I-195 or I-295 in New Jersey ever mistaken for I-95?  I could honestly understand why people might call I-294/Tri-State Tollway "I-94" by mistake, but does that ever happen?

I feel like the "Mystery of I-35" in Wichita could be a whole documentary.


I-135 through  Wichita was Originally I-35W (until some time in the mid-seventies...actually while it still had a downtown gap)).  While the routing of I-35 with no qualifier followed the Kansas Turnpike, it was a bypass. For the locals it was just "the Turnpike".

In DFW, the E and W really don't get a bunch of use.  (and I admit in Dallas in particular the freeway names (Stemmons & South RLT) get used more than I-35 in any sense.

This said, the letter suffixes don't seem to get used by the locals anywhere. So I-35W would likely be called I-35.

« Last Edit: May 21, 2020, 05:37:13 PM by bwana39 »
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kphoger

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We have built flat-country freeway segments with sub-10,000 AADT, but the Newton-Emporia length of US 50 is due to receive only additional passing lanes and an extension of the four-lane segment just west of Emporia.

Heavy commercial traffic counts on US-50 between Newton and Emporia (two lanes with occasional passing lanes) actually exceed heavy commercial traffic counts on US-54/400 (divided expressway, partial freeway) between Kingman and Wichita.
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stridentweasel

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Heavy commercial traffic counts on US-50 between Newton and Emporia (two lanes with occasional passing lanes) actually exceed heavy commercial traffic counts on US-54/400 (divided expressway, partial freeway) between Kingman and Wichita.

Here's one explanation for that--

I'm not sure how standardized trucking companies are across the board in their routing practices, but when I drove for a major trucking company (far from the biggest, but you've probably seen them), we were strongly encouraged, but not required, to use certain routes based on where they wanted us to stop for fuel.  We were supposed to meet a certain percentage of assigned fuel stops (although I can no longer remember what the percentage was).  Probably most times I had a load that took me from/through Kansas City and through Tucumcari, I would have an assigned fuel stop at the AMBest Newell Truck Plaza at Exit 31 off I-135/US 50 in Newton.  My company didn't restrict our use of toll roads (and that Elite Pass sure was nice), but they did want us to use their assigned fuel stops.  So, even though I would have preferred the route that uses the most freeways practical, which would have been I-35/Kansas Turnpike to US 54, stopping at that AMBest in Newton meant I was going to get off I-35 just before the Turnpike and follow US 50 (through Newton) to K-61 to US 54.

This route might be common knowledge to some, but to those who prefer freeways (tolled or un-tolled), it's a bit of a surprise.
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Heavy commercial traffic counts on US-50 between Newton and Emporia (two lanes with occasional passing lanes) actually exceed heavy commercial traffic counts on US-54/400 (divided expressway, partial freeway) between Kingman and Wichita.

Here's one explanation for that--

I'm not sure how standardized trucking companies are across the board in their routing practices, but when I drove for a major trucking company (far from the biggest, but you've probably seen them), we were strongly encouraged, but not required, to use certain routes based on where they wanted us to stop for fuel.  We were supposed to meet a certain percentage of assigned fuel stops (although I can no longer remember what the percentage was).  Probably most times I had a load that took me from/through Kansas City and through Tucumcari, I would have an assigned fuel stop at the AMBest Newell Truck Plaza at Exit 31 off I-135/US 50 in Newton.  My company didn't restrict our use of toll roads (and that Elite Pass sure was nice), but they did want us to use their assigned fuel stops.  So, even though I would have preferred the route that uses the most freeways practical, which would have been I-35/Kansas Turnpike to US 54, stopping at that AMBest in Newton meant I was going to get off I-35 just before the Turnpike and follow US 50 (through Newton) to K-61 to US 54.

This route might be common knowledge to some, but to those who prefer freeways (tolled or un-tolled), it's a bit of a surprise.

I'm actually driving from Phoenix to Kansas City in a few weeks and was going to do the US 54 / K-61 / US 50 route.
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skluth

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Here in Virginia, Iíve heard at least a few people refer to the VA-168 freeway as I-68.

The VA-164 freeway is largely referred to as I-164 - I can understand this one more - a freeway linking I-264 and I-664, logically should be Interstate 164.

Iíve never heard I-64 used incorrectly though on a spur route.

I remember most people calling 164 an interstate instead of a VA state route when I lived in Portsmouth from 2003-07, especially once the Pinner's Point Interchange opened and it became the preferred route from Shea Terrace (my neighborhood) to the MMBT, Richmond, and DC. I think I even referred to it as an interstate on some occasions, probably because VA 164 leads to I-664 and then I-64. I agree that nobody ever confused it with I-64. But calling VA 164 an interstate was very common and is probably more used now that the MLK Freeway has been completed to I-264. I don't know if the newest section is up to interstate standards - the old London Blvd interchange didn't - but I believe everything from Pinner's Point west to I-664 would qualify and I-164 isn't used elsewhere in VA. It should be an interstate.

I don't remember anyone refer to VA 168 as I-68. I don't think we even called it 168. Most of us called it going to the Outer Banks because I-464 to VA 168 to NC 168 to US 158 is essentially one highway, though locals usually shunpiked along Battlefield Blvd to avoid paying the toll in Chesapeake. For example, when a couple I knew bought a place in Grandy, their directions were literally "take the road to the Outer Banks and take the second left after the stoplight in Grandy." VA 168 was called by whatever local name it had, whether it be the Chesapeake Expressway, Battlefield Blvd, or Tidewater Drive. But I left in 2007 and given the high population turnover in Tidewater I wouldn't be surprised if I-68 started being used, however incorrectly.

I see from newer Google imagery that the little farmer's stand at the US 158 intersection is no longer there. I used to stop there every time I drove out that way; they had great produce including locally grown bananas on occasion.
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