In this episode, we continue our exploration of numbering of state highways by turning our attention to the U.S. highway system. These are the white shields with black numbers. It is the second episode in a four part miniseries on highway numbers in California. In this episode we talk about the history of the US highway system, how the US highways are numbered, how things have changed in the post-Interstate era, and we wax rhapsodic on the nostalgia of US highways. The remaining episodes in the miniseries will explore the numbering of and the history of California’s Interstates, and the signed county route system.
Our interview for this episode was to be with Jim McDonnell of AASHTO on AASHTO’s role in assigning US and Interstate numbers. But we’ve run into scheduling difficulties and haven’t been able to coordinate a recording time by our scheduled drop date. So consider this Part I of the episode. When we can get things coordinated with Jim we’ll record and release Part II.
Here’s the link to the show:
And here’s the link on Anchor.FM:
Here are some relevant links (I may edit this to add more links in later):
- California Highways:
- The Arroyo Seco Parkway and early terminus points of US Route 66 in Los Angeles
- Legend of the Ridge Route; a history of crossing the mountains between the Los Angeles Basin and San Joaquin Valley from wagon trails to Interstates
- The Vague Original Southern Terminus of US Route 91 in the Californian Mojave Desert
- History of the US Highway System (Casey Cooper)
- Ten Years of Federal Aid in Road Building (CQ Researcher)
- California Highways, October 1925 (California Division of Highways)
- From Names to Numbers: The Origins of the U.S. Numbered Highway System (TRB)
- Report of Joint Board on Interstate Highways October 30, 1925
- United States Numbered Highway System (Wikipedia)
Episode 1.09 will continue the numbering miniseries, and we’ll be looking at numbers on and about the Interstate system. Looking forward, Episode 1.10 will look at the County Sign Route system. As always, we’re looking for interviews for future episodes. If you have any leads, please contact us:
- For 1.10: Someone familiar with the county sign route system, either from the Caltrans office that coordinates the program or the a county Public Works person.
- For 1.11: Ideally, an assemblycritter or state senator involved with the Transportation Committee and numbering resolutions
- For 1.12: Someone from the California Transportation Commission
We encourage you to explore our back catalog through this site or our Anchor.FM home.