California Roads - US 101

US 101



SB signs for what are now officially Exits 2C (Broadway) and 3A (Temple St.), but won't be signed for quite some time I'm sure.


Courtesy Jeff O'Connell, a sign every bit as old as the ones above, on the south side of the N. Benton Way overpass near downtown Los Angeles.


Facing south toward the city along the US 101 corridor, courtesy Christy Hodgson. The freeway is at the bottom left.

The next six photos are courtesy Michael Summa and southbound, and date from 1976.


Nearing the tunnel in the Las Cruces area.


The second photo is at the bottom of what is now Exit 173.


Entering Santa Barbara, where one of US 101's many freeway segments ended. They haven't all quite yet been joined together to form a full freeway from Los Angeles to San Francisco, but all of the traffic signals are now gone.


Now into Los Angeles, where US 101 Business has long since ceased to exist.

The next 17 photos are courtesy Lou Corsaro and northbound.


Santa Maria Way is old US 101 in Santa Maria. Why would the middle destination change between two consecutive distance signs? Why is there no area code on the ridesharing sign? There are enough new area codes floating around California that even given the sign's obviously local audience, it ought to be shown. (Except that the MUTCD now prohibits phone numbers from being shown on roadway signs. Whatever is Caltrans to do?)


Obviously Route 101 Business is old US 101. This alignment (Exit 190) is El Camino Real in Bell. In general, anything named El Camino Real is old 101, although more precisely, US 101 was originally designated along the trail already known as El Camino Real for well over a century. There's a fairly good chance Thompson Rd. (Exit 182) is also part of old 101.


Between the last two signs is a gap of about 12 miles. This gap is taken up by the CA 1 concurrency, which you can see by clicking on the big link at bottom.

The next seven photos are once again courtesy Michael Summa, and once again date from 1976.


I believe this is NB. I know it's on El Camino Real, former US 101, in Atascadero.


At the top of the NB ramp to CA 46, and then EB on CA 46 where it joins US 101 NB.


Sanborn Rd. WB at the Monterey interchange in Salinas (now Exit 326C).


In the foreground, California's old-style cutout sign, fashionable even in 1976. In the background, the right BGS is for Sanborn Rd.


If you took that exit in 1976, you would first come to the hairpin sign, and then these other signs at the bottom of the ramp.

The remaining photos are all courtesy Lou Corsaro and northbound.


Lou came back over to US 101 on CA 156. This sign is on 156 EB at their junction (US 101 Exit 336).


Passing through Gilroy and on to the San Jose area. I-280 and I-680 end at each other here, forming a full loop in conjunction with I-80 around the entire bay. (I-880 forms a somewhat more succinct loop.) The newer interchange overlaid the Story Rd. interchange, which became Exit 385. Based on the location of milepost 385, though, Caltrans numbered the northbound 280/680 exit as 384, but the southbound exit as 385B! (That makes Story Rd. Exit 385A when traveling southbound, instead of 385.) This violates the guidance that exits in both directions should have the same numbers, but Caltrans is only very grudgingly using exit numbers in the first place. The southern ramps of the stack (101 NB offramp, 101 SB onramp) fly over the Story Rd. cloverleaf with no connection between the two interchanges.


San Francisco Airport is actually in San Bruno, conveniently located to serve San Jose as well. (San Jose has already moved well past San Francisco in population, and the metro areas have grown together sufficiently that they can't be compared to each other.)


This button copy is perched on the ramp from SFO to US 101 NB, braiding with the I-380 interchange ramps. I-380 is notable for not really connecting to anything (besides, obviously, I-280), but is the all-Interstate connection for the airport. Traffic going anywhere other than Daly City is just as well served by staying on the closer, more direct 101.


South San Francisco, the industrial city! THE industrial city! Accept no substitutes. Sorry, Pittsburgh.


An old drawbridge on an old alignment outside the Giants' ballpark in downtown San Fran.

CA 1 and 1/US 101
Old US 101, San Diego

Back to California Roads
Back to Roads