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Sixteen Interstates The DOT SHOULD Build: FOCUS: Interstate 40, California

As you might expect this route focuses on the Golden State and in fact this also extends a current interstate route to a growing coastal community.
And the big factor supporting this is a good portion of that route is already in place.
Interstate 40 currently connects North Carolina with Barstow CA following the US66 corridor west of Oklahoma City to its current terminus.

The current CA58 corridor east of Bakersfield is almost entirely freeway or dual carriageway with cross traffic, and needs only a few proper motorway junctions plus a motorway round the north side of Mojave to be regarded as complete. After that it is time to start changing out the current green-and-white spades with the red white and blue interstate shield.
Speaking of the former I have had a few interesting alternate designs for the green and white spades that have been the same for at least 40 years, this atop the roughly 40 years of white spades, including 10 of those in its current shape.

Here is a look at what it would look like if it were to follow the examples suggested in the FHWA signposting standards for state route markers, and I think that this would be an improvement for state route markers in that we would have less scrap metal to have to get rid of without all the diecutting and thus a lessened impact upon the environment.
Also the signs would be more readily visible both during the day and particularly at night.
This of course is not the only good new design but is perhaps the most simple.
Here is a look at some of the others I have developed as well:
And I have seen some other good examples of proposed route markers on the Great International Highway Makeover.
Anyway back to the extension of Interstate 40 from Barstow to San Luis Obispo. The latter is a rapidly growing community in a rapidly growing county fuelled by Los Angeles and San Francisco area residents moving away from those major cities and with the main artery US101 having been widened to six lanes in some parts of those areas, and other state routes being widened and straightened and upgraded, like CA1 along the coast CA46 in Paso Robles, CA101 in Atascadero, and CA166 to Santa Maria, and with some 300 000 residents San Luis Obispo county (and neighbouring Santa Barbara coutny, where Santa Maria is located), especially with an ageing city street infrastructure in San Luis Obispo, the city appears to be a perfect endpoint for Interstate 40.
In addition it also provides for a perfect complement for 3dis around town and to Santa Maria.

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In the example on the left you can clearly see that Interstate 40 connects to the south side of San Luis Obispo near McChesney Field (the local airport) and also South Broad Street, Higuera Street, and finally US101. Also note that there is a new route for CA1 between US101 at Marsh Street and Kansas Avenue (which would then be supplanted by the I-240 junction; the I-240 would also get a new junction at Oklahoma Avenue nearby).
In the centre you can see the entire map of the recommended extension according to this plan with an additional spur for Santa Maria and Lompoc as well as a loop for Bakersfield.
And on the right there is a detailed map for Bakersfield. Note that CA58 gets decommissioned so it can go to another route to be developed, and the traditional designation of CA178 is restored to its traditional route.
Also note that there have been at least other proposal to send the I-40 to Paso Robles. Here is a look at why that proposal is WRONG:
*NO potential for 3di routes to relieve traffic in the surrounding area. You would have to cut through highly developed areas as well as lucrative farmland and wineries.
*NO place to put the I-40. You would have to cut through neighbourhoods for a southern approach or demolish vital businesses including the Black Oak restaurant which is adjacent to US101 at the CA46 interchange. And though improving CA46 to a full-fledged freeway at least to Cholame or even to Lost Hills is important it is not important enough for an interstate, not to mention no properly functioning commercial airport.
*The interstate would then bypass and shut out larger and more important communities.
WHY San Luis Obispo works better as a terminus for the I-40:
*Larger population
*University town (California Polytechnic State University)
*MORE opportunities for 3dis to serve more communities. The I-240 would wrap round the north side of San Luis Obispo to form a junction with US101 just northeast of town then connect onto the current CA1/North Santa Rosa Street/Cabrillo Highway, following that past the California Mens Colony to the current CA1/Kansas Avenue junction, which would become part of a new junction with CA1 and the I-240. The new CA1 would connect to US101 at Marsh Street whilst the new I-240 would connect straight to then new CA229 (South Bay Boulevard, connecting Morro Bay to Los Osos; CA229 would follow Los Osos Valley Road to US101) which would be recommissioned.
Also the I-540 connects from a point along the I-40 south of Pozo toward Huasna and the eastern Nipomo Mesa to the east side of Santa Maria and then follows a route to the Orcutt Freeway (CA135) then follows CA1 into Vandenberg Air Force Base and then Lompoc to reach its official terminus.
This also opens up the prospect of a possible future loop round Santa Maria if it continues to grow as it has.
And a major benefit is the San Luis Obispo and Santa Maria areas get connected into cross country routes which even further bolster the potential market for tourism to boost the beaches, Hearst Castle, and the wineries springing up in the area.
It may even enhance greater highway safety for US101 and other area highways and improve traffic flow both locally and regionally.
Now if Goverrnor Schwarzenegger wants to really boost highway construction...HERE is a route he REALLY NEEDS to support.


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