US Route 101 through Templeton of San Luis Obispo County, California was once carried through the community via Main Street. Templeton was host to an early bypass realignment which saw US Route 101 moved to it's present grade as an expressway in 1953. US Route 101 is depicted below on the 1935 Division of Highways Map of San Luis Obispo County when it was aligned on Main Street.
Part 1; the history of US Route 101 in Templeton
Templeton traces it's origins to 1886 when land on what had been Rancho de Paso Robles was purchased by the West Coast Land Company. The West Coast Land Company sought to establish a town site and siding on the Southern Pacific Railroad south of nearby Paso Robles. This community was intended to be called "Crocker" in honor to Southern Pacific Railroad President Charles F. Crocker. Ultimately Charles F. Crocker requested the community be named "Templeton" in reference to his son. Templeton can be seen on the 1890 George F. Cram Railroad Map of California alongside the Southern Pacific Railroad.
Templeton was ultimately part of the American El Camino Real which began being signed as an Auto Trail starting in 1906. The era of State Highway Maintenance through Templeton would begin with the 1909 First State Highway Bond Act which was approved by voters in 1910. One of the highways approved through the 1909 First State Highway Bond Act was a 481.8 mile highway originating at the City Limits of San Francisco which terminated in San Diego. This highway would ultimately come to be known in time as Legislative Route Number 2 ("LRN 2"). In 1913 the Pacific Highway was plotted as a major Auto Trail which had Templeton along it's planned route.
The 1920 Rand McNally Highway Map of California shows El Camino Real and the Pacific Highway following LRN 2 through Templeton.
The 1924 Rand McNally Map of California shows the California Banff Bee-Line Highway co-signed with the Pacific Highway on LRN 2 through Templeton.
The initial draft of the US Route System was approved by the Secretary of Agriculture during November of 1925. The US Route System within California was approved by California Highway Commission with no changes recommended by January 1926
. The initial alignment of US Route 101 ("US 101") was planned to follow LRN 2 from San Francisco to San Diego via Templeton. US 101 is shown on a map published in the 1926 California Highways & Public Works following LRN 2 south from San Francisco towards San Diego.
The December 1927 California Highways & Public Works notes four hazardous curves between Templeton and Paso Robles had recently been straightened.
As noted in the intro; US 101/LRN 2 is depicted on the 1935 Division of Highways Map of San Luis Obispo County on Main Street in Templeton.
The May/June 1952 California Highways & Public Works notes US 101/LRN 2 had been converted to four lanes between Atascadero and Templeton by July 1951. This four lane segment is noted to be a component of a larger divided highway project which was planned to extend through Templeton to Paso Robles.
According to the July/August 1955 California Highways & Public Works
US 101/LRN 2 south of had been expanded to four lanes immediately south of Paso Robles through Templeton by summer 1953. The "Templeton Bypass" realigned US 101/LRN 2 onto a new expressway grade which replaced Main Street. The impact of the Templeton Bypass on traffic safety and business volume is shown in comparison to the rest of San Luis Obispo County. Templeton is shown to have a significant decline in overall sales throughout the community after the opening of the Templeton Bypass. The Templeton Bypass connected to the previously completed four lane expressway segment south of the community in 1951.
During June of 1958 the Division of Highways sought and obtained permission to relocate US 466 off of LRN 125 between Atascadero and Shandon. The Division of Highways noted that CA 41/LRN 33 between Paso Robles-Shandon had recently been improved and was by far the favored highway for traffic. LRN 125 between Atascadero-Shandon is noted to be substandard in design and despite being part of US 466 since 1933 was never signed as such. US 101 through Paso Robles is noted to be in the process of going through a freeway upgrade.. The new alignment of US 466 would see it briefly multiplex CA 41/LRN 33 west of Shandon to Paso Robles via 24th Street and US 101/LRN 2 south via Spring Street onward to Templeton and Atascadero.
The new alignment of US 466 multiplexing CA 41/LRN 33 west of Shandon and US 101/LRN 2 south of Paso Robles through Templeton is depicted on the 1959 Division of Highways Map.
US 466 was approved for truncation from Morro Bay to CA 127 in Baker by the AASHO Executive Committee during June 1964. This truncation would see US 466 terminate on Baker Boulevard at the intersection with CA 127/Death Valley Road.
Interchange structures on modern US 101 show the Main Street Interchange was completed in 1966 and the Las Tables Road Interchange in 1967. Following the completion of the Las Tables Road Interchange US 101 was converted to full freeway standards in Templeton.
Part 2; a drive on former US Route 101 on Main Street through Templeton
Modern US 101 southbound accesses it's former alignment on Main Street in Templeton at Exit 226.
Southbound Main Street crosses over modern US 101 and begins to approach downtown Templeton.
Southbound Main Street enters downtown Templeton where the Templeton Feed & Grain Silo is the most apparent structure just near 4th Street.
The Templeton Feed & Grain Silo appears largely the same today as it did in the July/August 1955 California Highways & Public Works. Templeton Feed & Grain has been present as a business in downtown Templeton since 1946
Main Street south of downtown Templeton intersects Vineyard Drive. Vineyard Drive is where modern US 101 can be rejoined.
Main Street can be followed south of downtown Templeton beyond Templeton High School to a dead end at the northbound lanes of modern US 101. The dead end in Main Street can be used to access the Salinas River which is east of the Union Pacific Railroad.