Y Road is a former segment of US Route 101 in northern San Benito County located near the former Southern Pacific Railroad siding Betabel. Y Road prior to 1932 was where US Route 101 would have crossed southbound over the San Benito River towards San Juan Highway and San Juan Bautista. US Route 101 was realigned to the west along the Prunedale Cutoff which eventually left Y Road out of the State Highway System. Featured as the blog cover is the end Y Road southbound where US Route 101 would have originally crossed the San Benito River. Below is a scan of the 1935 Division of Highways Map of San Benito County which depicts Y Road east of US Route 101 as a spur of Legislative Route Number 2.
Part 1; the history of US Route 101 on Y Road in the Betabel area
Betabel siding was located near Y Road to the west over the Pajaro River in Santa Clara County. Betabel lies on land which was once part of Rancho Juristac. By 1869 the Southern Pacific Railroad coast line reached the relocated town site of Gilroy. The Southern Pacific Railroad coast line would be constructed through Chittenden Pass by 1871 which passed by through Rancho Juristac. The Southern Pacific Railroad plotted a siding known as Betabel near the confluence of the Pajaro River and San Benito River. Betabel never seems to have been a popular siding as nearby Sargent Ranch also constructed a siding a couple miles to the north. The siding of Betabel rarely is depicted on maps of Santa Clara County.
Betabel and Y Road were ultimately incorporated as 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 Betabel would ultimately 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"). During 1913 the Pacific Highway was plotted as a major Auto Trail which had Betabel along it's planned route.
The May 1913 California Highway Bulletin describes the selected corridor of LRN 2 passing near Betabel by way of Gilroy and Sargent towards San Juan Bautista.