Since the inception of the US Route System the history of US Route 101 has been significantly tied to the city of Los Angeles. The original surface alignment of US Route 101 was signed in Los Angeles during 1930 following Boyle Avenue, Plesant Avenue, Macy Street, Main Street, Sunset Boulevard, Cahuenga Boulevard and Ventura Boulevard. From 1940 through 1960 US Route 101 in Los Angeles would be shifted gradually to the Hollywood Freeway, Santa Ana Freeway and Ventura Freeway. US Route 101 was truncated from the Mexican Border to Interstate 5 in Los Angeles along the Santa Ana Freeway during 1963. Featured as the blog cover is the Cahuenga Pass Freeway (now Hollywood Freeway) during 1940 approaching Cahuenga Boulevard and Highland Avenue.
Part 1; the history of US Route 101 in Los Angeles
Los Angeles was part of the American El Camino Real which began being signed as an Auto Trail starting in 1906. The era of State Highway Maintenance to Los Angeles 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").
Although Los Angeles was serviced by LRN 2 the through highway in the city was maintained locally. The California Highway Commission would be prevented from maintaining highways in incorporated cities outside of cooperative projects until 1933.
During the 1913 the Pacific Highway was established as an organized Auto Trail Association borne out of the Good Roads movement. The Pacific Highway was applied over the north/south highway connecting the discontinuous LRN 2 through Los Angeles. The gap in LRN 2 through Los Angeles can be seen on the 1917 California State Automobile Association Map. LRN 2 (seen in red) can be seen entering the Los Angeles city limit via Cahuenga Boulevard and departing south of downtown via Whittier Boulevard.
During 1933 the legislative barriers preventing the California Highway Commission from maintaining State Highways within incorporated cities was lifted. Thusly, the gap of LRN 2 through was Los Angeles by way of following existing US Route 101 was filled.
The September 1933 California Highways & Public Works referenced a grade separation being funded for US Route 101 on Sunset Boulevard at Glendale Boulevard.
The January 1936 California Highways & Public Works featured the resurfacing of US Route 101/US Route 66 on Sunset Boulevard from Laveta Terrace to Santa Monica Boulevard.
1941 Legislative Chapter 142 altered the definition of LRN 166 by way of changing the defined endpoints. The new definition of LRN 166 was follows:
"LRN 172 (3rd Street) at the intersection of Downey Road to LRN 174 near Norwalk."
LRN 166 between 3rd Street and 9th Street is shown shifted from Indiana Street to Downey Road on the 1942 Division of Highways Map. LRN 166 on Downey Road between Whittier Boulevard and 9th Street is shown to be a component of US Route 101 Bypass.
The 1953 Division of Highways Map depicts a new spur routing of LRN 2 existing as part of the Santa Ana Freeway west of Downey Road/LRN 166 towards downtown Los Angeles. LRN 166 along Downey Road is shown connecting as south of Whittier Boulevard to the Santa Ana Freeway. It isn't clear if the Santa Freeway west of Downey Road was signed as US Route 101 or US Route 101 Bypass.
Cahuenga Pass was part of the Spanish El Camino Real and was the site of two battles during Mexican Rule. Cahuenga Pass is the lowest mountain pass in the Santa Monica Mountains at 745 feet above sea level.
US Route 101 Exit 12B accesses Vineland Avenue.
US Route 101 southbound on the Hollywood Freeway approaching Cahuenga Pass.
US Route 101 Exit 12A access to Lankershim Boulevard and Cahuenga Boulevard.
The bridge work on the US Route 101 portion of the Hollywood Freeway tends retain some of the classic Arc Deco aesthetic. In the first photo below the Barham Boulevard Bridge can be seen. According to Daniel Faigin of CAhighways.org the clips of the electric trolley line can be seen beneath the Barham Boulevard Bridge.
Access to the Hollywood Museum can be found at US Route 101 Exit 9C towards Highland Avenue.
US Route 101 Exit 9 accesses Cahuenga Boulevard.
US Route 101 Exit 9A accesses Vine Street.
US Route 101 Exit 8C accesses Gower Street whereas Exit 8B accesses Hollywood Boulevard.
US Route 101 Exit 8A accesses Sunset Boulevard.
US Route 101 Exit 7 south accesses Western Avenue and picks up California State Route 2 eastbound from Santa Monica Boulevard. From 1954 until the 1964 State Highway Renumbering US Route 66 would have multiplexed US Route 101 on the Hollywood Freeway from Santa Monica Boulevard to the Four Level Interchange.
US Route 101/California State Route 2 Exit 6B accesses Melrose Avenue and Normandie Avenue.
US Route 101/California State Route 2 Exit 6A accesses Vermont Avenue.
US Route 101/California State Route 2 Exit 5B accesses Silver Lake Boulevard whereas Exit 5A accesses Benton Way.
California State Route 2 eastbound splits from US Route 101 southbound at Exit 4B towards Alvarado Street.
US Route 101 Exit 4A accesses Glendale Boulevard and Union Avenue.
US Route 101 southbound accesses California State Route 110 via the Four Level Interchange in downtown Los Angeles via Exit 3B. The Hollywood Freeway terminates at the Four Level Interchange and US Route 101 continues on the Santa Ana Freeway towards Interstate 5.