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Old 11-18-2010, 01:18 PM
Location: Ohio
408 posts, read 976,288 times
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On the west coast, the interstate system is known by names, not numbers, such as the San Diego Freeway. I know that almost all of the highways in Greater Cincinnati had names at one time or another, but never all at the same time and only a few of them are still in use. These are the names I came up with:
State 126--Ronald Reagan Cross County Highway (name still used)
State 562--Norwood Lateral (name still used)
Interstate 71--Northeast Expressway (name never used)
Interstate 74--?
Interstate 75--Mill Creek Expressway (name used until the early 70s)
Interstate 275--Donald H. Rolf Circle Freeway (name never used, although there's a sign for it)
Interstate 471--?
?--Red Bank Expressway (name still used)
Were there any others? Why were the names not used?
On a related note, my parents used to refer to Highway 128 as Bypass 50, but that was 40 years ago! And I never knew why it was nicknamed that.
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Old 11-18-2010, 01:42 PM
Location: St. Louis, MO
183 posts, read 571,084 times
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I would say because it's easier to just say 71, 74, 75, 275. 126 isn't any easier than just saying Ronald Reagan same with 562 vs. Norwood Lateral.
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Old 11-18-2010, 02:15 PM
Location: Philaburbia
32,309 posts, read 59,585,988 times
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I refuse to call the Cross County Highway anything but the Cross County Highway. (hi, CrewChief )
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Old 11-18-2010, 04:14 PM
Location: Cincinnati
632 posts, read 1,028,724 times
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Originally Posted by Ohiogirl81 View Post
I refuse to call the Cross County Highway anything but the Cross County Highway. (hi, CrewChief )
I second this.
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Old 11-18-2010, 05:23 PM
Location: Cambridge, MA
4,748 posts, read 11,325,606 times
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Originally Posted by austiNati View Post
I second this.
Third! Not only for political reasons, either. It was simply the Cross County Highway for years n' years. Why change what you call it?
I-74 is the Northwest Expressway, but not a soul uses that term - even tourists.
Bypass 50 was an actual route until sometime in the '70s. It started in Cleves to the west and Camp Dennison to the east, and was the way around the city before it was supplanted by 275. Most of its course was shared by what was then that of Ohio 126 (and still is on the eastern leg.) At Ross aka Venice, it followed Ohio 128 to go back south. When that designation was eliminated, the highway department had plenty of extra "bypass" and US 50 signs to use as spares.
The Red Bank Expressway has never been assigned a route number. In Kentucky perhaps it'd have one, but it's too short a road and it also doesn't connect two numbered highways.
I'm sure 471 was given a name, but what that is I can't say.
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Old 11-18-2010, 06:03 PM
Location: Cincinnati
577 posts, read 1,037,959 times
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It will always be the Cross County Highway to me!

The State Route numbers always throw me off. There are parts of Kemper Road that are 126 as is Cross County. I couldn't imagine being from out of town and having someone tell to me take 126.

Route 32 is the James A. Rhodes Appalacian Highway if anyone is interested.
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Old 11-18-2010, 08:08 PM
112 posts, read 126,340 times
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I wouldn't put the Red Bank "Expressway" on the list without Columbia Parkway. Columbia Parkway is more of an expressway, whereas Red Bank is more like a connector at the north end, and a simple arterial street for much of the remainder.

It is interesting how some areas prefer numbers versus names. Chicago is big on names (Kennedy, Edens, Eisenhower, Dan Ryan, Bishop Ford, etc. expressways/freeways). I think that the reasons for Cincinnati's mixed usage has to do some with history and with the numbers involved.

I-75 has the most sorted history. The first stretch was built in 1941 is next to GE Aircraft Engines in Evendale (then Wright Aeronautical). The southbound lanes of the Lockland Split, which used to contain the entire highway, were built in 1943. This original stretch of the highway between Glendale-Milford Road and Hartwell Avenue was originally called the Wright-Lockland Highway. However, further extension south to Paddock in the late 1940s and Elmwood Place in the 1950s still predated the numbering of the interstates, which didn't happen until September of 1957. The extensions of the highway, if not the whole thing, was then called the Mill Creek Expressway. This is where the few signs calling it as such were located, like this one at Paddock Road before they rebuilt the bridge. Aside from a few obscure signs, newspapers referring to it as the Mill Creek Expressway, and no doubt mentions on TV, I-75 still became the preferred "name" probably because of a lack of much official ODOT signage with that name on it. Only a few old local street signs appeared to use the full name as opposed to I-75, and the Mill Creek moniker only came back into use somewhat recently to refer to that stretch of the impending expansion project.

I-71 was referred to as the Northeast Expressway in its planning and construction drawings, as well as in newspaper articles, but no signs were ever erected to that effect. I-74, I-471, and I-275 were also referred to simply by their number throughout planning and construction. Despite a few Donald H. Rolfe signs around, it's more of a commemorative name and is still not used on directional signage. I think that would explain for the most part why only numbers are used for the interstates. Ft. Washington Way is the only real exception since it's considered more of a connector than an actual part of I-71 by most people.

On the other hand all the state highways are referred to by name, and that's NOT consistent on signs. Ronald Reagan Cross County Highway (yes that whole thing is its official name) is generally referred to on signs as just Ronald Reagan Highway. It doesn't help that it's only OH-126 east of Colerain Avenue, so the signs from I-275 eastbound only list it by name and don't have the OH-126 shield on them.

The Butler County Veterans Highway, OH-129 suffers a similar problem. It was originally called the Michael A. Fox Butler County Regional Highway, or just the Michael A. Fox Highway. The name was changed for political reasons, but on signs it's just called OH-129.

The Norwood Lateral is the worst. That's all anyone ever has or still calls it, but signs and online directions just call it OH-562. Yes it's OH-562 TO Norwood, but it's confusing to visitors. The other problem with Cross County and the Norwood Lateral is that they're not interstates, but they're generally treated as part of the interstate system on maps. That's probably the right thing to do, but their lax design standards and incomplete, and in some cases signalized (or even stop sign-controlled!!!), interchanges with the other interstates makes them bastard children of the system.

I think a big part of the problem, and the reason these state highway are never referred to by number is because the numbers are damn confusing. I already mentioned how OH-126 isn't contiguous with Cross County, and it also keeps going past Montgomery to Remington Road and Glendale-Milford. It's also confusing on the west side because Hamilton Avenue is US-127. The Norwood Lateral is OH-562 but OH-561 crosses it via Seymour, Carthage, Montgomery, Smith, Edwards, Observatory, and Linwood. Other major routes in the area are OH-264 via Glenway Avenue and Bridgetown Road, and OH-125 Beechmont and Ohio Pike. With all these similar numbers, it's no wonder nobody can keep them straight and just sticks to the names.
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Old 11-18-2010, 08:57 PM
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Personally, I am happy to skip all of the slick names. I have been in the Chicago area for ten years and still haven't figured all of the names yet. Just give me the numbers!
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Old 11-18-2010, 09:32 PM
Location: Ohio
408 posts, read 976,288 times
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Default website

After I asked this question, I found this, but it's not been updated in two years:
I knew about the Colerain Expressway. In fact, the road south of Galbraith still looks kind of "expressway-ish" at certain angles. (Yes, I know. I just made up a word!)
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Old 11-19-2010, 06:02 AM
Location: Cincinnati
3,340 posts, read 5,906,390 times
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the reason is simply that the department of transportation requires numbers, not names, on certain classes of highways. it isn't a local decision at all. chicago has a lot more influence, though, so they can do what they want.
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