May 6, 2006

Which Way 101

Inspired by a comment on a recent post, I set out to find which direction highway the 101 really travels.

I'd always heard that odd-numbered US highways travel primarily north-south. The start of Highway 101, some 1,500 miles away in Olympia, WA, certainly appears to be almost due north of the end in Los Angeles.

But there's always The Valley.

In the San Fernando Valley through Southern California, the 101 cuts directly east-west. In the Valley, when you cross the 101, you are traveling north-south. There is no east of the 101. There is no west of the 101.

Then the 101 cuts an angle - northwest-southeast - across the Hollywood Hills through Hollywood and downtown LA.

Hollywood's major surface streets cross the 101 from east to west. So if I come from Atwater Village in east LA, and I get on Hollywood Blvd., Sunset Blvd., or Santa Monica Blvd., I'm traveling west across the 101.

But why would I want to do that?

(Kidding. I know the ocean is west.)


StudioCityNerd said...

You may be confusing people when you refer to Atwater Village and surrounding areas as "east LA".

East Los Angeles is an unincorporated area of LA County, east of downtown, adjacent to the Boyle Heights neighborhood of the city of Los Angeles.

The predominantly-Latino area around East Los Angeles, including Boyle Heights and City Terrace is often referred to collectively as "East LA".

It's tempting to call Silver Lake/LosFeliz/Koreatown/Atwater Village/etc. "the eastside" as a way of contrasting it to "the westside", but given that it's mostly north and west of downtown, and that there's already a well-established "East LA" to the east of downtown, it's liable to confuse people. :-)

blogger said...

That there's a good point!

I've herard some locals use "eastside" and "east LA" interchangeably, just like some use "westside" and "west LA" equally, but maybe it's for my benefit as an LA newbie.

LA City Nerd said...

Way to go, StudioCityNerd! Great explanation. Remember also in the "in contrast to" argument: Pasadena/Arcadia/Montebello is often refered as the "eastside" when contrasting to the Palisades, Torrance, & Culver City of the "westside." Then, there's the community of Westside Village, which complicates things, too.

Regarding the 101, it is - statewide- a north/south highway, but the east/west of the Valley confuses things. It's especially confusing when taking the 405 North to transition to the 101 South only to end up by traveling in a stright line on the 134 East.