Automobilists declare that San Mateo County is the leader in highway construction. This is attested to by the astonishing fact that a fair Sunday or holiday brings forth 15,000 motor cars on the main highways, exclusive of the traffic on the coastwise roads, which have just been opened to the public.
To accomplish the work of road building, now a reality, millions of dollars and herculean energy were required. Streams were traversed by bridges and mountains reduced to hills in order to make the boulevards practical for all purposes of traffic.
Nature has been kind to San Mateo County, and the road builders have done the rest in making this peninsula community most accessible.
The result of this is that San Mateo County is famous for its scenic boulevards, which are unrivaled from a standpoint of beauty and practicability.
The great results achieved in the construction of a system of scenic boulevards in this peninsula county, have been obtained through the untiring efforts of the Board of Supervisors, composed of Joseph M. Francis, James T. Casey, William H. Brown, John McBain and Dr. C. V. Thompson. No little mention should also be given to the Advisory Roads Commission, which, when originally appointed, had M. B. Johnson, the late George L. Perham, R. M. Moores, H. C. Tuchsen and William A. Moore as members.
Behind this great activity, in taking advantage of natural opportunity, stands the San Mateo County Development Association, an organization which awakened the “sleeping beauty community” of California.
With the formation of this Association wretched roads have been turned into beauteous boulevards, while proposed buildings took the form of reality after the Association began its scheme of public improvements.
The big men of the peninsula are members of the San Mateo County Development Association. The spirit of civic pride has been fostered by this organization, which started the wheels in action that resulted in San Mateo County floating a bond issue of $1,250,000 for good roads. Many thought that the task undertaken was hopeless. Hard work gave a vote of four to one in favor of the proposition. Since this incident, the tide of progress, directed by the hand of the San Mateo County Development Association, is sweeping the county.
The seven municipalities of San Mateo County, Daly City, South San Francisco, San Bruno, Burlingame, San Mateo, Hillsborough, and Redwood City, are building miles of asphalt streets, and, as a whole, have surpassed any other seven municipalities in the state for good thoroughfares.
When San Mateo County citizens voted for good roads, shrewd business judgment was shown. The convenience to the residents, and increase in property values will repay the county’ many times over in the next twenty years. In addition to this, there is an advantage which the county is beginning to reap, that very few voters foresaw when they cast their votes for the bonds. The highways are beginning to solve the transportation problems. Given a paved road, the community’s transportation problem is greatly reduced given a paved road in addition to steam train and trolley facilities, the transportation problem is reduced to nothing.
Automobile transportation lines arc now running in every direction in San Mateo County : San Mateo is connected with San Francisco, Daly City, San Bruno, Burlingame, Redwood City, Halfmoon Bay, and Palo Alto by regular auto service.
Without the 200-mile system of boulevards, transportation would still be San Mateo County’s most perplexing problem.
That these good roads are fully appreciated is shown by the great volume of travel developed over then as soon as they were opened to the public. This is exceptionally well shown by Fl Camino Real, the State Highway down the peninsula. Before this road was improved there was very little. motor car -traffic. There would be approximately 250 machines on busy holidays, but that would be very much of an exception to the general rule. At the present time, more machines pass over these improved roads in one day than would traverse them during a period of several months before improvements were made.
What has happened there will happen again, in proportion over every good road that may be built. Showing the county continually to so many people over these good roads is good advertising.
Located as a neighbor to San Francisco, where thousands of people are looking for homes which they can quickly reach without the trouble or danger of crossing the bay, San Mateo’s many beautiful locations along the line of these roads are certain to make a very favorable impression. From now on, ever increasing numbers of those seeking homes outside of the congested city will “come and see and stay.”
With the main trunks-of the road system extending down the peninsula to the city; one along the ocean and the other on the bayside to the county line, and with the laterals crossing from one main line to the other-one of these from San Mateo or Belmont to Halfmoon Bay and the other from San Gregorio to Redwood City or Menlo Park-and the main branch roads connecting with these-a choice of routes and scenery is given such as cannot be surpassed anywhere in the state. San Mateo County has mountains and valleys, ocean and bay, lakes and streams, wooded land and open country, altogether forming a constantly changing panorama of perfect natural beauty. Over these good roads a varying combination of trips can be selected running from sixty to one hundred and fifty miles without the necessity of going over any of the same routes twice.
San Mateo County’s success in road building has attracted more than state-wide attention; and all communities arc looking to it for leadership in boulevard construction. San Mateo County’s policy is the continual construction of additional highways to maintain its supremacy in perfect boulevards.
The trip by auto to San Francisco from almost every part of the county can be : accomplished almost as quickly as by train-and every auto owner claims, with greater convenience and pleasure. Many business men are now using this means of conveyance in preference to the trains, in their daily trips to the office. Residents of the county arc now driving up to the city to spend the evening at the theater and various other social functions.
The main highways of the county are for the most part constructed of concrete, over which is laid a coating of asphaltum.The specifications under which they are built, are identical with those of the finest grade of street work.
The stretch of State Highway from San Bruno to San Francisco, passing by way of South San Francisco, and the Visitacion Valley along the bay shore to San Francisco, is the most recently completed portion of the county’s highway system.
Although designed primarily for automobile truck traffic, this stretch of highway awards the autoist a scenic treat, unsurpassed by any other road in the state, with its varying panorama of bay and hill, and flower-clad meadows.
On a Sunday in August of last year an accurate count, kept by traffic officers at Millbrae, during a period of twelve hours, showed that 21 motor vehicles passed this given point every minute.
Another great accomplishment of the highway system is the increased valuation of the assessed property of the county, which has shown an increase of $3,500,000 during the last two years. This is a profit of about 280% on the original investment in the county highway bond issue for $1,250,000.