Junipero Serra Boulevard is a major boulevard in and south of San Francisco named after Franciscan friar Junipero Serra. Within the city, it forms part of the route of State Route 1, the shortest connection between Interstate 280 and the Golden Gate Bridge; the remainder, in San Mateo County, was replaced by I-280, the Junipero Serra Freeway. The boulevard was one of several new roads built along the San Francisco Peninsula before the age of freeways, became a state highway known as Route 237 in 1956, receiving the State Route 117 designation in the 1964 renumbering, only to be deleted from the state highway system the next year. Two other regional highways—Bayshore Highway and Skyline Boulevard—were upgraded into or bypassed by freeways. Junipero Serra Boulevard begins at exit 44 of I-280, travels north along the east side of I-280 as a four-lane divided highway with minimal intersections, just east of the ridge line of the San Francisco Peninsula that Skyline Boulevard travels along; the median ends.
The boulevard continues northwards with occasional intersections, some with access to I-280, before crossing to the west side of I-280 just north of Washington Street in Daly City and back to the east side north of School Street. At John Daly Boulevard, Junipero Serra Boulevard crosses I-280 for the final time and becomes part of SR 1. Just beyond Daly Boulevard, Junipero Serra Boulevard enters San Francisco as a six-lane highway, expanding to eight lanes after the interchanges with Alemany Boulevard and Brotherhood Way. SR 1 soon turns off to the northwest onto 19th Avenue, with three lanes making the turn in each direction and six remaining on the boulevard; the final section of Junipero Serra Boulevard has frontage roads for local access, is planted with trees between the main and frontage roadways. At Ocean Avenue, the K Ingleside line of the San Francisco Municipal Railway enters the median, remaining there until the boulevard ends several blocks at St. Francis Circle. At this five-way intersection, Sloat Boulevard heads west, St. Francis Boulevard east, Portola Drive northeast, West Portal Avenue north-northeast, taking the rail line to the Twin Peaks Tunnel.
Between 1899 and 1915, the city of San Francisco built an "automobile boulevard" from the end of the existing Corbett Avenue at Ocean Avenue south past the Ingleside Race Track to the county line, where it continued to School Street in Daly City. At the north end, it connected with Dewey Boulevard; the city Board of Supervisors named the new boulevard after Junípero Serra in 1908. San Francisco and San Mateo County formed Joint Highway District No. 10 on September 4, 1928 to fund and construct an extension of the boulevard south to Burlingame. An improvement of the existing road north of School Street was completed in 1930. To the south, Santa Clara County opened a section of the planned road past Stanford University on July 11, 1932. Construction continued at the San Mateo County end into San Bruno, opening to Sneath Lane in 1940 and Crystal Springs Road in the early 1950s. Three grade separations were built along the road: two at Brotherhood Way and Alemany Boulevard in San Francisco and a third at Washington Street in Daly City.
The total cost of the road between the city line and Crystal Springs Road was over $3 million, with over half the money coming from San Francisco. A 1956 law transferred the extension, from the south junction with Alemany Boulevard south to Crystal Springs Road, to the state as State Highway Route 237, dissolved the joint highway district; the stub connection to El Camino Real was turned over to the city of South San Francisco to maintain as Hickey Boulevard. By 1955, a Junipero Serra Freeway was planned, beginning at the Park Presidio Freeway near the south end of 7th Avenue, tunneling under Golden Gate Heights, heading south into San Mateo County via Junipero Serra Boulevard; this was included in the preliminary Interstate Highway System plans as part of a loop around the San Francisco Bay, was added to the state highway system in 1957 for this reason. The eventual path of this freeway, part of I-280 paralleled Junipero Serra Boulevard to Crystal Springs Road, in fact replaced the boulevard south of Avalon Drive.
However, south of Crystal Springs Road, a more westerly route along Skyline Boulevard was chosen. The state highway along Junipero Serra Boulevard, which had become Route 117 in the 1964 renumbering, was turned back to San Mateo County in 1965; the state constructed the replacement freeway in the mid-to-late 1960s and early 1970s, preserved the old boulevard as a frontage road north o
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