THE ROAD LAWS OF CALIFORNIA. EMBRACING THE PROVISIONS OF THE CONSTITUTION, AND OF THE FOUR CODES RELATING TO HIGHWAYS, BRIDGES, AND THE CONDEMNATION OF LANDS FOR PUBLIC USE. San Francisco: Sumner Whitney & Co., 1885. 15x9.8 cm, pp. [1-7] 8-91[92-93: ads] [94-96: blank], original black cloth, front panel stamped in gold. First edition. The first comprehensive compilation of California's road laws, defining state law pertaining to highways, toll roads, toll bridges and ferries, wharves, chutes and piers, and miscellaneous public ways, issued many years prior to the creation of California's highway department. Part of Whitney's series of "1885 Pocket Annotated Codes of California." "The first state road was authorized on March 26, 1895, when a law created the post of 'Lake Tahoe Wagon Road Commissioner' to maintain the Lake Tahoe Wagon Road (the 1852 Johnson's Cutoff of the California Trail), now US 50 from Smith Flat -- 3 miles east of Placerville -- to the Nevada state line. Also in 1895, on March 27, the legislature created the three-person Bureau of Highways to coordinate efforts by the counties to build good roads. The bureau traveled to every county of the state in 1895 and 1896 and prepared a map of a recommended system of state roads, which they submitted to the governor on November 25, 1896. The legislature replaced the Bureau of Highways with the Department of Highways on April 1, 1897, three days after it passed a law creating a second state highway from Sacramento to Folsom -- another part of what became US 50 -- to be maintained by three 'Folsom Highway Commissioners.' This was the last highway maintained by a separate authority, as the next state road, the Mono Lake Basin State Road (now part of SR 120), was designated by the legislature in 1899 to be built and maintained by the Department of Highways. Several more state highways were legislated in the next decade, and the legislature passed a law creating the Department of Engineering on March 11, 1907. This new department, in addition to non-highway duties, was to maintain all state highways, including the Lake Tahoe Wagon Road. On March 22, 1909 the 'State Highways Act' was passed, taking effect on December 31, 1910 after a successful vote by the people of the state in November. This law authorized the Department of Engineering to issue $18 million in bonds for a 'continuous and connected state highway system' that would connect all county seats. To this end, the department created the three-member California Highway Commission on August 8, 1911 to take full charge of the construction and maintenance of this system" (Wikipedia). OCLC locates one copy, at UCLA, with later 1885 amendments printed on three inserted slips. A fine copy. (#166356).
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