Danville Express

Perspective - November 16, 2007

Guest opinion: Danville Boulevard name is not set in stone

by Virgie V. Jones

State Highway No. 21, going north to south from Martinez to San Ramon, is approximately 20 miles. It apparently is one of the oldest roads in Contra Costa County. In Ordinance No. 56, passed by the Board of Supervisors on March 8, 1892, it was assigned Road No. 2, in a list of 129 roads, and named "Contra Costa Highway." Its route was described as "Martinez to County line via Pacheco, Walnut Creek and San Ramon Valley." (Apparently this name was never used.)

A search of the records indicates that the Board of Supervisors, on Dec. 13, 1948, passed a resolution which changed the names of various county roads and included "Danville Highway, Walnut Creek to Dublin to be changed to San Ramon Valley Highway." (Apparently this was not ever enforced either.)

This road, north to south, previously known as State Highway No. 21 (as it was when I moved to Alamo in 1948), has about a dozen different names: Pacheco Boulevard from the south city limits of Martinez to State Sign Route 4 (Arnold Industrial Highway), Contra Costa Highway from State Sign Route 4 to Boyd Road; North Main Street from Boyd Road to the north city limits of Walnut Creek; Danville Boulevard from the south city limits of Walnut Creek to Linda Mesa in Danville; Hartz Avenue (named for John Hartz), both north and south, from Linda Mesa to Railroad Avenue; San Ramon Valley Boulevard from Railroad Avenue to the Contra Costa-Alameda county line. This information was sent to me for my use, by Mark L. Kermit, Deputy Public Works Director, Transportation, on Aug. 7, 1975, saying he hoped I would use it in my book. And so I did in my second published book, "Historical Persons and Places... In San Ramon Valley," published in 1977.

Wouldn't it have been simple and a "done deal" to have enforced the 1892 ordinance and all these years it would have been Contra Costa Highway? Or, enforced the 1948 resolution to be San Ramon Valley Highway through the San Ramon Valley territory. Isn't it odd that these two solutions were never implemented and apparently there was no follow through on it whatsoever?

Some years ago, Andrew "Bud" Young, a resident of Alamo, was very interested in getting rid of the Danville Boulevard name through Alamo. A former easterner, he wanted Alamo Parkway. And, here in 2007 we have the controversy once again.

Businesses and residents balk at change. However, in my 59-year residency my area code and telephone numbers have changed many times. One has to learn to live with these types of changes, it's called "progress"!

Virgie V. Jones, a 59-year resident of Alamo, is a well-known author and historian


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