Sausalito’s Evolving Aspirations
By Robert L. Harrison
In just over fifty years, Sausalito’s residents swung from determined advocates fighting to remain part of a critical state highway system to proponents that Sausalito’s identity from the Highway 101 freeway be diminished. This article describes how the transformation occurred.
In 1909, when first envisioned, State Route 1 ran from San Francisco, via ferry to Sausalito, and then to Crescent City, extending 371.2 miles, the planned highway would be the second longest route in the state highway system.
Route 1 initially stretched from Sausalito over the Corte Madera Grade to Ross Valley at San Anselmo and then east to San Rafael. The current Highway 101 alignment from San Rafael to Sausalito was a significant upgrade to Route 1. A section of the new alignment from San Rafael to Alto, near today’s Horse Hill, was opened in August 1930.