The Ohio route system as we know it today was created in 1926 when the previous road numbering scheme conflicted with the new U.S. Highway system. The original Ohio Route 1 followed what is now U.S. route 40. Ohio routes 2, 3 kept their numbers, but Ohio Route 1 disappeared. Ohio Route 1 would not reappear for another 34 years.
The modern Ohio Route 1 reappeared in 1959. This new route conveniently passed near or through most of the major cities in Ohio including Cincinnati, Dayton, Columbus, Mansfield, Akron, and Cleveland. From Cleveland, Ohio Route 1 continued Northeast toward Erie, PA.
What route did Ohio Route 1 take?
Route 1 started in Cincinnati and followed the newly opened Interstate 75 North to Dayton. From Dayton, Route 1 followed the existing U.S. 40 (soon to be Interstate 70) corridor East to Columbus. From Columbus, Route 1 followed the newly opened Interstate 71 Northeast to Medina (exit 218). From Medina, Route 1 followed Route 18 East to Montrose. From Montrose, Route 1 followed Route 21 North to Brecksville. From Brecksville, Route 1 followed Route 82 East to Aurora. From Aurora, Route 1 followed Route 306 North to then Route 84 (Close to Kirkland Hills and Mentor). From near Kirkland, Route 1 followed Route 84 Northeast about 6 miles close to Painsville. From just South of Painsville, Route 1 had its own 2 mile segment South to connect with the newly opened Interstate 90. Route 1 finished its route following Interstate 90 Northeast to Erie, PA.
- As of today, there is no Ohio Route 1.
- Route 1 followed 3 Interstates, 2 U.S. highways, and 5 state routes.
- Only about 2 miles of Route 1 were of its own. All other portions of Route 1 followed already defined routes.
- Route 1 was commissioned sometime in 1959.
- Route 1 was decommissioned by 1964.
- Route 1 went though many Ohio cities including Cincinnati, Dayton, Springfield, and Columbus
- Route 1 came within 15 miles of many Ohio cities including Akron, Cleveland, and Mansfield.
- Route 1 connected Interstate 71, 75 and 90 (incomplete at that time) with existing Ohio and U.S. routes.
- Route 1 connected the farthest completed northern portion of I-71 (near Medina, OH) with the farthest completed western portion of I-90 (near Kirkland, OH) from Erie, PA.
- Route 1 followed routes that are today some of the most congested in Ohio.
- Why was Route 1 decommissioned?
- Was Route 1 an East/West route or a North/South route?
- Why did Route 1 conveniently ‘snake’ through most of the major Ohio cities?
- Was the routing of Route 1 political?
- When was Route 1 planned?
- Why has Ohio not reused the route number 1 like it has reused other route numbers?
- Why does this drive me crazy?
Angelo Mandato – My personal web site.
Ohio Department of Transportation – (ODOT) The place to get information on Ohio’s roads.
Ohio State Map from ODOT – Freely available road map of Ohio.
Ohio Maps – Various maps available online from ODOT.
Official State Maps – Official Ohio maps since 1912 to present available online. (Most of my research comes from these maps)
Google Maps – Wonderful and up to date road maps with satellite view option.
Why do I care if there’s an Ohio Route 1 ?
When I was a child, I loved to study maps. Growing up in Ohio near Interstate 71, 271 and Ohio Route 18, I was constantly curious what each route number stood for and where they came from. As I learned of other routes, particularly Ohio routes 2 and 3 in Northeast Ohio, I started to study Ohio road maps in search of Ohio Route 1. I never found Route 1 on these maps, though I found neighboring states had their own Route 1’s. Since then, I have wondered why this Ohio route number is not in use today.