these are aerial photos of freeway interchanges in the SF Bay Area. I pulled them from terraserver - turns out $4.95 buys you a one-week subscription and access to the 1-meter high resolution images. these photos are all from the orbimage satellite, and they're quite sharp.


because big, convoluted freeway intersections are one of the few remaining reasons i like to drive. they're a pleasure to pass through, and at some point soon i'm going to take some time to photograph a few of these properly, from the inside.

go home

85 x 17, san jose (368 kb, jpg)

this interchange is *big*. 280 goes east-west, 17 goes north-south. this is also, i believe, the location where 17 becomes 580 north. there are a few short tunnels, though this location is primarily notable for its size and overwhelming noncomplexity. it's like a big, flat, concrete monolith.

101 x army, san francisco (92 kb, jpg)

101 goes north-south, army st. (a.k.a. cesar chavez) goes east-west. also shown is portrero, leaving the intersection towards the northwest. underneath, there is a homeless tent village.

280 x 19th, san francisco (132 kb, jpg)

280 goes northeast-south. 19th ave. branches off due north. the 280 south lane passes through a tunnel under 19th at one point.

280 x 380, san bruno (144 kb, jpg)

280 goes northwest-southeast. 380 comes in from the east. the small chunk of 380 visible under 280 is an anomaly: it is not attached to anything, and it hits a hill so I can't tell if it was ever in use for any purpose. currently, it houses a bunch of build materials and (I assume) the occasional bum. because it is sheltered from the elements and almost completely invisible from any of the surround roads, so it would make a fantastic location for a renegade party. my current house is in the lower-right corner, but not for long (i'm moving).

280 x 87, san jose (164 kb, jpg)

280 goes east-west, 87 goes north-south. taking the connector from 280 south (actually east, but it's called south) to 87 south late at night in a clunky forward-cab minivan at 65 mph is a load of fun - it feels like you're being shot out of a cannon.


280 x 92, san mateo (116 kb, jpg)

280 goes northwest-southeast, 92 goes northeast-west, arching up into the hills, through a pass, and down towards the ocean. a short portion of 92, the connector from 92 west to 280 south, passes through a tunnel. this intersection is particularly beautiful (36 kb, jpg) on foggy nights.

280 x san jose, san francisco (144 kb, jpg)

280 goes east-west, and san jose ave. heads northeast. san jose is a stealth road: not really a freeway, but not a normally-accessible road, either. it originates in the lower mission and joins up with 280 heading south. the connection from 280 north to san jose passes through a short tunnel, which also appears to be occupied by a short length of alemany.