SR 34 and “Daughters”

Anyone that looks at a map of Indiana, especially central Indiana, notices a series of state roads that end in 34. The question that I get asked at that point is: where is SR 34?

There are plenty of “daughters” of SR 34. Throughout the history of the state road system in Indiana, there were even more. Of all these “daughters,” only one of them directly connected to the “mother,” SR 34. Others seem to have been used as placeholders, more or less, by the state.

Let’s start with the mother road. On 1 October 1926, the first section of SR 34 was created. This road connected Illinois State Road 10 west of Covington to Crawfordsville. This created a slight anomaly in the new numbering system, as SR 34 was north (or even) with SR 32. SR 34 connected directly to SR 32, which continued on from Crawfordsville to Anderson via Lebanon and Noblesville.

SR 34, however, was an authorized addition to the system in 1926. It hadn’t been located, as yet. But this was going to be relatively easy. The old Dixie Highway route from Crawfordsville to Indianapolis was to be the rough route. At the Indianapolis end, it was originally called the Crawfordsville State Road. The future new state road would connect Crawfordsville to Indianapolis via New Ross, Jamestown, Lizton, Pittsboro, Brownsburg, Clermont and Speedway.

The first daughter of SR 34 was created through Vermillion, Fountain, Montgomery, Hendricks and Boone Counties as SR 234 in 1932. This road connected Jamestown on the mother road to Cayuga. This road still exists.

The second was created in Marion County. SR 134 was created in 1933 as a short route connecting the Indiana Girls School to SR 34. SR 134 was given the name “Girls School Road.” The numbered road ended, and still does, at the end of the state property that is now the Indiana Women’s Prison. Due to the length of this road, it does come and go on official maps. For instance, it first appeared on the 1933. Then it wasn’t shown again until the 1936.

An eastern extension of SR 234 was added to the state system in 1933. This extension would start at US 36/SR 67 northeast of McCordsville. The road then went due east from that point, ultimately connecting to SR 38 west of New Castle. With a change here and there along the way, this road still exists. This section of road never had a chance to connect to its mother road.

A central SR 234 was added in 1935. Again, this road would not connect to the mother in any way. Starting at the junction of Main Street (Carmel) and US 31 bypass (at the time, it is now Old Meridian Street), it went due east along Main Street to River Road. The road then followed River Road north to what is now 146th Street. Along 146th Street, SR 234 connected to SR 13 (later SR 37, now Allisonville Road). In 1957, when the Allisonville/Fishers/Noblesville bypass of SR 37 was built, SR 234 ended at what became SR 37A (old SR 37). That road lasted until 1970, at which point SR 234 became a stub end at Allisonville Road. By 1975, SR 234 was cut back to SR 431 (Keystone Avenue). SR 234 was decommissioned in 1979.

The next daughter created would be SR 334 in 1937. SR 334 connected US 52/US 152 to Zionsville. Anyone that knows this road, before it was decommissioned a couple of years ago, knows this road connected US 52 (which at the time of decommissioning was I-65) to US 421 (Michigan Road) east of Zionsville. What is now Sycamore Street in Zionsville from Main Street east to US 421 was commissioned in 1937 as SR 329. Strangely, SR 334 was an authorized addition along what is now 116th Street from the junction SR 29 (now US 421) and SR 329 to SR 238 southeast of Noblesville. SR 334 was never extended east of SR 29/US 421. The section of SR 329 from Zionsville to SR 29 became SR 334 in 1938.

1937 Indiana Official Highway Map snippet showing SR 334 and SR 329.

1941 shows the creation of another daughter of 34: SR 434. This route connected SR 29 (Michigan Road) south of Augusta, along Westlane Road, West 73rd Street and Meridian Hills Boulevard to US 31 (Meridian Street). This is another case of a daughter without direct connection to the mother. This road was decommissioned in 1963.

The last daughter of 34 is SR 534. This route was discussed previously in Indiana Transportation History as SR 100. (https://intransporthistory.home.blog/2019/03/09/sr-100-how-did-it-come-to-be/) The construction of SR 534 started in 1942. By 1945, it connected Fort Benjamin Harrison to Nora via Shadeland Avenue and 82nd/86th Streets. 1948 shows the ends of 534 changing to connect US 40 at Shadeland Avenue to SR 29 at 86th Street. Legally, SR 534 was decommissioned in 1949 when it was changed to SR 100.

SR 34 would almost completely disappear in Indiana in 1951, when the road was changed to US 136. Only one of her daughters would have a shorter existence that she did (SR 534, although if you count 534’s successor, not so much.) I say “almost” because there are places in Indiana where there still are references, other than the daughter roads, to SR 34. It has been said that Indiana sometimes lacks originality when it comes to road names. Most bypassed sections of roads become “Old SR” whatever. Northwest of Lizton, north of US 136, is a road called “Old SR 34,” meaning this section was bypassed before 1951. The road name wouldn’t be changed because it never really was US 136.

Old State Road 34 as shown on Google Maps. Snippet was taken on 9 April 2019.

So while SR 34 has gone away from the general viewer, it still exists on maps in the form of old roads and daughters.

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