Long Beach freeway

Today's news: Nearly 200 cars involved in a massive pile-up on the 710 freeway yesterday. No one killed, it seems, so I can use this as impetus for ranting guilt-free.

Why do we refer to freeways by a name rather than number?

The report I read said, "Pile-up on the Long Beach freeway." It took me several seconds: What is the Long Beach freeway? I guess it's the 710.

Why would a freeway be named after a single city, anyway? It would have to be a really short freeway. It seems favoritism to name an entire freeway for one of the cities it passes through.

Should the 105 be called the El Segundo Freeway? No, of course not. It's the 105.

Even worse than that is when the freeway signs don't clearly say "North," "South," "East," or "West," but rather the name of a city that happens to be in that direction. That is the pits. Even a geographically-aware resident has to pause: Hmm, is Hawthorne south of Inglewood? Imagine what it's like when you've never even heard of the cities.
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