Route 66 News

Albuquerque mayor wants input on revitalizing Route 66

It’s going to be interesting to see how this shakes out later today:

The most interesting part of KOB-TV’s report on the mayor wanting to revitalize Central Avenue (aka Route 66) in Albuquerque is this:

Whatever the perfect formula is, Mayor Berry says he wants to find it and make Albuquerque’s star along Route 66 shine a little brighter.

“Really make it a place where if you came through the city of Albuquerque you would never think of going on the interstate, you would always want to get off and take Central Avenue and spend some time here,” said Berry.

Whether the mayor has historic preservation as part of his Route 66 revitalization idea is another matter.

The meeting is at 3:30 p.m. Albuquerque time today.

UPDATE: Another story was posted by KASA-TV a few hours after KOB’s. While the devil remains in the details, it seems the mayor is supportive of historic structures:

“This is one of the longest stretches of Route 66 in an urban area in America,” explained Mayor Berry. “We’ve got a lot of great neon, a lot of great history, a lot of great excitement.”

It’s excitement that the Mayor hopes will turn into expanded growth, tourism and more jobs in the near future.

He said one day he would like visitors to bypass the city’s freeway altogether and take Route 66 through town instead.

To make that happen the Mayor wants the city council to devise a plan that would offer tax incentives and enticements for growth for developers and businesses. He also wants to lift certain restrictions like sign ordinances and building codes, giving private developers more freedom.