A long-term plan for Albuquerque calls for incentives for more neon signs along the Route 66 corridor, according to a story in the Albuquerque Journal.
The initiative that Mayor Richard Berry calls “ABQ: The Plan” seeks to move more money into capital projects to spur more private investment. Funding isn’t been sought yet, and Berry acknowledges the plan is “multi-decade” in scope. Still, he wants input from residents on how to improve it.
About Route 66, the Journal reported:
The city is proposing zoning incentives aimed at encouraging neon signs. Public art pieces could also serve as giant markers reminding people they’re on Historic Route 66. There could be gas-pump-themed kiosks with information.
Increasing traffic counts along Central could lure private development, the mayor said.
People want “more interesting neighborhoods, things to do up and down Central,” Berry said.
Public art and design features would cost around $605,000. Information kiosks and “way finding” signs would cost more, depending on how many are built.
On the city’s website, the Route 66 Action plan can be read here. The Journal didn’t mention it, but one of plan’s goals is to “preserve and redevelop historic Route 66 buildings.” With the glut of cheap and declining historic motels along the city’s Route 66 corridor, the city obviously had those in mind, and for good reason.
It all sounds good but, as usual, the devil remains in the details. But it should be noted the City of Tulsa recently started a grant program to renovate neon signs along Route 66.
(Image of El Don Motel neon sign in Albuquerque by Teak’s Pics, via Flickr)