KOB-TV reports that the city of Albuquerque is “one step closer” to implementing a proposal revitalization plan for Route 66.
Here’s the station’s report:
A key excerpt from the report:
An in-depth draft of the plan details what’s ahead, including preservation of historic motels and milestones, financial perks for developers who build homes and shops to fill in gaps that dilute Route 66, a Route 66 visitor’s center and improvements to solve a problem that hurts residents as much as visitors.
“Traffic is probably the worst thing,” one resident said.
They’re changes meant to make Route 66 a destination, not just a thoroughfare.
I’ve probably been to Albuquerque at least a dozen times, and I don’t regard traffic as much as an issue. Traffic in the Duke City certainly is better than the two major cities on each end of Route 66 — Chicago and Los Angeles — and no worse than the good-sized towns between such as St. Louis, Oklahoma City, Tulsa and Springfield, Missouri.
The lack of a Route 66 visitors center in New Mexico’s largest city remains an issue. But the biggest problem remains the oversupply of cheap motels along Albuquerque’s Central Avenue (aka Route 66). Many of these motels are historic, but the sheer glut of them has led operators to rent them as cheaply as possible. Subsequently, many of these motels have become incubators of crime. And there simply aren’t enough Route 66 tourists to keep more than a handful of those motels solvent. Adaptation of many of these motels into other businesses will have to be part of the city’s efforts.
An early draft of the proposed plan is here (eight-page Acrobat file).
(Image of downtown Albuquerque by Sean Ringey via Flickr)