Route 66 News

Santa Rosa revitalization plan would reduce Route 66 from four lanes to two

Traffic lanes on much of Route 66 in Santa Rosa, New Mexico, would be reduced from four lanes to two as one aspect of a revitalization plan proposed by a consultant.

Planning consultant Sarah Ijadi presented the ideas for the Downtown Santa Rosa Revitalization Plan in the city-county government complex in Santa Rosa, according to the July 27 print edition of The Communicator.

The newspaper reported:

Areas closest to the Interstate 40 freeway ramps would remain at four lanes, but the preliminary plan calls for the biggest changes, including a reduction of Route 66 traffic lanes, between the Pecos River Bridge and the long-dormant Western Motel.

[…] The concept near the downtown is to reduce the number of travel lanes from four to two, create a landscaped center median with left turn “bays,” add roadside parking, bike lanes and wider sidewalks — all to create a more pedestrian-friendly environment that’s safer and more appealing to visitors.

Other ideas included a nostalgic gateway off Interstate 40 on the city’s west side (pictured above) and a microbrewery at the Tower Motel complex and a coffee shop near the historic Ilfeld-Johnson Warehouse near downtown.

Conceptual drawings by Lisa Flynn of the ideas also were presented.

Ijadi and the local government are taking opinions from residents before presenting their final recommendations in October.

Of course, any of these recommendations get enacted will cost a lot of money, plus entrepreneurs willing to take a chance on the aforementioned businesses. At the least, it’s a long-term blueprint for the city.

The Route 66 town of Barstow, California, took a look at a similar revitalization plan about a year ago.

(Conceptual drawings of Santa Rosa, New Mexico, courtesy of Lisa Flynn)


2 thoughts on “Santa Rosa revitalization plan would reduce Route 66 from four lanes to two

  1. Daniel Geus

    Hi, I enjoy receiving your email newsletters, like the one that provides info on the proposed redevelopment of the traffic lanes in Santa Rosa. It’s perhaps a fine line between redevelopment to make an area more appealing to travelers and respecting the original heritage and road vista. Having traveled Route 66 I really enjoyed seeing as much of the past of the road, good and bad if you will, as it remains. That’s what drew me to it. Please don’t lose the character and essence of 66 with updates and beautification programs that go beyond restoration.
    Keep up the good work!

  2. Eric Hayman

    We have seen similar reductions in lane numbers on the UK – in London, on motorways and around the country – apart from on the motorways usually in the name of giving cyclists and pedestrians more space. However, it is the motor traffic that keeps businesses alive and the economy buoyant, and slowing that down slows the whole country. Just how much traffic now uses the four lanes to be cut to two?

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