Lebanon, Missouri, soon will double the number of blue-and-white “Route 66 Historic Byway” signs and probably will add banners proclaiming the city’s Mother Road ties.
But an effort to change Elm Street to Route 66 in Lebanon probably won’t happen anytime soon.
According to a post earlier this week by the Lebanon-Laclede County Route 66 Society about Public Works director Richard Shockley in front of a recent city council meeting:
Shockley said the city plans to double the number of state-approved Route 66 “Historic Byway” signs along the route in Lebanon. The city took possession of the additional signs late last week. When all are erected, two dozen of the familiar blue-and-white signs will make Route 66 easier to navigate in the city, he said.
“MoDOT says we’ll have the highest density of the signs anywhere in the state,” Shockley told the council, referring to the Missouri Department of Transportation. “I don’t think there will be any confusion you’re on Route 66.”
He showed two examples of horizontal green signs that would hang on crossarms at major intersections along Route 66. One sign was lettered “HISTORIC RT 66” and the other was lettered “ELM ST – HISTORIC RT 66.” In smaller type at the right of both signs was “LEBANON MISSOURI” with the Route 66 shield centered in a red heart. The Route 66 Society held a contest for a Route 66 slogan last year, selecting “Lebanon, the Heart of Route 66.” […]
He said Lebanon has 190 street lights along Route 66. He estimated the cost of buying brackets for all 190 light poles at $28,000 to $29,000. Two-sided banners could be bought for less than $10,000.
“If you’re going to do it, you need to do it right,” Shockley said.
“I think that would be a better direction to go than the city trying to rename the street.”
Shockley also said when the city took over ownership of Elm Street from the state years ago, the city insisted the street keep the “Business I-44” designation. Any name change might jeopardize the agreement, he said.
No vote was taken, but city councilors vocally supported the banners over the street signs.
(Image of a Route 66 Historic Byway sign in Missouri by Tony Hisgett via Flickr)