Report: Route 66 Historic Trail legislation to be introduced this fall

The Route 66 Road Ahead Partnership on Saturday released its third-quarter report. Among the newsworthy items is the organization expects congressional legislation to designate Route 66 as a National Historic Trail to be introduced this fall.

The measure would be House Bill 801, “tentatively” scheduled to be introduced in the coming weeks.

The report stated:

With changes in leadership for the House of Representatives and a focus for the first part of the year on a public lands package, it has taken time for many pieces of legislation to get reintroduced and move through committees, as is required when a new Congress convenes. Congressional champions of Route 66 have been working the past few months to ready the legislation with refreshed bill language and we expect reintroduction of the legislation in the House sometime in October. Bill Thomas, John Conoboy and Pam Bowman from the National Trust are working with Congressman LaHood’s staff to this end.

A previous version of the bill was introduced in the previous congressional session and found wide bipartisan support. But it never was voted on in the Senate, mostly because of the government shutdown late last year.

Route 66 News has advocated for a Route 66 National Historic Trail since 2012. Here are the reasons.

Other noteworthy items from the report:

  • State Route 66 associations discussed potential neon sign ordinances in hopes of putting together a “toolbox” for municipalities to use to help preserve sites.
  • The Road Ahead board of directors approved entering into an agreement with David Listokin, author of the 2012 Rutgers University Route 66 Economic Impact Study, to carry out a Case Study Project. It will produce case studies that illustrate the policies, strategies and tools used by Route 66 communities of varying sizes that have successfully used Route 66 for economic development.
  • The Road Ahead Route 66 Navigation App is on schedule to be completed and ready for beta testing by or before the end of this year. It will feature a number of itineraries, including Negro Motorist Green Book sites, American Indian Tribal sites, vintage motels and more.
  • The Road Ahead was granted permission to produce a custom Route 66 Road Ahead charity charge credit card. Four draft designs were produced. Informal polls were taken with the board of directors and Route 66 stakeholders via Facebook regarding the four designs.
  • The organization’s Vintage Motel Task Force has set spring 2020 as its goal for launching The Route 66 Motel Collection — a group of qualified, owner-operated properties along the Mother Road.
  • The Arizona Legislature has a sponsor lined up for a planned Route 66 centennial bill. To date, Missouri, Illinois and Oklahoma have introduced such legislation. A national Route 66 centennial commission also awaits a vote on the Senate floor after being advanced by the House and a Senate committee.

You can read the entire third-quarter report here.

(An artist’s rendering of what a Route 66 National Historic Trail sign might look like)

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