The Tulsa Route 66 Commission has recommended moving about one-third of the city’s concrete Route 66 planters to the 11th Street and Mingo Road area to better identify the Mother Road there.
According to Public Radio Tulsa, 46 of the 48 original planters purchased nearly 20 years ago still are around (two were destroyed in car crashes). The commission wants 16 of those relocated to 11th and Mingo, near an interpretive plaza and recreation area.
“It’s a great little plaza that doesn’t get a whole lot of attention today, but we’re hoping by relocating them over there, they’ll not only be more cost-effective to maintain but will highlight an area to encourage people to stop and learn a little bit more about Route 66,” said commission member Rhys Martin.
Less of east Tulsa’s portion of Route 66 has been developed, making it easier to lose track of it there. Several more historic attractions are just about a mile north of 11th and Mingo on the Admiral alignment of the Mother Road, and the planters can also serve as a visual cue that helps connect the two segments. […]
The planters to be moved to 11th and Mingo would be capped with concrete so they aren’t used as trash bins or grow weeds, and they would be placed on concrete pads that mowers can easily pass over. The city must approve the relocation, but the commission would pay the roughly $10,000 cost for it from its budget.
The commission also recommended transferring ownership or developing license agreements to maintain several of the concrete planters. Nineteen planters along Southwest Boulevard will stay, but the Kendall Whittier neighborhood will receive five more. A few more planters will stay in the downtown area.
I’ve always liked the planters. They’re a good way to beautify certain areas, they help reassure Route 66 travelers they’re on the right path, and they’re too heavy or cumbersome to be stolen, unlike many metal Route 66 signs.
(Image of one of the concrete Route 66 planters in Tulsa by Elly Blue via Flickr)