Get your kicks on Route 66
27th Jun 2018
America’s Route 66 is a way to travel at your own pace. You can even purchase replica Route 66 signs from Dornbos Sign & Safety Inc. Enjoy this article published in The Guardian.
Believe it or not, there is a way for Donald Trump to unite the country – by saving the famous Route 66, which has been placed on a list of America’s most endangered historic places.
The National Trust for Historic Preservation, a heritage charity, has placed the famed highway on its 2018 list of the 11 most at-risk sites. The Trust highlights architectural and cultural spots it deems in danger from development or neglect.
Route 66 is up for designation as a national historic trail, which the Trust says would bring “recognition and economic development” to historic sites along the famous road. In order to declare the road a national historic trail, and therefore officially protected, the US Senate would have to pass legislation and Trump would have to sign it.
But time is running out: Trump must sign any bill – something surely everyone could get behind in these divided days – before the end of the year.
There are stretches of the heartland states where miles of Route 66, also known as the Mother Road and the Main Street of America, run uninterrupted across desert and plain in the spirit of progress and the classic road trip. But in other parts of the US it exists in mere fragments, unmarked and unloved, long ago left behind by the march of commerce and air travel.
The route dates back to 1926, little over a decade after Ford began mass producing motor vehicles. It was one of the original highways within the US highway system, connecting eight states from Illinois to California.
Its 2,448 tarred miles ran from Chicago to Los Angeles, and later to the adjoining Pacific coast at the Santa Monica pier.
Millions still seek out any parts of the route they can find every year to drive in an unhurried style without traffic jams and chaos. The road passes near the Grand Canyon and still cuts through one-horse towns that grew around the business it brought, and which have made an effort to preserve classic hot dog stands and soda fountain stores in 1950s style.
Portions of the highway that passed through Illinois, Missouri, New Mexico and Arizona have been designated a National Scenic Byway and labeled Historic Route 66. Pausing the coarse national discourse to put a signature on legislation to preserve the entirety of what’s left of Route 66 right now would surely class as taking the high road.