Route 66 in the News

You Can Still Get Your Kicks on Route 66

2010-03-30 09:30:11

ALBUQUERQUE, N. Mex. - When it comes to road trips for a family, Route 66 may not only be a classic, it's also known as the Mother Road. Yet in many ways, the road has remained somewhat untouched and fairly untraveled since its heyday throughout the first half of the 1900s.

The route was once the main thoroughfare from Chicago to Los Angeles but became antiquated after the invention of the modern Interstate system. It still exists today and is still a celebrated route among classic car and driving history enthusiasts, but is not indicated on most modern maps.

As the Eisenhower Interstate Highway Act of 1956 became the more common mode of travel for the higher number of drivers hitting the road, Route 66 quickly became obsolete. Roads once dedicated to Route 66 traffic were retrofit for more congested local traffic and new commercial properties.

Now known as "Historic Route 66," the highway that once got drivers on a fast track across the country now seems more like a herky-jerky, nonsensical neighborhood road. It starts at the major intersection of Ocean Avenue and Santa Monica Boulevard in Los Angeles before it curves into part a freeway, then around a racetrack.

Before hitting Arizona, drivers will travel on bits and pieces of five or six highways and interstates, often running into sections of highway that no longer exist. To say the least, it's neither an easy highway to travel, nor a straight-forward mode of transportation if you don't plan ahead. It's a kind of living history that will take you straight back to the 1950s, but it won't necessarily mean you can live out that vintage dream. Many of the old businesses along the Historic Route 66 are still standing, although their doors are no longer open.

~Ben McKee,


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