Where Is Route 66?

Link to column

I wonder why Amarillo and Gallup are mentioned in the song but not Albuquerque. Possibly too awkward to fit in, although it has the same number of syllables as Amarillo and Los Angeles. I lived for a spell in Albuquerque and had spent a lot of time there before. The old Route 66 in the city is Central Avenue, the main drag in front of the University of New Mexico. I lived not far from Central and even worked for a few months just off Central. There is some Route 66 memorabilia including a Route 66 Diner (possibly defunct now, I’ve not been there this century).

I don’t know if any prior thread on this column has mentioned this, but the column is inaccurate in at least one place. The federal government had nothing to do with the decommissioning of U.S. Highway 66 (or it’s original numbering). The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) is a multi-state organization, put together by the states themselves. It is not a federal agency (although the Department of Transportation is a non-voting member, I believe). AASHTO is the organization that decides on route-numbering in the US for US Highways and Interstate Highways. It was AASHTO which ended the existence of an official Route 66 in 1985, although most states along the route had long since removed the numbering, or replaced it with state highway designations (in California, CA 66 still runs along the section from San Bernardino to La Verne).

Albuquerque isn’t the only city that got left out. Springfield MO didn’t make it and it is three times the size of Joplin. Tulsa OK was also skipped over, as well as Santa Fe NM (part of the pre-1937 route). And yet 3 different cities in Arizona got mentioned. It’s just not fair! :wink:

I can tell you that the Route 66 Diner in Albuquerque is still open, though I haven’t eaten there in almost a year.

There was a nifty mini-series on–I believe–Netflix, +/- a year ago, where comedian Billy Connolly motorcycled the length of Route 66 (what could be found of it), visiting locals, making commentary, and so on. Worth your time, if available.

Perry Como corrected those oversights.

I had never heard that version; thanks for posting the link. I always liked Perry Como. Eugene Levy did a great send-up of Como on SCTV years ago.

Meh. Been there, done that. Except in a convertible. In fact it was exactly 20 years ago last month. While doing our 50 state goal. I had a bunch of comp time I had to burn or lose from work. So we took 3 weeks and drove from Chicago (actually we started in Milwaukee but that’s not part of the route) to LA. Followed what we found in a library book and saw all kinds of neat things. And some boring driving as well.

Many of the states we had already been in so we didn’t have to stay an entire week per our goal rules. Dumped the rental car in LA and flew home. If I were to do it again I’d start there and go backwards.

The kids liked it. But my youngest kept getting car sick towards the end. He didn’t have any problems with the rides a Disneyland, though.

Thanks for that. I used to live in the Citadel Apartments on the corner of University and Indian School. It was a decent place in 1990, but I’ve heard it may have gone downhill since. I recall most people I met in Albuquerque seemed to have lived in the Citadel at one time or another.