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Commission Created to Raise Tulsa's Route 66 Profile

Matt Trotter

A new commission is charged with boosting business and tourism along Route 66 in Tulsa.

City Councilor Jeannie Cue said the Tulsa Route 66 Commission’s most important task is promoting tourism and getting people to stay the night in Tulsa.

"In Europe, in China, all over the world, people want to come to Tulsa," Cue said. "So, I'm hoping, with this commission, we can bring those tourists but we can also support these great new businesses along Route 66."

City Councilor Connie Dodson said Tulsa misses out on thousands of potential Route 66 visitors each day because of poor signage.

"They're coming into Catoosa, getting on I-44, going through to Sapulpa, or they're coming through Sapulpa, taking the new Sapulpa Road, which has been labeled 66," Dodson said.

Mayor Dewey Bartlett brought his harmonica to Soul City for announcing the Tulsa Route 66 Commission. A mural of Tulsa Sound influencer JJ Cale graces the west wall. Bartlett said when we talk about music in Tulsa, we talk about Bob Dylan and Woody Guthrie.

"And we start talking about Johnny Cale and Leon Russell, and the Tulsa connection is very, very significant," Bartlett said. "And that all comes to a catalyst and a nexus called Route 66."

The commission will have 15 members: five appointed by the mayor, one appointed by each councilor whose district includes Route 66, two chosen by Tulsa Route 66 Main Street, representatives of INCOG and the Route 66 interpretive center, and one member at large.