Preservation should be a main goal as the City of Tulsa considers Route 66 projects, according to a recently completed survey for a new master plan.
Nearly three in four responses picked incentives for neon signs, facade improvements and building rehab assistance as a top priority for revitalizing Tulsa’s stretches of the historic highway.
Roughly the same proportion of respondents said 11th Street from Peoria to Yale should be the top target area.
"I think it speaks to a new group of folks becoming interested, becoming willing to help and trying to get Route 66 out there. Beyond that, we went to downtown, and then Kendall Whittier came in third, with our three additional choices falling below that," said Nathan Foster with the Tulsa Planning Office.
Those other options in order are Southwest Boulevard, 11th Street from Highway 169 to 145th East Avenue, and the Mingo Traffic Circle.
The greatest proportion of responses to the survey came from 24- to 39-year-old adults — Millennials.
"It’s encouraging to see younger audiences embrace Route 66. Even Gen X has a sizable share, showing how timeless Route 66 is," said Ty Simmons with the Tulsa Planning Office.
Responses also indicated future projects should bring a more cohesive feel to Tulsa’s two alignments of the Mother Road. While 11th Street is more readily identified, Admiral Place was Route 66 from 1926–1932. District 3 City Councilor Crista Patrick said her district is often overlooked for Route 66 initiatives but would benefit if the master plan is in place soon. It includes Admiral from Sheridan to 129th East Avenue.
"Every mile of Admiral except one is slated for major reconstruction in the next five years. And so, that’s an ideal time if we have that in place to be able to tie that in on the dollars that already exist," Patrick said.
The more than 1,000 responses to the survey came mostly from the Tulsa area, but there was input from every state Route 66 runs through.