Category Archives: Why Talk About History – Route 66

Car Rally Against A.R.T. Big Success

Burquenos made a great statement July 2, 2016 against the A.R.T. project.  Needing little encouragement, car enthusiasts came to Central Avenue to rally against A.R.T.  There was no doubt that the drivers in the rally and the attendees at the car show do not like the idea of choking traffic on Central Avenue Albuquerque. First…
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Historic Route 66

People have seen the importance of Route 66 in American life. Route 66 was named the "Mother Road" by John Steinbeck in his novel "The Grapes of Wrath". Route 66 is an icon worldwide standing for freedom.

Jack Kerouac immortalized his road trips in his famous "On the Road" in 1951. Learn More About Jack Kerouac

The road trip has been immortalized as a growing experience since Homer wrote the Odyssey. Sometimes to see your life, you have to get outside of your experience. Route 66 still offers the chance to see and learn about life. Why should ABQ erect a big barrier into this cross country icon? A.R.T. would become a barrier to the creative process.

Why the concern about Route 66 history?

Route 66 may be the most famous roadway in the world, but why? Route 66 was completed in 1926. It begins in Springfield, Illinois and ends in Santa Monica, California. It is a world famous road, worshiped as a symbol of freedom. People come from Asian and Eastern European countries just to be able to…
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“History doesn't repeat itself, but it does rhyme.”
— Mark Twain

Mark Twain close 2

Americans like their freedom. Cars represent freedom. Planners in Albuquerque say they want to reduce cars on Central because this will be good. Whether it is to reduce carbon emissions, to punish speeders, or to force people to meet one another eye to eye on the street, the A.R.T. project has philosophical origins. This is one reason supporters seem so blind to common sense discussions about A.R.T. hurting business and causing a nuisance.

Planners claim all millenials think alike and they all hate cars. That point remains to be proved. If it were true, this would not be the first generation to push government control over transportation. The Interstate Commerce Commission was formed in 1887. The Motor Carrier Act of 1935 added limitations on trucking by forcing new trucking companies to have to seek a "certificate of public convenience and necessity" from the ICC. Companies operating prior to 1935 were grandfathered -- new companies found it extremely difficult to get operating authority. In 1980 Congress laws to significantly reduce Interstate Commerce Commission control over truckers and railroads.

The continuing debate over freedom vs. control did not just begin and it will not end. In the meanwhile we should not butcher Central in the dogmatic belief that we are changing the world. Look at an old comment on the error of too much government control:

"In our attempt to keep some people from "hogging" the highways, either on the ground, on the sea or in the air, our duty is to prevent monopoly of the highway, thereby encouraging competition. Our duty is not to interfere in any way that reduces competition; for competition is the struggle so to serve as to deserve the best rewards that the opportunity offers.
The goal should not be control. It should be freedom".  - Henry L. T. Tideman, "The Freeman", August 1939.