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Increasing Vandalism on Route 66
September 25, 2018
3:02 am
Forum Posts: 417
Member Since:
November 30, 2011
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Anyone relying on books, postcards and the like to research a Route 66 trip may be disappointed at today's realities. Graffiti and destruction are increasingly common--dooming many abandoned but iconic structures well before wind and rain get their chance.

I've recently traveled and re-photographed 8% of the road in Texas and eastern New Mexico, but a spot check in California and Arizona finds the same conditions. Some old structures have vanished or been hit by vandals. The iconic Twin Arrows site east of Flagstaff AZ, for example, is now a graffiti-coated mess. The lonely motel that appeared in the movie "Bagdad Cafe" has been lost to squatters, metal thieves and a demolition crew.

A summary is in the Blog on my site: along with several 2018 photographs. Unfortunately, I could have taken a LOT more. The problem exists largely in isolated areas and has no solution.

I have not traveled the road east of Oklahoma City in 5-years or so. That area, with a greater population density, has fewer abandoned and isolated structures.

If you are overseas and contemplating an expensive Route 66 trip, just be aware that not everything along Route 66 is "as advertised."

(I have just returned to this forum after a long absence. I'm entry #8 under "Introduce Yourself." Assuming Steve will keep the spammers out, I'm happy to contribute again.)

December 29, 2018
1:16 pm
Forum Posts: 4
Member Since:
April 3, 2015
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So sad to read and see this

October 20, 2019
9:56 pm
Forum Posts: 417
Member Since:
November 30, 2011
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To update the first posting: many classic mid-century signs have also been removed along this stretch, especially in New Mexico, for a sign museum. Perhaps this is progress and the signs will now be protected from the elements. But the road itself suffers greatly. There is less incentive to drive the old pavement when the remaining good stuff has been taken to an artificial environment near an Interstate exit.

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