RANCHO CUCAMONGA – Route 66 is getting some more attention.
Motorists on the 15 Freeway should keep their eyes peeled just past Victoria Gardens for two new signs alerting them to the historic highway.
City workers this week put up the signs on the northbound and southbound sides of the 15 at Foothill Boulevard.
“It’s my intent to again let the people know that this is part of Route 66,” said Edward Dietl, vice president of the California Historic Route 66 Association
Dietl worked with city officials to install the brown signs that read “Historic Route 66, Foothill Boulevard Next Exit.”
“People come down from the 15 (Freeway) from Las Vegas and bypass Foothill Boulevard because they don’t know it’s Route 66 and go to Santa Monica instead,” he said.
“What I’m intending to do is bring the traffic tourism to come down the 15 and see the sign and get off onto Foothill Boulevard. That would bring in a lot of tourism tax dollars to the businesses and follow Route 66 through its termination and get us some local taxes.”
Route 66 was once the preeminent highway of the western United States bringing travelers and migrants to California. The highway originally ran from Illinois to Los Angeles.
Dietl said he started trying to have the signs installed about two years ago. Caltrans informed him that he would need help from the city as well as its approval.
Rancho Cucamonga officials have been working for about a year with state transportation officials to meet the proper requirements to get the signs approved, Councilman Sam Spagnolo said.
“I think it’s going to be a great addition to the city, especially for Foothill Boulevard,” Spagnolo said.
“It was probably 10 years ago that we were able to get the state to relinquish control of the Foothill Boulevard to us so we could have control. Prior to that, it was a state highway, and the state did little to promote Foothill Boulevard and the city of Rancho Cucamonga.”
City improvements have been made to widen Foothill in the western end of the city. Also, work was recently completed on a recreational pedestrian bridge over the highway for the Pacific Electric Trail.
“Going east in San Bernardino County, all the cities are trying to gain control of Foothill Boulevard,” Spagnolo said.
“They’ve seen what we’ve done and want to do the same … You never go wrong when you have local control.”
– Neil Nisperos, Staff Writerdailybulletin.com