MIAMI — The effort to name a portion of Route 66 that cuts through northeastern Ottawa County apparently has ended.
State Sen. Nathan Dahm said Wednesday that he will pull a bill he and Sen. Marty Quinn were planning to introduce that would rename a 4-mile portion of “The Mother Road” here the President Donald J. Trump Highway.
The designated area would start just north of G.A.R. Cemetery, north through Commerce and end at Mushroom Farm Road.
“I support our president, I really do. I just don’t necessarily support this action by these senators,” said Michael Hart, mayor of Commerce — which is the boyhood home of one of Oklahoma’s most noted personalities, Mickey Mantle.
Dahm told the Tulsa World he may find another spot to rename a section of roadway after the president, but it won't be associated with Route 66.
"I am open to working with anyone to find a satisfactory solution," Dahm told the World.
“I am happy,” State Rep. Ben Loring said Friday morning. “The importance of historic Route 66 to the country and to this state in particular has to be preserved. It is the most well known road in the world.
“It’s incumbent upon every elected official in the state of Oklahoma to do everything we can to preserve its iconic status. Anything in any way that would diminish that should be avoided.”
Route 66 stretched from Chicago to Bakersfield, California, a distance of 2,448 miles.
Oklahoma and Miami in particular, is one of the most popular stops for tourists.
“Route 66 is a national treasure,” said Amanda Davis, executive director of Visit Miami OK and director of tourism, City of Miami. “Honoring a president or elected official, on either side, is a bad idea. There needs to be another location identified.”
Author Michael Wallis, whose “Route 66: The Mother Road” became a best seller, chimed in via Facebook:
"Route 66 is not red or blue. The Mother Road's color is purple."
Oklahoma Route 66 Association president Rhys Martin also said he’s happy that the legislation is being reconsidered.
“I feel like after monitoring social media and reaction from a lot of other corners that the right decision was made,” he said.
Martin said a trip to Miami around 2013 to see the Coleman Theatre was his awakening to Route 66.
“I had just heard about it and decided ‘let’s go see what this is all about,” he said. “That’s what turned me on to Route 66. I have a very soft spot for Miami.
“Every state has its own identity on 66 and I think that is why it appeals to so many people: you get a little bit of everything.”