BY JARREL WADE
WORLD STAFF WRITER | Posted: Monday, December 22, 2014 6:15 am
Route 66 revs up
Russ Roach is branding Route 66 in Tulsa with a little new and a little old.
Roach, a former legislator and president of the nonprofit Route 66 Development Group, pairing the business owners that keep the mother road kicking with the classic cars that made it famous.
Roach had a marketing idea for Route 66: Printing out billboards to showcase the businesses that make their home on the famous route.
The vinyl prints are portraits of business owners standing next to classic cars. The prints, adorned with the Route 66 logo, are then showcased near the business.
“That particular category is what I call, ‘Highway Historical,’ ” Roach said about his billboards.
“I’m involved in several projects to try to make Route 66 more interesting, viable and more visually attractive.”
Roach is also serving as chairman of
a project with the Urban Design Studio at the University of Oklahoma-Tulsa to work on ideas to beautify the corridor, focusing on l\ilsa.
“The whole point is that when I drive 11th Street — to be quite honest with you — most of it is boring and some of it is plain ugly,” Roach said. “We need it to be more viable for ourselves.”
So far, Roach has printed three signs for local businesses: Tally’s Cafe at 4800 E. 11th St., Remote Connections at 1809 E. 11th St. and Lester Sales and Auto Detail at 1543 E. 11th St.
Tally Alame, owner of Tally’s Cafe, said he was happy to be asked to take part in Roach’s campaign. And he’s excited to be featured in the sign that hangs on his diner.
“If you come in the parking lot, you see my sign right next to it,” Alame said. “It was a gift to Route 66.”
Roach said Route 66 needs help and his mural project is meant to show what individuals can do to make it better.
“It’s basically just deciding something needed to be done, and an individual can make a contribution,” Roach said.
“I want to encourage the business and property owners and other individuals to do their own activities. It’s kind of important to keep the ball rolling.”
Jarrel Wade 918-581-8367
‘It’s basically just deciding something needed to be done, and an individual can make a contribution.’
RUSS ROACH former legislator and president of the Route 66 Development Group