Thursday, December 24, 2015

My Thoughts on Changing Highway 666 to 491

      I used to live on what was called Highway 666 in Colorado. I have heard it was named 666 because it was the highway where highway 6 and Route 66 met at one point. The highway runs through parts of New Mexico, Colorado, Arizona, and Utah.  I thought it was neat living on Hwy 666. However, many people were superstitions and fought to change it because they said it was evil so in 2003, those who were superstitious won and state transportation officials decided it needed to be changed to Highway 491.

     Many people had called highway 666 The Devil’s Highway and the Highway to Hell. So many people believed that the highway had a lot of accidents because it was named 666, it was cursed. They never thought for a minute that maybe there were a lot of accidents because people drive fast on highways. I don’t even think they even looked at other highways to see how many accidents they have on them. The state just let the superstitious people have their way. Personally, I thought it was silly and my own personal experience regarding the highway was that it made no difference what it is called.

     I remember when I made business calls and would say that I lived on Hwy 666 some people would totally freak out. They would ask if I was scared to live there. I just laughed and told them no. I was actually surprised that they even gave it a thought.

     In the years I lived on Highway 666 there were no accidents in front of my house, and I lived right on the highway. A couple of years after the name changed to 491 there was a semi truck that wrecked right in front of our home, actually it came close to ending up in our living room. I saw my first fatal accident on the highway after the name was changed to 491. One of my son’s friends was in an almost fatal accident and paralyzed while it was 491. I have known others killed on the same highway after 2003.and on December 23, 2015 we had a bad accident on highway 491 that involved multiple vehicles. So hmm did the name change really change anything? I say no.

     I no longer live on the highway but travel it often, my experience is that there have been more accidents on the highway as 491 than when it was 666. Regardless of whether or not that is true, the name of a highway does not make it evil, there will not be more accidents on the highway because of its name, accidents happen because they happen, a group of numbers won’t make or prevent them.