ROAD SIGNS OF TEXAS

All photos taken by Mark O'Neil unless otherwise noted

Created January 2, 2002

INTERSTATE SIGNS

(October 2001) Sweetwater, TX. Texas started erected interstate signs without the state name in late 1990's. For a state that is as proud of itself as Texas it, it seems odd that it would remove "TEXAS" from its interstate signs.

Still fairly common on the Texas highway are interstate signs still featuring the state name (My collection).

(October 2001) Somewhere, TX. All business route signs (on any route type) feature a small suffix letter. These letters actually "number" idetically-named routes across the state. Example, the first I-BR20 from west to east is given suffix letter "A", the second one gets "B" and so on.

US HIGHWAY SIGNS

Cut-out US-66 sign from Texas. This sign probably dates from the 1950's in that it is silkscreened with a crushed glass reflective background. Cut-out signs were discontinued in Texas in the late 1960's with many surviving into the 70's. (Collection of Robert Edgar)

Embossed US shield. This sign is probably from the 1930's or 40's and is not reflective. (Collection of Robert Edgar).

Texas had a unique way of directions at junctions. While most states used arrow signs in conjunction with a route marker, Texas simply placed the arrow within the route marker. This style, also used all other route makers, was used until the late 1960's. (Scan of the 1955 Texas Official Highway map from my collection).

STATE HIGHWAY SIGNS

Texas has one of the most complicated state highway systems in the nation. There are four general classes of state highways in Texas - primary state routes, loop routes, farm-to-market / ranch-to-market routes, and park roads. Each route type will be explained in a different section.




PRIMARY STATE HIGHWAY SIGNS

Current style Texas state route marker. This style probably dates to the late 1960's when Texas modernized its signs. (my collection)

Older style state route marker. This style (with minor adjustments) was used from the mid-1940's until the late 1960's (scan of the 1955 Texas Official Highway map from my collection).

The original Texas star featured on Ebay. These were used from when Texas first started posting signs in 1929 until the mid 1940's. (Owner unknown)

(October 2001) Colorado City, TX. State route business signs omit the word "TEXAS" but use the suffix letter system described above in interstate route section.

LOOP AND SPUR HIGHWAY SIGNS

(October 1999) El Paso, TX. Current style Texas Loop route. The are secondary state highways that usually loop around cities (though not always).

(October 2001) Monohans, TX. Current style Texas Spur route. The are secondary state highways that usually spur of main highways into cities (though not always).

Older style loop route sign from the 1955 Texas Official Highway Map. I believe Loop routes were created along with Farm and Ranch to Market routes in 1936. (Map from my collection).

Loop route sign from the 1947 Texas Official Highway Map. I'm not sure if the signs actually had hexagon around the word LOOP.

FARM AND RANCH TO MARKET SIGNS

(October 1998) Somewhere in the Panhandle, TX. Current Farm to Market route sign. Farm to Market and Ranch to Market (usually abbreviated FM) are Texas' secondary highway system providing connectors between main routes. Created in 1936 and bulked up beginning in 1949, these are all paved routes with 70 mph speed limits and no weight restriction.

(November 2001) Hartley County, TX. Current Ranch to Market route sign. According to the TxDOT website, routes running east of US-281 are FARM ROADS and routes running west of US-281 are RANCH ROADS. However, Texas seems to phasing out the RANCH ROADS and referring to all roads as FARM ROADS. The FM 3296 sign on the other side of this intersection was a FARM ROAD sign.

Older style FM sign from 1958. Note the directional arrow at the bottom of the sign. These were probably phased out in the late 60's. (Photo from TxDOT website)

FM sign preceding the style above. The text at the bottom reads "TEXAS HWY. DEPT." This was scanned from the 1955 Texas Official Highway Map (Map from my collection).

Farm and Ranch route signs from the 1947 Texas Official Highway Map. I'm not sure if the signs actually had ovals around the logos at the top.

(October 2001) Colorado City, TX. FM sign on a big green sign. All route markers appear this way on BGS'. The route type is listed at the top of the sign. For primary state routes, the word "TEXAS" is placed at the top of the sign.

PARK ROADS

(October 1999) Hueco Tanks State Park, TX. Current park route sign. These routes connect state parks with major highways. Note the TXDOT logo at the bottom of the sign. These are the only signs still to bear that logo.

Older style Park Road sign. This was scanned from the 1955 Texas Official Highway Map (Map from my collection).

Scanned from the 1947 Texas Official Highway Map. (Map from my collection).

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