Minnesota's named highways.
Besides the usual city streets, many Minnesota highways have names. The 1st group is what I term the "Officially Named Highways", trunk highways that have names written into state law, most of which memorialize a person or group of people. The second group is the Scenic Byways, there are 22 reckonized by the state tourism , some are also reckonized by the national scenic byways program and/or the National Forest Service. There is some overlap between the first two groups. The final group, "Unfofficially named highways" are just various highways were local groups that put reckognition signs up.
Most of the signs for officially named highways show the creativity you'd normally expect from a state agency; white text on BGS green, the same size as state highway markers. This Olof Hansen Drive marker, designating MN 299 in Faribault is the only standard one I'll be posting. There are a few variations, for example the Amish Buggy Byway (marked as Amish Byway) sign (which despite it's name is not an official scenic byway). The Amish moved into southeastern Minnesota decades ago, and roads have wide, paved shoulders to acomodate them.
The first signs were erected in the late 1950s, and Mn/DOT eventually got tired of having to pay for all these signs, some of the routes were rather extensive going all over the state. Finally in 1996 they got a law passed that for new designations the funding for signs had to come from a non DOT source, ie whoever wanted them. In practice they started also removing old signs that were worn out when there wa no one interested in paying for the replacement, even though they weren't officially allowed to do this until the law was modified in 2009. There are also a number of officially named bridges, I've not been taking pictures of those signs since tend to be difficult to do legal and safely, and are without exception the the white text on green so I don't see the art in visually collecting them.
The Hiawatha Pioneer Trail is an officially named highway that dates from the early 1960s. Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois, and Wisconsin picked their "top 20" tourist attractions and designated the HPT connecting them. The idea came, interestingly enough, the American Petrolium Institute to, umh, encourage people to use more of their products but was supported by the state tourism boards. However interest soon waned. Illinois pulled down it's signs in 1972, Minnesota and Wisconsin did gradually over the years, and Iowa finally gave up in 2008.
These are as far as I know the only HPT signs left in the state, originally they were a deep gold. The second one show's it's former life as a night speed limit sign. The only night speed limit after the national speed limit repeal was on a stretch of US/MN 61 near Gooseberry Falls state park that lasted until about 2000 so it's either from there or it predates the national speed limit. Signs do get around, I once saw a BGS from Duluth sitting in a Mn/DOT storage yard in the Twin Cities.
There's a lot of material on the Great River Road, which is a Scenic Byway and Officially Named Highway in Minnesota so I won't repeat it, but I will comment on the Grand Rounds Scenic Byway. It's the only urban National Scenic Byway, you can drive 3/4 of the way around Minneapolis on parkways following water much of the way. Work on completing the long stalled gap is in planning again after being forgotten about for decades. Most of the parkways also include a bicycle and pedestrian trail, seperated where space allows.
The "sky" in the Grand Rounds sign was originally a light yellow, but has faded out.
Simplified versons as used on the bicycle trails.
Two more scenic byway signs.
The unofficially named Bushaway Road. After years of fighting with NIMBYS to improve the road the state gave up and gave it to Hennepin County, who continues the fight. The sign was put up by neighborhood groups to emphasize the scenic and historic (as opposed to extremely dangerous for modern traffic) aspecs of the road.