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Author Topic: Texas "urban roads" and their lack of signage  (Read 1015 times)

RyanGentry

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Texas "urban roads" and their lack of signage
« on: January 03, 2018, 12:17:40 AM »

Hey... I drove on what was apparently called UR (Urban Road) 3005 in Galveston TX recently and I was looking it up and I couldn't find it because I thought it was FM 3005. You can't blame me though, 'cause that's how they're signed... as are all of these "UR"s that were redesignated from FMs and RMs it seems back in the 90s. The signing on these "urban roads" still remains as FMs and RMs. Does anyone know why this is or why they still have yet to make Urban Road signs? Or why they even redesignated them in the first place? It seems that the numbers that left from FMs to URs haven't been since taken by new FMs. Thanks! I apologize for my ignorance, I'm still new here.
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Brian556

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Re: Texas "urban roads" and their lack of signage
« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2018, 12:42:44 AM »

They never were signed Urban Roads. A Urban Road route marker sign was designed, but never used. The whole reason that TxDOT proposed and initiated the change, was that it seemed illogical to have Farm or Ranch roads in urban areas.

The citizens did not like the Urban Route marker. They wanted to keep the FM/RM signs. Also, the cost of changing all the signs was an issue.

Also, in my opinion, another drawback would have been that it would have made things more complex and confusing by having different sections of a route that's the same number marked with different signs.
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Bobby5280

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Re: Texas "urban roads" and their lack of signage
« Reply #2 on: January 03, 2018, 01:19:03 AM »

That points out the main failure in the "Farm to Market" route marker design. If there was an effective Farm to Market route marker design there would be no need to have separate "farm road" or "urban road" marker designs. Farm to Market covers both. Obviously TX DOT used the "farm road" thing on those route markers because that was the only thing that fit worth a damn around the Texas state shape that the "design committee" just freaking had to have above all other considerations. There is no good way to fit "Farm to Market" into that design, at least not without creating a radically different design. But the use "F.M." and plain numerals on big green freeway signs rather than a Farm Road marker, which only confirms the serious functional limitations of that route marker design.

Now, I realize this might be a form of blasphemy saying this, but the current Farm Road route marker design really sucks. Texas' Farm Road route marker may be a cultural icon, but in terms of function it's one of the least effective route markers in our nation's entire highway system. The numerals on the route marker are too damned small since they have to be contained within the center of the irregular Texas state shape. That's an even worse numeral size problem than the numerals on the original Interstate highway shield specification. The "design committee" obviously didn't consider a design option featuring a smaller Texas state shape icon and bigger numerals and other letters outside of it.

I think Texas needs to re-think the design of both its state highway marker and farm to market route marker. I think both need a common design theme, standard sized numerals that pair up better with US highway and Interstate highway shields better, yet be different enough in color or other design elements making the differences in the route markers easy to distinguish. The square-ish marker shape is fine. The decoration just needs to be modified.
« Last Edit: January 03, 2018, 01:22:13 AM by Bobby5280 »
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Perfxion

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Re: Texas "urban roads" and their lack of signage
« Reply #3 on: January 03, 2018, 08:36:14 AM »

I thought most URs were state highway sections giving back to the city/county? Most of those FM/RM/UR roads have a street name as well as a number. IE: FM1960 being Cypress Creek Parkway, FM 525 being Aldine Binder, FM1093 being Westheimer, etc. So the big signage change is putting the street name up.
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Road Hog

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Re: Texas "urban roads" and their lack of signage
« Reply #4 on: January 03, 2018, 11:12:55 AM »


I think Texas needs to re-think the design of both its state highway marker and farm to market route marker. I think both need a common design theme, standard sized numerals that pair up better with US highway and Interstate highway shields better, yet be different enough in color or other design elements making the differences in the route markers easy to distinguish. The square-ish marker shape is fine. The decoration just needs to be modified.
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Brian556

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Re: Texas "urban roads" and their lack of signage
« Reply #5 on: January 03, 2018, 01:19:03 PM »

That points out the main failure in the "Farm to Market" route marker design. If there was an effective Farm to Market route marker design there would be no need to have separate "farm road" or "urban road" marker designs. Farm to Market covers both. Obviously TX DOT used the "farm road" thing on those route markers because that was the only thing that fit worth a damn around the Texas state shape that the "design committee" just freaking had to have above all other considerations. There is no good way to fit "Farm to Market" into that design, at least not without creating a radically different design. But the use "F.M." and plain numerals on big green freeway signs rather than a Farm Road marker, which only confirms the serious functional limitations of that route marker design.

Now, I realize this might be a form of blasphemy saying this, but the current Farm Road route marker design really sucks. Texas' Farm Road route marker may be a cultural icon, but in terms of function it's one of the least effective route markers in our nation's entire highway system. The numerals on the route marker are too damned small since they have to be contained within the center of the irregular Texas state shape. That's an even worse numeral size problem than the numerals on the original Interstate highway shield specification. The "design committee" obviously didn't consider a design option featuring a smaller Texas state shape icon and bigger numerals and other letters outside of it.

I think Texas needs to re-think the design of both its state highway marker and farm to market route marker. I think both need a common design theme, standard sized numerals that pair up better with US highway and Interstate highway shields better, yet be different enough in color or other design elements making the differences in the route markers easy to distinguish. The square-ish marker shape is fine. The decoration just needs to be modified.

The small numbers aren't as much of an issue as you might think. This is because you get an opportunity to read them on the JCT assembly before you get to the intersection.
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US 89

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Re: Texas "urban roads" and their lack of signage
« Reply #6 on: January 03, 2018, 07:32:50 PM »

What if they just replaced "FM" with "UR" on BGSs and replaced "Farm Road" with "Urban Road" on standalone shields?
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kphoger

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Re: Texas "urban roads" and their lack of signage
« Reply #7 on: January 04, 2018, 12:57:27 PM »

They never were signed Urban Roads. A Urban Road route marker sign was designed, but never used.

Almost true.  The city of Victoria had actually already gotten around to putting one UR-1315 sign up on Salem Road, but it was later replaced.  Alas, I cannot find a picture of it anywhere; do you know what that shield they designed looked like?



What if they just replaced "FM" with "UR" on BGSs and replaced "Farm Road" with "Urban Road" on standalone shields?

Design wasn't one of the main objections.

Quote from: The Victoria Advocate — July 16, 1995
Alerted by news stories, hundreds of Texas residents called and wrote state transportation officials, highway field offices, state representatives and the governor's office.  They took issue with the cost of changing the signs, the inconvenience to residents and businesses and the "un-Texan" switch from "farm" to "urban."
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Road Hog

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Re: Texas "urban roads" and their lack of signage
« Reply #8 on: January 04, 2018, 01:47:20 PM »

A lot of these urban state-maintained roads are being turned over to cities. It’s happened in McKinney and Frisco, and last year FM 545 in Melissa was truncated. So I don’t think there’s a big push to designate URs.
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wxfree

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Re: Texas "urban roads" and their lack of signage
« Reply #9 on: January 04, 2018, 04:40:14 PM »

They never were signed Urban Roads. A Urban Road route marker sign was designed, but never used.

Almost true.  The city of Victoria had actually already gotten around to putting one UR-1315 sign up on Salem Road, but it was later replaced.  Alas, I cannot find a picture of it anywhere; do you know what that shield they designed looked like?

I seem to remember seeing a depiction somewhere, and it was like a Texas Loop or Spur sign with the word "Urban" at the top.  I'm not certain about this, though.  I don't remember seeing a freeway guide sign, but it's probably the same.

Edit to include verifiable information:

I was thinking that it might have been "U R" on the signs rather than "Urban."  I had an inspiration and looked up the minute order designating the first URs hoping it would have a depiction or description of the sign.  It says that each Urban Road should be marked "using current signing practices, which contain two elements: *The letters 'UR'; and *The number of the" FM/RM road.  I'm pretty sure it was like a loop or spur sign with UR at the top.

https://publicdocs.txdot.gov/minord/MinuteOrderDocLib/003678831.pdf
« Last Edit: January 04, 2018, 04:51:41 PM by wxfree »
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kphoger

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Re: Texas "urban roads" and their lack of signage
« Reply #10 on: January 04, 2018, 04:51:45 PM »

They never were signed Urban Roads. A Urban Road route marker sign was designed, but never used.

Almost true.  The city of Victoria had actually already gotten around to putting one UR-1315 sign up on Salem Road, but it was later replaced.  Alas, I cannot find a picture of it anywhere; do you know what that shield they designed looked like?

I seem to remember seeing a depiction somewhere, and it was like a Texas Loop or Spur sign with the word "Urban" at the top.  I'm not certain about this, though.  I don't remember seeing a freeway guide sign, but it's probably the same.

According to http://www.texashighwayman.com/texhwys.shtml, "The proposed sign would be the simple state highway square with the word "urban" and the route number."
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wxfree

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Re: Texas "urban roads" and their lack of signage
« Reply #11 on: January 04, 2018, 05:02:29 PM »

They never were signed Urban Roads. A Urban Road route marker sign was designed, but never used.

Almost true.  The city of Victoria had actually already gotten around to putting one UR-1315 sign up on Salem Road, but it was later replaced.  Alas, I cannot find a picture of it anywhere; do you know what that shield they designed looked like?

I seem to remember seeing a depiction somewhere, and it was like a Texas Loop or Spur sign with the word "Urban" at the top.  I'm not certain about this, though.  I don't remember seeing a freeway guide sign, but it's probably the same.

According to http://www.texashighwayman.com/texhwys.shtml, "The proposed sign would be the simple state highway square with the word "urban" and the route number."

That could be where I remember having seen it.
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