Billboard Blight

Outdoor Advertising Regulation Helps to Protect Public Space and Enhance Driver Safety

The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) regulates the right-of-way along more than 700,000 miles of highway which excludes miles of city, county, and rural roads. Currently, there are more than 60,000 billboards in Texas, and TxDOT needs funding to capture a comprehensive inventory of commercial signage. Commercial signs and outdoor advertising are a major impact on the visual environment of Texas highways. In addition to these signs being a major distraction for drivers safety, there is a new movement of digital signs that create light pollution, unnecessary energy use (in some cases the same amount of energy 25 houses take), and a large carbon footprint impact. The Commercial Sign Regulatory Program at TxDOT can be found here.

TxDOT outdoor advertising billboard complaint forms, contacts, booklet, rules, and other forms regarding a billboard can be found here.

Illegal signs also known as bandit signs in the public right-of-way are outlined in the Highway Beautification Act and can be found here

Scenic Texas Work to Prevent Billboard Blight

The residents of Spicewood, TX have been frustrated with billboard blight that has taken over their beautiful hill country vistas. Representative Vikki Goodwin hosted a town hall in December 2019 to address this issue. (See Media page, Billboards, Traffic Safety Key Issues | The Austin American Statesman | December 29, 2019)

Scenic Texas then went out to Spicewood to document these billboards in particular the two billboards that had been erected at the edge of the Spicewood Cemetery within this last year. This resulted in our recommended rule changes to TxDOT that included protecting cemeteries much like public spaces are protected from billboard blight. The link below has the letters exchanged including Representative Vikki Goodwin’s original letter along with Representatives Celia Israel, Erin Zwiener, Donna Howard, and Sheryl Cole. These Texas Representatives were listening to their constituents needs and addressing the issues directly with TxDOT.