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TXDOT and the Outer Loop and Sticking It To The Hippies

One thing which has been a minor irritant to me for a long time is this:

If TXDOT truly abandoned plans for the "Outer Loop" around Austin (environmental and economic catastrophe for Austin proper that it would have clearly been), why have they retained the same route number for SH 45 "S" and SH 45 "N"?

It's an article of faith around these parts that the Outer Loop won't be built, yet nobody seems to point out that TXDOT keeps calling the roads which would have formed the northern and southern parts of this loop by the same number. Why does nobody but me find this fishy?

My guess: TXDOT is still keeping the flame of the "Outer Loop" lit against the hated hippies of Central Austin. I can't come up with any other logical reason why they wouldn't want to give the two roads different numbers. Any other ideas?

This entry was posted in the following categories: Austin , Driving in Austin , Republicans Hate Poor People , Republicans Hate Public Transportation , Republicans Hate The Environment , Texas Republicans Hate Cities


It's probably a combination of keeping the flame alive and simple inertia: the route numbers have always been designated as 45, so who's going to go to the trouble of trying to get new ones assigned?

Well, they didn't have any trouble quickly designating SH 130 -- I doubt inertia is the cause, given the amount of confusion these two roads with the same number will generate for out-of-towners.

I think it's easier to designate a route than *re-*designate a route after you have a bunch of planning maps drawn up.

I have no doubt it will generate much confusion. Just like having a "Loop 1" that isn't a loop. That's Texas roads for you.

Well, contrary evidence is given by SH130 - part of which runs on the originally proposed corridor for the "Outer Loop". Of course, now it continues north and south rather than being part of a circle route, but on the "planning maps", it would have been called "Outer Loop", or, if the route was named that far back, "SH45". And yet they had no trouble renaming this part of the road...

I think the "SH45" nomenclature is fairly recent, actually, possibly just barely predating the 2000ish tollway group. I know that maps I had which were printed before that date had "proposed outer loop" in some places, but I never saw one with "proposed SH45". Certainly the "SH45 SE" segment was essentially designed from scratch.

This oughta show me...

Went to texasfreeway.com, where our friendly road-obsessive Austin-hating highwaygeek has the old freeway planning maps, and indeed all the way back to at least 1994, both north and south segments are marked as "SH45".

You win this time, wee bull.