commonplace on Texas roadways were able to avoid extinction during the
recently completed legislative session.
Before the Legislature
adjourned June 2, State lawmakers failed to pass either of two bills – SB512
and HB994 – that would have prohibited new billboards from being erected
and prevented old ones from being replaced along any road or highway in
Proponents say the ban
would protect the environment and make Texas more attractive for visitors
and businesses, the Austin American-Statesman reported.
Almost 200 Texas cities
have already outlawed new billboards. And five states – Maine, Rhode Island,
Vermont, Alaska and Hawaii – have already made their roads a no-advertising
Statewide, there are
reportedly more than 30,000 billboards, ranking third in the nation, and
the Texas Department of Transportation issues 550 new permits a year.
Supporters of the ban
dismissed suggestions that the roadside ads – which have been around at
least since motor vehicles took to the road – are an important part of
American culture and are a service to drivers that should be protected,
the newspaper reported.
Instead, they say the
boards obstruct the state’s scenic views.