May 6, 2009
A scenic stretch of Texas Highway 71 west of Austin would be protected from additional billboards and off-premises signs under a bill approved today by the Texas Senate.
Under Senate Bill 1266 by Sen. Kirk Watson, D-Austin, the additional signs would be prohibited to ensure the route stays ” scenic route through the Texas Hill Country,” Watson said.
“The view from the highway attracts tourists and is a financial asset to the area, but currently has no protection from additional billboards and no provisions for the regulation of billboards,” Watson said, calling the highway “Main Street of the Hill Country.”
In the past four years, 13 permits for billboards have been issued by the Texas Department of Transportation, adding to a growing number already in place.
The area covered by the ban on new signs would stretch from the western city limits of Austin to Texas 16.
The measure now goes to the House for consideration.