From the wildflowers that Lady Bird Johnson adored, to the dramatic rise and fall of tree-covered limestone hills in the Texas Hill Country, our country roads are a treasure. Texas Ranch to Market Roads 1826, 150 and 967 reward travelers with natural vistas, cool clear creeks, and wide open skies filled with stars, sunrises, and sunsets every day.
We the undersigned want to keep the Texas Hill Country SCENIC.
Central Texas is experiencing explosive growth. Data from The U.S. Census Bureau shows Hays County is the 4th fastest-growing county in the United States (see https://communityimpact.com/austin/san-marcos-buda-kyle/city-county/2018/03/22/hays-county-ranked-4th-fastest-growing-county-country/ ).
The increase in the number of motorists along our Ranch to Market roads has triggered a proliferation of billboards on our roads. Billboards are not mere eyesores: their lighting endangers human health and pollutes the night skies that are iconic to this region of Texas.
Further, healthy Texans are productive Texans. We need our nighttime dark. Light pollution has a direct negative bearing on human health and circadian rhythms:
Artificial lights at night don’t just affect people. Wildlife is also affected negatively, with impacts on migration and reproduction:
Last but not least, billboards may have a negative impact on property values of nearby homes and neighborhoods.
For these reasons, we ask the Texas Legislature to acknowledge the value of these roads we love by designating Texas Ranch to Market Roads 1826, 150 and 967 as “Scenic Highways” in Hays County.
We ask the 86th Legislature to help preserve the scenic beauty and character of Ranch to Market Roads 1826, 150 and 967 by supporting legislation that keeps the beauty of the Texas Hill Country intact.
The stars at night are big and bright, deep in the heart of Texas.
May they be so, forever.