Thursday, June 18, 2009

For the foreseeable future, my interest will far outweigh my time to pursuit all Texas roadside park locations and histories. However, I am concerned about the efforts of TxDOT to improve the experience and the roadside amenities for the highway traveler. There are beautiful new roadside rest areas already constructed along selected Texas highways, and it appears more are in the plans.

This one is along 287 near Quanah, Texas.

These are truly wonderful stops for the travelling public. They have huge, secure well-lit parking areas for cars, RVs and semis. They have padded playgrounds and equipment for the kids. They have beautiful, clean amenities and spotless restrooms. The have inter-active displays for area history and weather. Most have WiFi. They are environmentally-designed with waste water recycling and low-water-demand landscaping. They are state of the art, and I use them regularly myself.

That looks a really safe place with lots of rules.

But for me I prefer, and thus wish to save, the simple aesthetic of a lonesome roadside park with a concrete table and a metal arbor, sitting out in the middle of nowhere.

I want to make sure that every effort is made to keep these roadside "sculptures", these pieces of everyday art alive, and well and a part of the landscape of the highways of Texas. They are both beautiful and functional in their simplicity and in their locales.