What’s Up With These Odd Sideways Stoplights In Texas?
- Is horizontal the best way?
- Stoplights are usually vertical.
- Colorblind people hate them.
Growing up in Texas you might never have noticed that we hang our stoplights a little differently than other states. It's something you might notice more if you were colorblind, and proceed through an intersection based on the position of the light.
Most states hang almost all of their stoplights vertically. Though we have both in Texas, most are hung horizontally.
You will see mostly horizontal signals in a few other states as well. Seems like we are in agreement with Florida, New Mexico, and Nebraska where they are common. Oklahoma, Mississippi, and Louisiana have a mix of the two, but in other states they are rare.
Why Are Stoplights Hung Horizontally In Texas?
The reason that traffic signals are horizontal in Texas usually falls under one of four categories.
- Clearance for big trucks
- Preference of the city/state
- To give an unobstructed view
- Wind resistance
Clearance and wind resistance are two of the best reasons for the horizontal orientation.
To have the signal hung at least 15 feet off the ground to meet requirements for clearance, horizontal is the way to go. If you have ever been in a big rig, you would understand how nerve-racking it is going under low signals.
Also in Texas we mainly have stoplights on poles, instead of hanging from wires like in other states. The main reason for that is the wind, especially during hurricanes.
Shorter poles also save money, and putting them horizontally gives you the clearance you need. If you are moving to Texas get ready for some unusual stoplight configurations.
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