| San Antonio Area Roads & Freeways
|This page last updated August 25, 2017
are some of the most common questions or complaints I get about San
Antonio roads and freeways.
following projects have FAQ sections on their own pages:
it "Loop" 1604 or "FM" 1604?
It is Loop
1604. A Loop designation is equivalent to a State Highway, which makes
it eligible for federal
funding. The FM system is funded entirely by the
state. There is actually an FM 1604 in the town of Irene in
is Loop 1604 the only four-digit route
in Texas that's not an FM?
loop was being built, the state used the
number of one of the existing roadways that became part of the loop: FM
1604. Once the loop was completed in 1977 and the designation
was ready to be changed to "Loop", the route number 1604 had become
well-known among locals, so it was retained and the designation simply
changed from FM to Loop. It is an exception to Texas'
was the first freeway built in San
The section of the lower level
of I-10 (then just US 87) between Woodlawn and Culebra. It quietly
opened in July
1949. (See the San
Antonio Freeways History page for a complete
history of the freeway system.)
the deal with SH 211? It's a road
to nowhere and a waste of money.
was originally built in the late '80s to provide access to
the now-defunct Texas Research Park. Because of its location, TxDOT
planners knew that it would make an ideal location for a far west Bexar
County beltline, an idea that had been around for decades. Like many
projects, construction on SH 211 was split into several
segments due to funding constraints. Unfortunately, due to issues with
right-of-way acquisition, the missing middle segment has languished
for years. However, in 2009, Bexar County agreed to
build the missing segment and get reimbursed by the state over several
years. See the SH 211 page
doesn't TxDOT upgrade Bandera Rd.
through Leon Valley?
the late '80s, TxDOT has proposed various
upgrades to Bandera in that area, including adding flyovers at major
intersections and an elevated tollway, but the City of Leon Valley
vetoed all of the plans on
the belief that such upgrades would hurt local businesses by speeding
traffic through the city (a serious
fallacy in my opinion; congestion hurts businesses more than
improved access would.) Fortunately, fresh leadership in
recent years has resulted in a change to Leon Valley's official
position and will hopefully result in much-needed improvements. Studies
are underway now with construction possibly starting in 2022.
aren't traffic signals in San Antonio
most of them are. See the City
of San Antonio's traffic signal management page
for details. That said, if you're on a road and it doesn't seem like
the signals are synchronized, here are some possible reasons why:
- You're traveling faster than the speed limit.
Signals are synchronized for to allow a group of cars (a "platoon")
moving at the speed limit of the roadway. If you're speeding and get
out ahead of the platoon, you'll hit the next signal when it's still
- You're traveling significantly slower than the
speed limit (either because you're lollygagging or due to
traffic.) If you fall behind the platoon, you'll hit the next
signal as it turns yellow or red.
- The road you're on intersects with another road
where signals are synchronized. If the synchronization on one roadway
conflicts with that on the other, then one will have to yield to the
- If I'm at a red light and nobody is coming
on the intersecting road, why doesn't the light turn green for me right
are several reasons why this can happen:
- If the intersecting road has synchronized traffic
signals, then your signal will have to wait for scheduled gaps in that
"green wave" before it can change. When signals are synchronized, the
green times on that road are fixed and can't be preempted (except for
- The minimum green time on the intersecting roadway
hasn't yet expired. Whenever a signal turns green, there is a set
minimum amount of time it must stay green. This minimum length can be
extended if there is a pedestrian crossing.