City contest adds local flair to roadway messages

Austin found yet another way to keep things weird - by holding a contest for the most creative roadway messages. It's all in an effort to keep our city safe.

You'll be seeing more clever roadway messages when you're driving around Austin, and they'll be written by you.

"They're our eyes and ears when they see something wrong, so why not solicit their creativity?" says Jen Samp, public information specialist, Austin Transportation Department.

The Austin Transportation Department is kicking off a month-long competition by asking for short messages with a touch of local flavor: live music, barbecue, bats, artists. It's designed to keep drivers informed, safe and maybe even make them laugh. Here's an example: "Lane closure ahead, all right all right all right."

"It's something that everybody sees. It's something that everybody can relate to. If you're just driving down the street, you don't know if you're going to see an old song lyric or a new joke that someone made famous a month ago. It might just resonate with you, and you decide to make better choices," says driver.

Messages should be related to state and local laws, for instance: don't text and drive, don't drink and drive, don't block the box and buckle up. Many drivers already have ideas on what needs to be improved.

"Paying attention to individuals that are walking is especially a huge concern for people that walk. Just because of the speed, the speed of things, the speed of traffic. People are trying to get here and there," says driver.

You get up to two alternating panels of text with up to three lines of text per panel and a maximum of 14 characters per line. Winners will get their submission added to the rotation of messages that Austinites will see on major roads, which include Cesar Chavez, Guadalupe, Lamar Blvd. and Riverside Drive.

"While this campaign is light, it's fun, we're getting the community involved. We really just want to get your attention and get that safety message across," says Samp.

Contestants have until February 9th to make a submission.
Go here to learn more

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