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Section 5: Private Road Speed Zones

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In addition to setting speeds on highway routes, Transportation Code, Chapter 542, Section 542.006, requires the Texas Transportation Commission to establish speed limits and erect necessary signing on private roads under certain conditions.

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Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible for speed zoning, a private road must:

  • be located in a subdivision that has a total of 400 or more residents or is adjacent to one or more other subdivisions that, together with the subdivision through which the road runs, have a combined total of 400 or more residents (all subdivisions included in the count must have plats filed in the deed records of a county)
  • be located outside of an incorporated area
  • be patrolled or scheduled to be patrolled by a law enforcement entity.
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Process Initiation

The process for speed zoning private roads must be initiated by petition from the majority of property owners along the road for which zoning is requested.

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Districts receiving inquiries concerning establishment of speed zones on private roads should proceed as follows:

  1. Request that the petitioners submit the names and addresses of all owners and residents of property directly abutting the portion of route to be zoned at the time the petition is delivered to the district office and indicate on this list which property owners are agreeable to having signs erected on their property.
  2. Does the private road meet the eligibility requirements described earlier in this section?
    • If yes, continue to Step 3.
    • If no, return the petition, and advise the petitioners as to the reasons it does not qualify.
  3. Verify the ownership of all the parcels abutting the roadway under consideration. Have a majority of the owners signed the petition?
    • If yes, proceed to Step 4.
    • If no, return the petition, and advise the petitioners as to the reasons it does not qualify.
  4. Determine if it is in the interest of the residents of the area and the public generally to establish speed restrictions. (The data required to determine the desirability of speed restrictions would include speed zone studies and strip maps, or other suitable plat or roadway layouts.) Also determine if any law enforcement currently does or will patrol the roadway.
  5. Submit recommendation for or against the speed zoning along with results of the study to the Traffic Operations Division (TRF). NOTE: TRF will prepare the minute order to obtain Transportation Commission approval. Upon receiving Transportation Commission approval proceed to Step 6.
  6. Erect the necessary signs and notify local enforcement authorities upon installation of the signs.
  7. Inspect and maintain signs erected by TxDOT as necessary. (Signs placed by TxDOT are normally maintained by TxDOT.)

Petitions Rejected by the Transportation Commission. If the Transportation Commission rejects the petition, then the commission will hold a public hearing on the advisability of making the speed restrictions applicable. For more details, see Transportation Code, Section 542.006(c), (d), and (e).

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