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TxDOT’s Aggies Spread Good Bull Safety Messages

Susan "Sue" Owen '94 October 5, 2018 11:38 AM updated: October 6, 2018 4:15 PM

Marc Williams '90, TxDOT's deputy executive director, shared these photos of the Sept. 27-30 messages he helped craft. He pulled off the interstate to a safe location to take these photos! Be safe, Ags.
Marc Williams '90, TxDOT's deputy executive director, shared these photos of the Sept. 27-30 messages he helped craft. He pulled off the interstate to a safe location to take these photos! Be safe, Ags.

Aggies working at the Texas Department of Transportation helped craft the highway-sign messages that went viral across the state last weekend - even appearing on ESPN.

The Sept. 27-30 special messages for fans traveling to the A&M/Arkansas game in Arlington were:

  • “Gig em now / Call em later / Phones down”
  • “Be safe / Drive smart / Farmers fight”

“They did get quite a bit of social media reaction over the weekend, so that was great,” said TxDOT deputy executive director Marc Williams ’90.

In Aggieland, local authorities have now adopted the slogans for variable-message signs on roads including Wellborn Road and FM 2818 (Harvey Mitchell Parkway).

https://twitter.com/MarcWilliamsTX/status/1045712139179225089

Williams said, “Periodically TxDOT chooses to change up the typical messages that we have on our dynamic message signs around the state for different things.

“We’ve posted messages before with a World Cup theme; we did an ‘Awww snap… your seat belt.’

And, he said, “We’ve done signs with college football when we’ve had a major game with a cross-state rival being played at a neutral site,” when two fanbases, not just one, would be hitting the roads.

“The Texas-OU game last year was the first time we did a college game.” Themed messages are up for that game in Dallas again this weekend.

“We felt like doing a similar round of signs for the A&M-Arkansas matchup.”

Every week or so, TxDOT’s traffic operations division sends out a common message for weekend traffic, Williams said.

“There was a group of Aggies that got together including myself and Lance Simmons ('93), who’s the Bryan district engineer out there, and a few others. We kind of went through the list of options that we had and picked the ones we liked best,” he said.

“There’s quite a few Texas Aggies that are employed here, both in the engineering side and across the whole agency, doing a whole lot of things,” Williams said. “There are Longhorns as well. In fact, our executive director is a Longhorn, James Bass.”

Last weekend’s Aggie signs were up “on all of the interstates leading up to the Metroplex and around the Metroplex,” he said.

“And then we also expected there would be quite a few Aggies coming up Highway 6. We have a few of those variable-message boards on Highway 6 in the Bryan-College Station area on the way up to Waco.”

The messages included a nod to Arkansas drivers, as well, Williams said: “The reference to ‘call ‘em later’ was in reference to ‘calling the Hogs.’ It was ‘gig 'em now, text 'em later,’ and that was one of the changes that we made to tie it in a little better to the Arkansas game.”

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