The Texas
Highway Man

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About The Texas Highway Man

This page last updated January 15, 2024
Me in front of I-10/Loop 410 interchange

(Photo by Billy Calzada/San Antonio Express-News)

Really, you clicked on this? 😜 But since you're obviously interested, here 'goes...

By day, I'm known as Brian Purcell. Although I have a bachelor's degree in Urban and Regional Planning, a fluke got me into the computer biz even before I even graduated from college, and I'm currently a systems architect at a university in San Antonio. Believe it or not, I'm not affiliated in any way with any road-building or transportation agency or contractor. All my life, though, I've had an interest in all forms of transportation, and this website is the manifestation of that hobby and interest that continues to this day.

If you're really bored, you can also read more about me on the bio page of a local transportation blog for which I was a contributor along with a former San Antonio Express-News reporter and the manager of the Texas Transportation Museum.

In the news
The San Antonio Express-News did a front-page feature story on me back in 2015 (must have been a slow news day), which was also picked-up by its sister paper, the Houston Chronicle. I also was asked to write a piece on San Antonio's freeway history for the Express-News's San Antonio Tricentennial series; it's published on their site here.

Additionally, I've been interviewed on several local newscasts, and have participated in a couple of transportation-related discussion panels for both the San Antonio NPR station and for the San Antonio Report.

Road Hand Award
In February 2020, TxDOT bestowed on me their "Road Hand" award in appreciation for this website, my work digitizing the San Antonio TxDOT district's historical photos, and other contributions over the years. Here is the description of the award from TxDOT:

Road Hand Award logo In the early days of the 20th century, anyone who helped build roads was called a "road hand." Today's Road Hands are citizens who have given their time, energy, and vision to help improve transportation in their communities throughout the state. In bestowing this award, the Texas Department of Transportation recognizes and expresses its sincere appreciation to these supporters who have helped build one of the best transportation systems in the world.

Typically, this award is given to local politicians and community leaders who help champion projects or otherwise have supported TxDOT's efforts in their communities, so as someone who is neither in the road construction business nor politics, it was quite a surprise and honor to receive this recognition.

More than highways
In addition to highways, I also have an interest in other forms of transportation, most notably trains and urban public transportation, which developed from my time living in Germany. To that end, I have a companion website about transportation in Germany.

How I got the name Texas Highway Man
Besides my intense interest in roads and traffic, it seems that I also have a real knack for directions and getting around. As a result, my little sister started calling me "Highway Man" and sometime in the mid '90s drew a really cute cartoon (see below.) The name had a nice ring to it, so when I started my website in 1998, I decided that "Highway Man" would be a good name for my online persona, but I decided to add "Texas" to the moniker since I knew of several fellow "highwaymen" in other places.

Highway Man cartoon

Other "TexasHighwayMen" on the Internet
Over the years, I've come across a few other cases of people using the name "TexasHighwayMan" on the Internet. For example, I found a couple of sites where someone using that name expresses some rather strong opinions on guns and abortion (funny how those topics tend to elicit strong opinions.) That is not me. In general, I sign most of my online posts as either "TexHwyMan" and/or with my actual name, and I generally try to stay out of the fray on politics and controversial topics that are not transportation-related. In any case, if you find something posted online by "TexasHighwayMan" or the like and you want to know if it's me, feel free to ask. If it's something I posted, I'm certainly willing to discuss it with you. But I don't want to take credit (or condemnation) for things I did not post.

Support this site
I'm happy to provide the information on this site free-of-charge. However, if you've found the information here particularly helpful, please consider making a small donation to help defray the costs of operating this site. To do so, simply click the "Buy Me a Coffee" button at the bottom of this page.

Thank you!