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About the Texas Highway Man

This page last updated February 10, 2020
 


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

Really, you clicked on this?  :-)

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 now I'm 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.

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 the Houston Chronicle. 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 Express-News reporter and the manager of the Texas Transportation Museum.

I also was asked to write a piece on San Antonio's freeway history for the Express-News' San Antonio Tricentennial series; it's published on their site here

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 numerous 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, the award is given to local politicians 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 the "Texas" to the moniker since I knew of several fellow "highwaymen" in other places.


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.



This page and all its contents are Copyright 2023 by Brian Purcell

NOTICE
The information provided on this website is provided on an "as-is" basis without warranties of any kind either express or implied.  The author and his agents make no warranties or representations of any kind concerning any information contained in this website.  This website is provided only as general information.  The author expressly disclaims all liability with respect to actions taken or not taken based upon the information contained herein or with respect to any errors or omissions in such information.  All opinions expressed are strictly those of the author.  This site is not affiliated in any way with any official agency.