A Texas U-turn, or Texas turnaround, boomerang, or loop around, is a lane allowing cars traveling on one side of a one-way frontage road to U-turn onto the opposite frontage road (typically crossing over or under a freeway or expressway). Typically controlled by yield signs, these allow U-turning traffic to bypass two traffic signals and avoid crossing the local traffic twice.
If the limited-access highway passes over the local road, the bridge (or bridges) must be longer, to span four directions of traffic and two sidewalks below. If the local road passes over the limited-access highway, the bridge must be wider, to carry four directions of traffic and two sidewalks over the highway.
This highway configuration originated (and is particularly common) in the U.S. state of Texas, especially in the El Paso, Austin, Dallas–Fort Worth, Houston, and San Antonio metropolitan areas, but can also be found in Atlanta, Georgia; Clearwater, Florida; Jacksonville, Florida; Jackson, Mississippi; Huntsville, Alabama; Lehi, Utah; North Little Rock, Arkansas; Las Cruces, New Mexico; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; Cleveland, Ohio; Lancaster, Pennsylvania, Provo, Utah; St. Louis, Missouri; Kansas City, Missouri; Tulsa, Oklahoma; Wichita, Kansas; Peoria, Arizona; Chicago, Illinois; and New York City.
It is also common in Michigan, where frontage roads travel along freeways. In some cases these are controlled by signals, and are similar to the Michigan left. They are also used less frequently in other areas of the world.
An unusual example of this configuration in the northeastern United States can be found at the Latham Circle, located in the hamlet of Latham, New York. Here, US Route 9 travels north-south underneath a roundabout carrying NY Route 2 east-west. In this case, the frontage roads are really the ramps which allow traffic from US Route 9 to connect to NY Route 2. These ramps are connected to two Texas U-turn ramps, which let motorists exiting adjacent businesses to travel in the opposite direction, and onto US Route 9.
Another example of this is in the Bronx, New York at Rosedale Avenue by the Cross Bronx Expressway (I-95) at exit 4B for motorists heading north on the Cross Bronx to turn and head back south or to connect to the northbound Bronx River Parkway without disturbing Rosedale Avenue. This is due to the nearby I-895 and East 177th Street not having direct connections to the Bronx River Parkway, which is also nearby.
In Nanjing, Texas U-turns are common along the Inner Ring Road.
- A Texas U-turn in Google Maps Street View; another one, viewed from the freeway
- Texas Highwayman's Primer on Texas Highways has a diagram of Texas U-turn.