'WHAO' Signs in a Utah Town Show Cowboy Spirit, but Can't Happen in Wyoming

Alton, Utah has a strong connection to agriculture and is home to multi-generation ranching families. The road signs in this town would surely be appreciated by residents of Wyoming, as they reflect the cowboy culture that is deeply rooted in the area.

At intersections, traffic is regulated by unique “Whoa” signs instead of the traditional “Stop” signs. According to Mayor Dustin Cox, it is logical and reasonable.

Population Booming

In Alton, a rural community in Wyoming, the population is small but there has been some recent growth. The population stands at 137. Cox reported that someone recently got married and returned to town, totaling 139.

Alton currently has 15 “whoa” signs placed strategically at different intersections. Additionally, the county has approved the installation of 10 more signs along nearby county roads, as requested by the community. Aside from residents’ homes, there isn’t much else to be found in Alton.

Cox’s wife, Harmony, informed Cowboy State Daily that there is no stoplight in town. There are currently no restaurants or gas stations available. There is a post office. A convenience store that once operated in someone’s basement has now disappeared.

She has strong ties to Alton, with roots that go back for generations. “My great-great-grandfather was one of the first settlers in this area,” she stated. There is still cattle farming taking place on a significant portion of the land. Cattle are still being strung in the same manner as before.

The Expected Starting of WHOA

It remains unclear when the “Whoa” signs first appeared or who initially came up with the idea, according to the couple. Dustin, who has served as mayor for 14 years and previously held a position on the town council, reminisced about the introduction of the iconic ‘Whoa’ signs.

“I was just a young child when we initially received the ‘whoa’ signs.” “I can’t recall the name of the mayor at the time,” Harmony added. According to reports, the initial ‘whoa’ sign was allegedly a humorous present for a recent Alton resident who had moved from Salt Lake City in 1992. The sign was supposedly given to him by his son-in-law.

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Theft Magnets

Dustin mentioned that Alton takes great pride in its “Whoa” signs, as they are a true reflection of the town’s attitude and spirit. Visitors and tourists also express their love for them.

'WHAO' Signs in a Utah Town Show Cowboy Spirit, but Can't Happen in Wyoming

However, there are always a few individuals who are unable to simply appreciate the signs or capture photographs. There are individuals who insist on having one for themselves, which ultimately becomes the primary crime that Alton has to address.

The mayor stated that this is the only theft that occurs in the town. There are individuals who pass by the town, notice the ‘Whoa’ signs, and are immediately captivated by their appeal. They are taken by someone.

In the late 1990s, the town experienced a decrease in the number of “Whoa” signs, with only two remaining, due to incidents of theft. Despite this, Alton has no intentions of replacing the “Whoa” signs with more conventional “Stop” signs. Dustin stated that the signs are custom-ordered by the town council.

Unlikely to Gain Traction in Wyoming

According to Doug McGee, a spokesman for the Wyoming Department of Transportation, “Whoa” signs serve as an accurate representation of the relaxed and small-town atmosphere in Wyoming.

However, he does not recommend any Wyoming towns to put them up. According to the speaker, Wyoming adheres to the road sign standards set by the Federal Highway Administration. “It encompasses all types of signage, ranging from simple stop signs to advanced digital road and highway signage,” McGee explained.

Doug McGee, a spokesman for the Wyoming Department of Transportation, stated that “Whoa” signs are a true reflection of the laid-back and small-town ambiance in Wyoming. However, he does not suggest any specific towns in Wyoming to accommodate them. Wyoming follows the road sign standards established by the Federal Highway Administration, as stated by the speaker. “It covers a wide range of signage, from basic stop signs to cutting-edge digital road and highway signage,” McGee clarified.

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