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Roadside Signs Frustrate Fort Worth City Employees

By Joel Thomas, CBS 11 News
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FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – During election time, temporary signs seem to sprout organically along the roads, dwarfing the standard postings looking for home sellers or 20something singles.

State law says they’re not supposed to be in public right-of-ways, medians or on poles.

“I think its a waste of good trees,” said Michael Fagan, a Fort Worth driver, as he looked at a long line of large campaign signs lining a southwest Fort Worth street. “It seems like there’s one every 30 feet. And each progressive one is bigger than the next.”

Eye sores? Perhaps. But for the City of Fort Worth, they are signs of far larger problems ahead: City officials fear they could soon become dangerous for drivers and, if not, a pain to clean up.

“In the right of way its an obstruction hazard for drivers,” said Brandon Bennett, Fort Worth’s Director of Code Compliance. “It becomes litter the city has to pick up. Like graffiti, it breeds additional violations.”

“You get one sign, it may be an election sign and the next thing you know you have a lose weight sign and ‘we’ll sell your home,’” he said.

And those are the year-round sign violators code enforcement calls bandit signs.

“That’s what we call them,” said T.J. Guerin, a code compliance supervisor. “They’re not supposed to be here in the first place and a lot of times the people put them out, they’re not from the city of Fort Worth. They know all the loopholes. They know we can’t catch them a lot of the times.”

Guerin and others said they pick up 30,000 signs a year in Fort Worth. The city is asking anyone putting out campaign signs to check local ordinances first.

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