Forth Worth Needs Public’s Help Eliminating Illegal Signs

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LEWISVILLE (CBSDFW.COM) –  Whether it’s a lost dog or offers to buy or sell something, signs stuck in the ground at intersections or stapled to a utility pole are not allowed in Fort Worth.  Code enforcement calls them bandit signs even though a lot of people think they’re okay because they’re on public property.

“Yes, because some people can’t advertise like others,” said Fort Worth resident Damon Rivera about why he thought the signs were legal.

No matter if they’re selling, buying, offering to predict your future, Fort Worth says the signs have no place on public right-of-way.

“You don’t have a right to do any business in a public place,” said Code Compliance Director Brandon Bennett. “A public place is for the enjoyment of the public particularly in a right-of-way.”

The signs are prolific. The city pulls up over 10,000 of them a year.

“They jam up the city’s mowers as we try to mow the medians,” Bennett said. “They blow out into the street and become hazards. It’s just a mess!”

Police officers, sanitation and code workers pull them up if they see them during their normal, daily duties. But budget cuts several years ago eliminated a formal bandit sign enforcement program.  Now, the only crew dedicated to fighting bandit signs are two retired military colonels and they’re both volunteers.

“You know, no one else is going to do it right now,” said Lt. Col. William Lebo, USAF (Ret). “There’s only two of us that do it for the entire city. We really need more to help us.”

Now, the city is asking the public to help.

“If you see signs that are attached to telephone poles, utility signs they’re out in the median of the street, unless there a city sign-and you know a city sign because it will have city of Fort Worth logo or generally a traffic sign-anything other than that we ask for the public’s help in pulling them out because those are nothing more than litter,” Bennett said.

The city has information on line showing you what’s legal and what isn’t. And if there is any doubt about whether it’s on public or private property they ask you to call code enforcement to look into it.


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One Comment

  1. Phil Esteen IV says:

    Yeah, sure … as though I would be motivated to remove a silly sign that some small-time DFW capitalist has criminally installed on public property.

    “Danger is NOT my business.”

    Talk about a ‘sure-fire’ way of getting your backside blown off by some right wing, gun-toting nut-job who claims YOU are infringing on his ‘sovereign right’ to pollute the roadside with stupid signs.

  2. Nancy Lindley says:

    My name is Nancy Lindley, The De-Signing Woman. My motto is NO SIGN IS A GOOD SIGN. I have been snagging illegal signs for fifteen or so years. I live in Lakeside and believe me I make people mad all the time but I get mad every time I see one. I try to educate as many people as I can about how one sign damages the landscape. The Chief of Police in my town thinks pulling up signs is theft. He actually ordered his staff to pick me up if they caught me picking up signs again. One of his officers told me this when he caught me picking up signs on Confederate Park Road. That happened in 2007, the same year Texas House Bill 413 was signed by everyone sitting in the legislature….even Charlie Geren. I could tell you a story about him as it regards illegal signs. The Bill allows for $500 fine per sign per day on Texas roads. Nobody wants to enforce it. I was surprised to learn you had a choice. The Star-Telegram did a wonderful story about me and the illegal signs I pick up. It was educational and on the front page of a Sunday paper. They disagreed with our police chief. So did everyone else that responded to the story. I’ve even had a Jeer written about what I do by a real estate woman who wanted to string signs up all over my neighborhood. So, in Lakeside, you can still see signs going up all the time. Lakeside does not pick them up although many of our employees drive past them every day. Ugh! When it gets so bad I can’t stand it I take them down in the dark of night. So far I haven’t been caught…by the chief. I’m moving soon to another part of Tarrant County. Maybe they will not frown on my favorite passion….putting Bandit signs in the trash where they belong.

  3. I am interested in further comments regarding Illegal Bandits. I may have unfollowed by accident.

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