By Esmeralda, Casas, Neighborhood and Community Relations Coordinator
Have you ever returned home to your nice, quiet neighborhood to find an unfamiliar vehicle parked on the street in front of your house? Regardless of whether the car belongs to a neighbor or one of their guests, you find it inconsiderate and annoying.
You call the police and the city’s code enforcement department, but they both tell you that for them to take any action, the vehicle must be blocking a driveway, facing traffic, or be otherwise improperly parked. Neither your neighbor nor his guest has violated the law.
You’re a little miffed to discover you have no legal entitlement to public parking spaces in front of your house. While it may be a nuisance when someone else parks there, it’s not against the law.
In frustration, you post an official-looking sign near your curb. The words “No Parking” in big, red letters are clear for everyone to see.
Problem solved? Not by a long shot.
State law prohibits you from placing or trying to enforce traffic-directing signs on public streets. That means your neighbor hasn’t broken the law – you have. Only city employees can legally install such signs.
If you think that scenario doesn’t happen, think again. We’ve seen a significant rise in residents posting unauthorized signs, especially no parking signs.
The bottom line is that streets maintained by the city are for public use. Unless an authorized sign states otherwise, they are available for anyone to park along.
That doesn’t mean the problem has no solution. The most effective course of action is to have a friendly talk with your neighbor. In most cases, you can work something out.
To report unauthorized signs or improperly parked vehicles, contact Code Enforcement at 979-764-6363 or submit your concern to SeeClickFix.
About the Blogger
Esmeralda Casas is in her first year as the city’s neighborhood and community relations coordinator. She previously served as an education and outreach specialist with the Sexual Assualt Resource Center and as the communications coordinator for The Salvation Army of Bryan/College Station. A Rio Grande Valley native, Esmeralda earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Texas A&M in 2016.
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