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#1 2012-07-22 12:04:10

Donald Lewis
Member
Registered: 2009-07-11
Posts: 181

Maybe not a hazard, but rude as hell

Riding up 360 from Westbank to Lost Creek this morning, as well as coming back southbound, I came across Promised Land Church's big metal portable signs on the shoulder advertising the time of their Sunday service.  I tossed the signs over the guard rail.  Had I come across them while in my pickup, they would have ended up in the scrap metal recycling barrel at my shop.  However, the only thing that would bring me out on 360 early Sunday morning is the workout of riding out and back on Lost Creek Blvd.   

I am not anti-religion, but organized religions can be extremely arrogant.  They should be made to live by the same rules as any other business.

Don

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#2 2012-12-23 16:57:38

Donald Lewis
Member
Registered: 2009-07-11
Posts: 181

Re: Maybe not a hazard, but rude as hell

They are still doing it.  There was a big folding sign advertising "Chapel One" IN THE MIDDLE OF THE BIKE LANE on Westbank Rd. this morning.  I also tossed two signs over the guard rail that were on the shoulder of 360.   There were more, but I did not go out of my way to move all the signs, only moved those that were directly in my path.

Of course, the church that places these signs would be offended if there were signs in the bike lanes or 360 shoulders advertising 1/2 price lap dances at The Yellow Rose, but that would be no less legal than what the church does.  Too bad the laws of Westlake Hills forbid my taking the signs and putting them in a dumpster somewhere.

Don

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#3 2012-12-24 00:01:27

MichaelBluejay
Webmaster
From: Austin, TX
Registered: 2008-05-26
Posts: 1,162
Website

Re: Maybe not a hazard, but rude as hell

Seems to be clearly illegal.  Have you considered contacting law enforcement?

http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/D … TN.393.htm
                   
TRANSPORTATION CODE

TITLE 6. ROADWAYS

SUBTITLE H. HIGHWAY BEAUTIFICATION

CHAPTER 393. OUTDOOR SIGNS ON PUBLIC RIGHTS-OF-WAY

Sec. 393.001.  DEFINITION.  In this chapter, "sign" means an outdoor sign, display, light, device, figure, painting, drawing, message, plaque, poster, or other thing designed, intended, or used to advertise or inform.

         Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.


Sec. 393.002.  SIGN PLACEMENT PROHIBITED.  Except as provided by Sections 393.0025 and 393.0026, a person may not place a sign on the right-of-way of a public road unless the placement of the sign is authorized by state law.

          Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.  Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1393, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.   Amended by: Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 612, Sec. 4, eff. September 1, 2007.


Sec. 393.0025.  MUNICIPAL AUTHORITY TO REGULATE SIGN PLACEMENT.  (a)  A person may not place a sign on the right-of-way of a road or highway maintained by a municipality unless the placement is authorized by the municipality.
(b)  This section does not apply to the right-of-way of a road or highway in the state highway system.

              Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1393, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.


Sec. 393.0026.  EXCEPTION.  (a)  This chapter does not apply to a temporary directional sign or kiosk erected by a political subdivision as part of a program approved by the department and administered by the political subdivision on a highway within the boundaries of the political subdivision.
(b)  This chapter does not apply to a sign placed in the right-of-way by a public utility or its contractor for purposes of the utility.

            Added by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 612, Sec. 5, eff. September 1, 2007.


Sec. 393.003.  CONFISCATION, NOTICE, AND PUBLIC AUCTION.
(a)  A sheriff, constable, or other trained volunteer authorized by the commissioners court of a county may confiscate a sign placed in violation of Section 393.002.
(b)  If the owner of a confiscated sign is known, the sheriff or constable shall notify the owner of the confiscation by certified mail, return receipt requested, not later than the 10th day after the date of the confiscation.  If the owner of the sign is not known, the sheriff or constable shall publish notice of the confiscation in a newspaper of general circulation in the county not later than the 10th day after the date of the confiscation.
(c)  A notice under Subsection (b) must:
(1)  include a description of the sign and the location from which the sign was confiscated;
(2)  include a statement that the owner may reclaim the sign before the 21st day after the date the notice was mailed or published if all fines that are imposed under this chapter are paid;  and
(3)  state the date, time, and location of the public auction where the sign will be sold if the sign is not reclaimed.
(d)  A notice by publication under Subsection (b) may contain multiple listings of confiscated signs.
(e)  The sheriff or constable may sell a sign at public auction if, before the 21st day after the date notice under Subsection (b) was mailed or published, the sign has not been reclaimed.  The sheriff or constable shall sell the sign to the highest bidder at the auction.
(f)  The sheriff or constable shall remit the proceeds of an auction under Subsection (e) to the county treasurer for deposit to the credit of a fund in the county treasury designated by the commissioners court.

             Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. Amended by:  Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 612, Sec. 6, eff. September 1, 2007.


Sec. 393.004.  EXEMPTION FROM NOTICE REQUIREMENTS. 
(a)  The commissioners court of a county by order may:
(1)  determine types of signs that are unlikely to be reclaimed if confiscated;  and
(2)  exempt those types of signs from the notice requirements of Section 393.003.
(b)  In determining the types of signs that are unlikely to be reclaimed, the commissioners court may consider:
(1)  the value of the materials in the signs;  and
(2)  the nature of the things advertised by the signs.
(c)  If the commissioners court exempts certain types of signs under this section, the sheriff or constable shall store a confiscated sign that is exempted for 21 days after the date the sign is confiscated and shall make the sign available for reclamation by the owner.  After that period, the sheriff or constable may discard the sign.
(d)  The sheriff, constable, or other trained volunteer authorized by the commissioners court may discard a sign of less than $25 in value without giving the notice required by Section 393.003.

          Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.  Amended by:  Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 612, Sec. 7, eff. September 1, 2007.


Sec. 393.005.  PLACEMENT OF UNAUTHORIZED SIGN;  PENALTY. 
(a)  A person commits an offense if the person places a sign in violation of this chapter.
(b)  An offense under this section is a Class C misdemeanor.

     Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. Amended by:  Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 612, Sec. 8, eff. September 1, 2007.


Sec. 393.006.  DEFENSE. 
It is a defense to prosecution or suit under this chapter that the defendant was a candidate for an elective public office and the sign is placed:
(1)  by a person other than the defendant; and
(2)  in connection with a campaign for an elective public office by the defendant.

         Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. Amended by:  Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 612, Sec. 9, eff. September 1, 2007.


Sec. 393.007.  CIVIL PENALTY. 
(a)  A person who places or commissions the placement of a sign on the right-of-way of a public road that is not otherwise authorized by law may be liable for a civil penalty.  A district or county attorney or a municipal attorney in the jurisdiction in which the placement of a sign on the right-of-way of a public road is alleged to have occurred may sue to collect the penalty.
(b)  The amount of the civil penalty is not less than $500 or more than $1,000 for each violation, depending on the seriousness of the violation and whether the person has previously violated this chapter.  A separate penalty may be collected for each day a continuing violation occurs.
(c)  A penalty collected under this section shall be deposited to the credit of the general fund of the municipality in which the violation occurred if collected by a municipal attorney, or to the credit of the county road and bridge fund of the county in which the violation occurred if collected by a district or county attorney.
(d)  A district or county attorney or a municipal attorney may recover reasonable attorney's fees incurred in an action brought under Subsection (a).

        Added by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 612, Sec. 10, eff. September 1, 2007. Amended by:  Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 68, Sec. 2, eff. May 20, 2009.

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#4 2012-12-26 20:48:10

mtnbikeratx
Member
Registered: 2012-12-26
Posts: 3

Re: Maybe not a hazard, but rude as hell

The legal jargon on this forum caught my interest. However, after reading through this forum, I'm a bit annoyed. A church's temporary signage, really? This has got you all bent out of shape? You should relax man. No matter your religious beliefs, there are way more important things to worry about in this world. Just ride your bike.

I don't live in Westlake Hills, but I have ridden the bike lanes over there for many years. You and I both know that there is more than enough room for some temporary folding signs (no matter what may be on them) and for me to enjoy my ride at the same time. I see that your first post back in July gained no response. Wonder why? Nobody cares about signage being on the road unless it's causing danger to those trying to ride around them. This is obviously not the case here. Then, I see this new post a few days back, and the only response has been a cut and paste from the Texas State Transportation Code. Again, nobody really cares about this, except you. Just ride your bike.

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#5 2012-12-26 21:34:05

MichaelBluejay
Webmaster
From: Austin, TX
Registered: 2008-05-26
Posts: 1,162
Website

Re: Maybe not a hazard, but rude as hell

For the record, I care.  I don't think the public right-of-way should be used for private advertising, whether that advertising is for a church, a strip club, or anything else.  They're also a safety hazard if you have to go around them.

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#6 2012-12-26 21:52:54

Donald Lewis
Member
Registered: 2009-07-11
Posts: 181

Re: Maybe not a hazard, but rude as hell

MichaelBluejay wrote:

For the record, I care.  I don't think the public right-of-way should be used for private advertising, whether that advertising is for a church, a strip club, or anything else.  They're also a safety hazard if you have to go around them.

Thank you Michael.

My fellow riders care also.  That includes one that we accommodate by doing our Lost Creek Blvd. ride at 7 Am on Sunday so she can be home in time to get ready for church mid-morning.

Don

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#7 2012-12-27 10:37:00

mtnbikeratx
Member
Registered: 2012-12-26
Posts: 3

Re: Maybe not a hazard, but rude as hell

This is my point. On Westbank, 360. Nobody has to go around them...plenty of room for both. Throwing them over the guard rail? Anyway, I'm new to these forums and just wanted to share my thoughts on this one. Got a link sent to me a couple of weeks back from a friend with info about the trail of lights ride back on the 20th. Thought I'd join the forum to peruse more stuff going on here in Austin. Stumbled upon this message board and figured I'd comment...since your actions seemed a bit over the top to me is all. I still say, "just ride your bike."

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#8 2012-12-27 22:59:26

bizikletari
Member
Registered: 2009-03-18
Posts: 223

Re: Maybe not a hazard, but rude as hell

I do care as well.
Yes, I would also keep riding my bike no matter if any idiot decides to be rude as hell placing a temporary sign on the right of way, even if to advertise a route to heaven.
It seems there are some religious talibans that have found an expedite route to heaven for cyclists  by bringing them into a high-speed lane.

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#9 2012-12-29 20:33:15

dougmc
Administrator
Registered: 2008-06-01
Posts: 548

Re: Maybe not a hazard, but rude as hell

mtnbikeratx wrote:

Again, nobody really cares about this, except you. Just ride your bike.

Obviously this is not the case.  And it's not about his religious beliefs either, in spite of your implications that it was.

Throwing litter in the road over the guard rail is a reasonable thing to do if you're not in a position to clean it up properly -- on the right of way it's a hazard.

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#10 2012-12-29 21:07:40

Donald Lewis
Member
Registered: 2009-07-11
Posts: 181

Re: Maybe not a hazard, but rude as hell

dougmc wrote:
mtnbikeratx wrote:

Again, nobody really cares about this, except you. Just ride your bike.

Obviously this is not the case.  And it's not about his religious beliefs either, in spite of your implications that it was.

Throwing litter in the road over the guard rail is a reasonable thing to do if you're not in a position to clean it up properly -- on the right of way it's a hazard.


Exactly!  Thanks, Doug!

Pastor responded today.  Said they have been placing the signs for two years with no complaints, but he doesn't want to piss people off and he will inform the person who places them.  I told him thanks for keeping them off any traveled surface.  I told him if they are on public property at all, even off the roadway or sidewalk, they are still illegal but I didn't really care.

Too damn cold to get out there early tomorrow, so by the time we do that ride they will probably already be gathered up.  We will see a week from tomorrow.

Don in Austin

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#11 2012-12-30 00:49:47

MichaelBluejay
Webmaster
From: Austin, TX
Registered: 2008-05-26
Posts: 1,162
Website

Re: Maybe not a hazard, but rude as hell

Donald Lewis wrote:

Pastor responded today.  Said they have been placing the signs for two years with no complaints...

I hate that one.  It's a way of blaming the complainant rather than taking responsibility.  You know, "You're the only one who cares about this."

When I make charitable donations online, I point out to the non-profits when I decide not to donate because their donation form doesn't have a checkbox to opt-out of having my address shared with other groups, since making a donation to a group that shares opens the floodgates for more solicitations.  The usual reply from the nonprofit, if I get one at all, is "Nobody has complained about this except you."  Charity Navigator says that sharing of donors' info is "the No. 1 complaint we hear" from donors, but somehow I'm always "the only one" who's complained.  I can see that, because I think as a society we've learned that nobody really takes our complaints seriously, so they don't bother to try.  They expect to be told something like, "Nobody's complained except you," so they don't waste their time trying.

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#12 2014-01-26 19:06:41

Donald Lewis
Member
Registered: 2009-07-11
Posts: 181

Re: Maybe not a hazard, but rude as hell

Now some group called "Expression Church" put A-Frame type signs on the shoulders of 620 when I did the Steiner Ranch Steakhouse ride this morning.  Yeah...we can go around them.  Put the signs out in the main traffic lanes and motorists could go around them, but they wouldn't last long out there!  Arrogant and entitled way of thinking is that the shoulder is not really a road -- cars don't use it, just for cyclists.  When 100 or so cyclists leave the Steiner Ranch Steakhouse en masse and are riding mostly double file LEGALLY on the shoulder, why the hell should they have to dodge signs advertising a church?     

I sent them an e-mail -- we shall see.  Meanwhile the church signs on 360 are coming back on to the shoulder.

Don in Austin

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#13 2014-01-28 00:42:39

badgnome
Member
Registered: 2012-01-26
Posts: 50

Re: Maybe not a hazard, but rude as hell

They should take it down.  All we need is every church in Austin putting their signs on shoulders, sidewalks and wide outer lanes.  Some people in this country have a hard time grasping the idea of "public property" and that it should not *ordinarily* be used for commercial purposes. And nothing against this or any other church but we have more than enough illegal road spam as it is.

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