I live in Austin, Texas. The road verge (the strip of grass between my sidewalk and the street) belongs to the city, but I am required to maintain it. We've had a serious outbreak of political and realty signs being put up in our neighborhood in the road verge. It seems like I should be able to do what I please with these signs and that I might even get the perpetrators in some trouble.

But when I google for answers, the question is always whether one owns the strip. I already know that I don't own the strip. But I have one data point: My church is a next to a polling place (also in Austin) and every election there appear dozens of signs in the verge. A person in the church called the cops once and they said, "Since you maintain it, you control it." But this is third-hand information to me.

So my question is: In Austin, Texas, does the homeowner control the road verge and have the right to prevent signs from being placed there? And second, what remedies would I have against a bandit realtor or political campaign office?

If it matters: There is no homeowners association.

  • 2
    I'm pretty sure that you can legally remove the signs. After all, that could be considered "maintaining it". I too am curious if you can get the person who put it there in trouble. Maybe they could be charged with littering? You would probably need to prove who placed it there, as it is likely not the political candidate himself.
    – James
    Jul 29, 2019 at 12:02

1 Answer 1


The City of Austin sign code (§25-10-103) forbids placing signs on public property. Anyone is allowed to remove such signs (called, rather melodramatically, “bandit signs”), but the city government urges you to call 311 instead of taking action yourself — I assume because they don’t want fistfights between partisans.

See here.


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