Judge takes parking law into his own hands


City workers removed No Parking signs installed illegally on W. Devitt Drive near TCU.
City workers removed No Parking signs installed illegally on W. Devitt Drive near TCU. Special to the Star-Telegram

It’s shocking that a respected state appeals court judge would take the law into his own hands and help install official-looking but fake “No Parking” signs along a street near his TCU-area home.

Shocking, shameful, even disturbing.

But also disappointing, because the extralegal shenanigans of Texas Court of Criminal Appeals Judge Larry Meyers distract from efforts to resolve problems of street overcrowding near TCU.

The problems are not new. For years, campus-bound students and others have used these neighborhood streets as parking lots.

“TCU closed all its parking lots at the fraternity houses, so all the TCU kids, they won’t park where TCU told them they could park, at another garage on the north side of campus. They park on our streets,” Meyers told Star-Telegram reporter Gordon Dickson.

“They just park their cars there 24 hours a day. They leave trash. It creates gigantic congestion.”

About six years ago, the Bluebonnet Hills Neighborhood Association worked with city officials to create permit parking zones on several streets.

In a pilot project launched about three years ago, permits are required for parking on certain blocks — but not West Devitt Street between Stadium Drive and Wabash Avenue.

That’s where Meyers, an appeals court judge since 1992, helped install unauthorized signs saying “No parking anytime,” “Tow-away zone” and “Resident parking only.”

Neighborhood representatives had been negotiating with the city to obtain official parking restrictions, but those negotiations had yet to produce results.

After Dickson’s article about the signs was published in Tuesday’s newspaper, crews removed the signs from their metal poles later in the day.

Fort Worth City Attorney Sarah Fullenwider said installing a sign without permission is a violation of a city ordinance, a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of $500.

But city officials prefer dialogue to fines, at least initially. They want to seek a solution to the problem that brought on the illegal signs in the first place.

That’s exactly what Meyers should have done.