It’s Illegal to Sit On the Sidewalk in This Texas City
Picture this: You're waiting for your ride to pick you up after an evening out with friends at the bar. You have a seat on the curb of the sidewalk while you finish off a slice of pizza you bought from a food truck. You dig through your purse for some cash for your cab. Then, all of a sudden, a police officer is asking you for your information and writing you a ticket.
Sounds pretty crazy, but technically, it could happen.
In Galveston, Texas, you can be slapped with a fine of up to $500 just for sitting on the sidewalk. According to the rules, "It shall be unlawful for any person to sit or lie down on a sidewalk or on a blanket, stool, or any other object placed upon a sidewalk."
However, the scenario I described above is probably not exactly how it pans out. I would imagine that this law mainly targets the homeless population. Who else spends the majority of their time sitting or laying on the sidewalk? Exactly. People who have nowhere else to go.
Then again, from a business standpoint, I can see how it might be undesirable to have people loitering around in front of your establishment, possibly frightening customers away from your store.
Panhandling is illegal in Texas, but that doesn't seem to stop anyone from doing it. I wonder if these sidewalk laws in Galveston are ever actually enforced on regular people, or if they only affect the homeless?
Rules against sitting on the sidewalk are just one of many strange laws we come across around these parts.