Filing An Injunction to Prevent Placing a Barricade Across the Street

In Dykes v. City of Houston, 406 S.W.2d 176 (Tex. 1966), a landowner sought a mandatory injunction to prohibit the City of Houston from placing a barricade across a public street. The barricade was erected to prevent vehicle traffic from entering an undeveloped area of the dedicated street. The supreme court upheld the injunction, noting that the case presented a "conflict between a private interest and the public welfare." In short, the court's opinion was rooted in the fact that the abutting landowners had acquired their property in a subdivision in which the plat dedicated private easements over the public road thereby entitling them to enjoin the City's attempted closure. See Acts of 1930, 41st Leg., 5th C.S., ch. 84, 1930 Tex. Gen. Laws 257 (amended 1985) (current version at TEX. CIV. PRAC. & REM. CODE ANN. 65.015 (Vernon 1997)). The focal point of the court's analysis was its conclusion that the petitioners had purchased property in a subdivision and acquired private easement rights over the dedicated public road by virtue of having bought lots "with reference to a front or rear on that street." Dykes, 406 S.W.2d at 181 (citing Oswald v. Grenet, 22 Tex. 94, 100 (1858)). This easement gave the purchasers "the right to have such street . . . kept open." Id. (quoting Wolf v. Brass, 72 Tex. 133, 12 S.W. 159, 160 (Tex. 1888)).