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Pedestrian ordinance limits where you can give to panhandlers

August 29, 2019


COUNCIL PASSED A NEW ORDINANCE LAST NIGHT, THAT WILL RESTRICT WHERE PEOPLE CAN PANHANDLE AND WHERE PEOPLE CAN GIVE MONEY TO THEM. BUT ITS LEFT MANY CONFUSED. NEWS 13 )S JACKIE IS LIVE AT COAL AND I- 25 TO BREAK IT DOWN… JACKIE. KIM… IT )S NOT UNCOMMON TO SEE PANHANDLERS AT ON-RAMPS LIKE THIS ONE. IT )S ONE PLACE YOU CAN )T GIVE A HANDOUT ANYMORE. Anton Green, Albuquerque: They sit out here all day long and they just heckle people. PEOPLE ARE FED UP WITH PANHANDLERS… ON HIGHWAY ON-RAMPS AND MEDIANS. LAST NIGHT CITY COUNCILOR TRUDY JONES HELPED PASSED A BILL THAT SETS RULES ON ALL ACTIVITY NEAR BUSY INTERSECTIONS INCLUDING PANHANDLING. Trudy Jones, City councilor: Trying to conform into what some of the federal government wants as far as traffic safety. Molenders: Specifically, it proposes to limit the locations that pedestrians can stand in and congregate in a high capacity high speed roadways. THE BIGGEST CHANGES IT MAKES PEOPLE CAN NO LONGER BEG FOR MONEY AT ON AND OFF RAMPS.. SOME OF THE MOST COMMON PLACES FOR PANHANDLERS. THEY ALSO CAN )T BE AT BIG INTERSECTIONS WITH HIGH TRAFFIC VOLUME LIKE THIS ONE.. THAT HAS A MEDIAN SMALLER THAN SIX FEET WIDE. ANYWHERE ELSE… THEY CAN STILL BEG FOR MONEY BUT YOU CAN )T GIVE THEM ANYTHING UNLESS YOU PULL OVER AND PARK SOMEWHERE. THAT MEANS YOU CAN )T ROLL DOWN YOUR WINDOW AT A STOPLIGHT.. AND HAND SOMEONE A DOLLAR. WHILE MANY ARE EXCITED THE CITY IS TAKING ACTION.. SOME SAY THE NEW RULES MIGHT NOT EVEN MAKE A DIFFERENCE. THEY SAY IT TIPTOES AROUND THE CITY )S PANHANDLING PROBLEM. Jon Harnisch, Albuquerque: I think it )s a little bit confusing for people that live here. Anton Green, Albuquerque: In my opinion, I don )t think it )s going to help anything. I think it )s just going to stay the same. IF YOU )RE STILL CONFUSED ABOUT WHERE YOU C D CAN )T GIVE MONEY TO PANHANDLERS THE CITY PLANS TO PUT SIGNS IN RESTRICTED AREAS. BUT UNCLEAR HOW SOON THAT WILL HAPPEN BECAUSE ITS DEPENDENT ON MONEY . KIM… BACK TO YOU. OKAY… JACKIE. CITY COUNCILOR JONES SAYS THE CITY NEEDED TO TAKE ACTION BECAUSE OF THE STATE )S HIGH NUMBER OF PEDESTRIAN AND BICYCLIST DEATHS. THE ACLU HAD THREATENED TO SUE OVER THE ORDINANCE BEFORE IT WAS AMENDED…AND THEY STILL MAY. THEY SAY THIS ORDINANCE IS NOT ABOUT OVER THE ORDINANCE BEFORE IT WAS AMENDED…AND THEY STILL MAY. THEY SAY THIS ORDINANCE IS NOT ABOUT PUBLIC SAFETY IT )S ABOUT PUSHING POOR PEOPLE OUT OF PUBLIC PLACES. WE BELIEVE THIS LAW MAY BE UNCONSTITUTIONAL AND THE ACLU IS CURRENTLY EXAMINING OPTIONS FOR CHALLENGING IT.

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