On Tuesday, July 11 the Cedar Rapids city council is scheduled to discuss and vote on ordinances governing pedestrian safety, specifically the growing presence of panhandling.

You see them on the street, in front of stores, sometimes dressed better than you. The folks who panhandle will soon have more rules to follow. Tuesday's meeting will propose three things:

  • Pedestrians be limited to standing in the median for no more than one traffic light cycle
  • Pedestrians not allowed to enter the road for the purpose entering a vehicle or exchanging anything with occupants of the vehicle or accepting anything from them.
  • Pedestrians not allowed to sit, walk, stand or enter the road at specific intersections which include Collins Road and Center Point Road NE, Blairs Ferry at I-380 and other busy intersections.

The disciplinary penalty for violating these guidelines would be 30 days in jail, a fine of anywhere from $65-$625, or both.

There are still kinks to work out in the proposals, such as perhaps how to determine the difference between someone with a legitimate need and someone taking advantage. That's where you come in. Do you think these guidelines will be enough of a deterrent against panhandling? Have your say at the Cedar Rapids city council meeting Tuesday at noon at City Hall, 101 1st. St. SE.

[Via Gazette]