Cedar Rapids City Council Unanimously Approves Panhandling Ordinance
Cedar Rapids city council members voted unanimously on a Pedestrian Safety Ordinance which places new restrictions on panhandling and anyone soliciting money or handing out pamphlets at Cedar Rapids intersections and on-ramps.
Council members continue to say that it's a safety issue while opponents say that the city is just trying to cover up an ugly problem in the city, homelessness. The new guidelines include:
- Pedestrians are limited to standing in the median for no longer than one light cycle.
- Pedestrians are not allowed to enter a vehicle or exchange anything with the occupants of a vehicle or accept anything from them.
- Pedestrians are not allowed to sit, walk, or stand at specific intersections that include Collins and Center Pt. road, Blairsferry at I-380 and other busy intersections.
A violation of the new guidelines would be punishable by up to 30 days in jail plus a fine between $65-$625. Will the new rules keep panhandlers off the streets or will they just find new intersections to work at?