The city council is looking into restricting aggressive panhandling, which is something that may affect pedestrians from time to time. People would still be asked to ask for money, but it would be illegal to intimidate or ask for money too close to an ATM. The proposal is being led by councilmember Tim Burgess and the public had a chance to offer input on the measure at this Wednesday’s public safety and education committee meeting.
Downtown business-community members, who largely support Burgess’ proposal, said tourists and locals avoid downtown because they are afraid of and intimidated by people asking for money.
Many people who testified against the ordinance said it’s poverty that makes people uncomfortable and the city should spend more money helping the poor and homeless instead.