‘Solicitation’ made easier in Durham
02/27/2014 11:33 AM
02/27/2014 11:34 AM
By a unanimous vote Thursday, the City Council approved revised rules for “roadside solicitation,” including panhandlers.
The rules had been scheduled for a vote at Monday night’s regular council meeting but were held to allow city attorneys to clarify some of the language in the proposed ordinance.
City Attorney Patrick Baker said he will continue to investigate how other cities regulate panhandling in residential areas, an issue on which Mayor Pro Tem Cora Cole-McFadden has repeatedly raised concerns.
“We will continue ... to scour the country,” Baker said.
Among other provisions, the revised rules ( bit.ly/1idGUhi) allow:• Panhandling and other forms of soliciting on two-way streets;
• Service animals to accompany disabled solicitors;
• Solicitors to interact with drivers and/or passengers.
Among other provisions, solicitors may only:• Solicit from a paved sidewalk;
• Solicit from vehicles in traffic lanes closest to the roadside;
• Approach the passenger side of a stopped vehicle.
The new rules take effect March 22. The previous regulations, which took effect in January 2013, drew complaints from some in the faith community who claimed that they “criminalized poverty” and created difficulty for persons who depend on begging for their livelihoods.
Editor's Choice Videos
Join the Discussion
News & Observer is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.