When Councilwoman Rochelle “Rikki” Spector introduced a bill to limit panhandling, the focus was on prohibiting solicitations on street shoulders and medians, a practice that is already illegal. But Spector hoped to crack down on it, as it produces “dangerous situations” (though exemptions were proposed for charities and other organizations that do the same thing).
But the version of the bill the city council will consider on Nov. 4 is much more restrictive. Not only does it prohibit panhandling in traffic, but also within 10 feet of a store or restaurant and within five feet of a parking meter.
Critics of the bill say that the overly broad bill will make it illegal to panhandle virtually anywhere in downtown Baltimore. The Downtown Partnership supports the bill, perhaps for that very reason.
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