New panhandling ordinance takes effect Monday

New panhandling ordinance takes effect Monday

A new panhandling ordinance will take effect in Madison on Monday, banning people from standing in the medians of the city’s 100 busiest streets.

Madison police said Friday that the ordinance will prohibit people from standing in the middle of roads or walking toward running vehicles. It will also target drivers who stop for panhandlers.

Police will begin an education campaign next week letting drivers and pedestrians know about the new rules.

Fines for panhandling under the ordinance would begin at $92.50.

Supporters of the ordinance said the practice is unsafe and distracts drivers. Critics have argued that the policy does nothing to help the community’s homeless population.

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