Milwaukee Bans Panhandling on Certain Medians

Panhandling will soon be illegal on certain medians and ramps in the city of Milwaukee.

The Common Council passed an ordinance last week making it illegal to loiter on any median less than 5 feet, or on specific on and off ramps deemed "dangerous" by the city. 

     "Over the last couple of years, we've seen an increase in the number of people utilizing the medians for any variety of activities," says Alderman Bob Donovan. "From selling water, to panhandling, to raising money for churches, all of these things."

Donovan says the law is not intended to single out panhandlers, even though they might see the biggest impact.

     "We're looking at this more as a pedestrian safety effort," he says.

Donovan says the city is still deciding whether signage will be posted. He says the city clerk will have a list of impacted locations. 

Violators could face a fine of up to $200, but Donovan says multiple warnings would likely be issued before that point was ever reached. 

     "The police may ask if people are engaged in a certain activity at those intersections, and they'll be asked to move along." 

The new law will take effect on October 28th. 

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