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City strengthens panhandling laws

Xavier Smith • May 11, 2018 at 1:10 PM

The Lebanon City Council passed an ordinance earlier this month aimed to strengthen the city’s regulations regarding panhandling at public places.

Councilors said Lebanon has seen an influx of panhandlers and people who solicit jobs and money at intersections, parking lots and other areas that have high amounts of vehicular and pedestrian traffic.

The group said the amount and placement of panhandling causes dangers to all parties, exemplified by the death of panhandler who died after he was hit by a vehicle earlier this year on South Cumberland Street.

The ordinance restricts panhandling at roadway median strips and traffic intersections, near driveways accessing shopping centers and other retail business establishments, ATM’s and banks, gas stations and public transit stops.

The goal of the ordinance is to protect residents, visitors and panhandlers from traffic safety problems, along with intrusive conduct and personal intimidation that may result from panhandling, according to councilors.

Any person deemed to be panhandling in a restricted area, or in an invasive or unsafe manner, will be subject to a $50 fine.

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