By: Sharon Aron Baron
Sixteen months ago, the City Commission made a unanimous motion to authorize a study for City staff to evaluate street canvassing and soliciting at our most dangerous intersections.
City Attorney Sam Gorin told the commission that they would be bringing something back in the first quarter of 2014. But it’s been well over a year and still nothing has been done.
I have heard from Captain Neal Glassman that the study has been just been done, however, where is ordinance, or even the discussion?
Meanwhile, even though the Homeless Voice has reportedly left town, many of them are still in town roaming throughout traffic. And it’s not just them, panhandlers and street vendors, use our busiest corners as as well day in and day out.
This is a danger to themselves and our drivers.
In 2013, December, the cities of Coral Springs and Lauderhill had their studies completed, and by the first part of 2014, they had their bans on dangerous intersections already in place.
Keep in mind, these are not outright bans on homeless people or panhandling – these ban their activity on certain dangerous intersections in the City.
Tamarac Talk has been writing about the issue with street vendors and panhandlers for several years now and had even brought it to the attention of the commission, however, there was nothing the City of Tamarac could do until pending litigation from the City of Pembroke Pines had been resolved.
In September 2012, Pembroke Pines passed a series of ordinances regulating charitable solicitation. The ordinances barred individuals and organizations from asking for donations from and offering services to drivers engaged in traffic on six major city roads. In November 2013, U.S. District Judge Robin Rosenbaum ruled that a charitable organization cannot sue a South Florida city over solicitation-permitting rules that never applied to it. The ruling allowed the City of Coral Springs and Lauderhill to move forward with their ordinances.
I spoke to Coral Springs Chief Pustizzi who said the City was anticipating the legal ruling, and had their study ready.
It only took them six months.
Last December, the commissioners were very much in favor of the ordinance.
Commissioner Diane Glasser said “It’s been a problem for a good many years.”
Commissioner Harry Dressler said, “I have problems on a safety level with people wandering into traffic….I have concerns about public safety. I would be very supportive of anything that would prohibit it.”
Vice Mayor Michelle Gomez said, “My concern is not for their safety but for the safety for people in their cars. I look forward to whatever the study is, and I hope it’s not too long, and that we don’t have to wait until someone gets hurt…or dies…”
Until then, the clock is ticking, and meanwhile we have people meandering in and out of traffic in our busiest intersections and BSO does not have the authority to do anything about it. Not until they finally pass an ordinance.
But how much longer will it take until someone gets hurt.