By: Sharon Aron Baron
The City of Coral Springs gave tentative approval to an ordinance that regulates street solicitors at certain intersections in the city.
Basically, it bans vendors at their most busiest intersections in the city.
After Miramar and Pembroke Pines took created this ordinance, I approached the city commission to bring this forward for our city.
On a daily basis, there are adults and occasionally teens walking in an out in traffic collecting money: with the combination of distracted drivers, this an accident waiting to happen.
I believe most of the commission was receptive to the idea of an ordinance. However, City Attorney Sam Gorin said they needed to take a wait-and-see approach to see if the current lawsuit from the street vending company held up in U.S District Court.
Coral Springs has tough safety measures on street vendors even before they voted on the ordinance. They authorized their police department to make sure vendors aren’t allowed to leave the medians, whereas in Tamarac, they walk in the streets and in and out of traffic. Our city does not authorize our BSO to restrict their movements for their safety.
This is a safety issue in our city which restricts the flow of traffic everyday.
Coral Springs Vice Mayor Larry Vignola who brought this issue forward said, “It’s unsafe and it’s a matter of when, not if, before someone gets hurt.”
Over a year ago, Vignola was driving along Royal Palm Boulevard and University when a vendor slipped off the cub and stumbled in the street. Vignola narrowly missed hitting him, and if Vignola would have swerved, he said he would have hit a motorcyclist next to him.
He was so shaken up afterwards that he contacted the city attorney and asked him what they could do about it.
“I know people don’t want these guys out here because it looks bad, but this is clearly a safety issue,” said Vignola.
Not only was Vignola concerned about the safety of street vendors, but high school children that were out collecting money for their teams.
In September 2012, Pembroke Pines passed a series of ordinances regulating charitable solicitation. The ordinances bar individuals and organizations from asking for donations from and offering services to drivers engaged in traffic on six major city roads.
In November, 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 to move forward with their ordinance.
And we can too.
It’s time Tamarac moved forward as well.