TAMPA, Fla. – As panhandling continues to rise in the bay area, so does the frustration among many neighbors dealing with those begging along local streets. Tampa city leaders have been trying to come up with a solution to deal with the problem and now, they may follow in the footsteps of another local community.
Just last week, Pasco County discussed a proposed ordinance which would allow panhandling only on Sundays. The preliminary ordinance of a six-day panhandling ban would not allow roadside sales, marketing and collection activities that pose possible safety problems or potentially impede traffic on the county’s busy intersections for any day but Sunday.
On Thursday, June 16, the Tampa City Council is having a workshop to discuss the same issue. It begins at 9 a.m. in old City Hall at 315 E. Kennedy Blvd. in downtown Tampa. The City Attorney, Tampa Police Department and the Sheriff’s Office will discuss policy issues relating to street solicitation in medians and intersections.
Under Pasco’s ban, anyone soliciting money on the roadside must be at least 18 and would be required to carry a state-issued photo identification and wear a high-visibility vest. The six-day-a-week ban applies to all state, county and most local roadways.