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    Steeves will ban boulevard begging

    Intersection panhandling is dangerous to public safety

    Mayoral candidate Gord Steeves today pledged to put an end to panhandling at intersections. As mayor, Steeves will introduce a bylaw to ban panhandling on medians, boulevards and intersections because it is an issue of public safety.

    “In San Francisco, 33 percent of the people who give money to panhandlers do so because they are afraid,” Steeves said. “Research also shows money raised through panhandling does not go towards a positive outcome, but into feeding addictions.”

    Intersection panhandling also creates dangerous situations where people wander into streets and increase the likelihood of injuries as well as vehicle-pedestrian collisions.

    Steeves added numerous people tell me they lock their doors and raise their car windows when a man comes up to their car to ask for money.

    “People should not at any time feel they are afraid when driving in this city,” Steeves said. “You should have a right to feel safe in your neighbourhood.”

    Steeves noted many of the people panhandling at intersections are in all likelihood able to work but choose to panhandle at intersections for economic reasons. Intersection panhandling causes dangerous conditions for both drivers and panhandlers, and does not promote a positive image for the city. It needs to be stopped.

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