Vote expected Thursday on pedestrian & traffic safety ordinance

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) –  A final vote is scheduled Thursday evening on a new ordinance aimed at addressing Lexington’s panhandling problem.

The Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government is expected to vote on the new ordinance, called the “Pedestrian and Traffic Safety Ordinance.”

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The ordinance would make it a misdemeanor to stand in medians on major roads.  It would also prohibit people from approaching cars or being in the road unless crossing at a crosswalk.  Those who violate the proposed ordinance would face a $100 dollar fine.

Officials say the number of people panhandling jumped significantly after the state Supreme Court struck down the city’s panhandling ordinance on the grounds that it violated free speech.  That was back in February.

Earlier this month, the city also launched a program to try and combat panhandling. The “End Panhandling Now” van is going out, offering  rides to people on the street panhandling.  Under the program, if panhandlers are willing, the van will take them to a place where they can earn nine dollars an hour helping to clean the city.

If the ordinance does pass, it would take effect in 60 days.