IBJNews

Councilor gives panhandling proposal more time

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

The sponsor of a panhandling ordinance plans to pull it from City-County Council consideration for a second time.

The proposal, which would restrict begging and street performances in most downtown areas, is scheduled to be heard by the council's Rules and Public Policy Committee on Tuesday evening. The committee advanced the proposal to the full council with a 5-2 vote in November, but then, in December, the council sent it back to address complaints from the arts community.

Sponsor Jeff Miller said he asked committee Chairwoman Maggie Lewis to drop the proposal from Tuesday's agenda so he can introduce a new one to the council in February. He said the restrictions will be the same, but he wants to pass an ordinance that's cleanly worded and easy to understand. The proposal reflects a series of amendments to the existing code.

Miller admitted that the delay will also give him time to reach out to Broad Ripple constituents and hear from anyone else who hasn't come forward already. He said he's not looking to make substantial changes. “We want to hear people's concerns, though,” he said.

The proposal bans all forms of solicitation – whether shaking a cup or playing an instrument – within 50 feet of ATMs, crosswalks, banks, parking meters, underpasses and outdoor restaurants. It also outlaws solicitation under any circumstances from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m.

The ban applies to the entire city, but the greatest impact will likely be felt in areas like downtown, where the restricted zones are most dense.

One change Miller would still consider is carving out a cultural zone, possibly in Broad Ripple, where solicitation would be permitted. He had floated the same idea for Mass Ave and Fountain Square but found it wasn't necessary because there will still be opportunities for street performance in those districts, either under special-event permits or in areas that are untouched by the restrictions.

“I had people say, 'I'm actually OK with it as it is now,'” Miller said.

The rules committee still plans to hear public comment Tuesday night, Miller said.

In the meantime, Indianapolis Downtown Inc. has created a map showing all the stretches of sidewalk that would not be affected by the new restrictions. The map shows chunks of unrestricted sidewalk on Monument Circle and Georgia Street, as well as on Maryland Street on the north side of the Indiana Convention Center. Most other busy downtown blocks would be off-limits, though.

Mayor Greg Ballard hoped to ban panhandling in the Mile Square in response to complaints from event and convention planners, but ran into opposition from the American Civil Liberties Union and Democrats. A bipartisan group of councilors including Miller, a Republican, and Lewis, president of the majority-Democratic council, drew up the current proposal after visiting Raleigh, N.C., and San Antonio last year.

Miller said he believes there is enough bipartisan support on the council to pass a new panhandling law, but it won't be by a wide margin.

ADVERTISEMENT

  • Can't top either one of those comments
    To "GM" and "Handlin' Joe"...you have both made excellent points, and done so with humor and truth...well done...
  • Slippery slope
    A few street beggars pose much less of a threat than politicians who continue to think it's okay to propose legislation banning behavior. First it was smokers, now it's panhandlers. What will the Republicrats ban next? Soda and salt consumption? Gun ownership? Certain political speech? Democrat and Republican politicians are the true harassers, not a few beggars.
  • Glad to see the extension
    I've been "spanging" (that's latest slang for 'handlin) downtown for a few seasons now and it's worked out really nicely. In this recession, my Audi isn't going to pay for itself, amirite? Anyways in all seriousness, I was nervous when I first heard Ballard might place limits on my hobby and supplemental livelihood. This extension is welcome news while I continue to look for a suitable intersection in Carmel. I might not get as much foot traffic in Hamilton County, but at least I'll be closer to my house. -sent from my iPad

    Post a comment to this story

    COMMENTS POLICY
    We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
     
    You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
     
    Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
     
    No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
     
    We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
     

    Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

    Sponsored by
    ADVERTISEMENT

    facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

    Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
    Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
     
    Subscribe to IBJ
    1. In reality, Lilly is maintaining profit by cutting costs such as Indiana/US citizen IT workers by a significant amount with their Tata Indian consulting connection, increasing Indian H1B's at Lillys Indiana locations significantly and offshoring to India high paying Indiana jobs to cut costs and increase profit at the expense of U.S. workers.

    2. I think perhaps there is legal precedence here in that the laws were intended for family farms, not pig processing plants on a huge scale. There has to be a way to squash this judges judgment and overrule her dumb judgement. Perhaps she should be required to live in one of those neighbors houses for a month next to the farm to see how she likes it. She is there to protect the people, not the corporations.

    3. http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/engineer/facts/03-111.htm Corporate farms are not farms, they are indeed factories on a huge scale. The amount of waste and unhealthy smells are environmentally unsafe. If they want to do this, they should be forced to buy a boundary around their farm at a premium price to the homeowners and landowners that have to eat, sleep, and live in a cesspool of pig smells. Imagine living in a house that smells like a restroom all the time. Does the state really believe they should take the side of these corporate farms and not protect Indiana citizens. Perhaps justifiable they should force all the management of the farms to live on the farm itself and not live probably far away from there. Would be interesting to investigate the housing locations of those working at and managing the corporate farms.

    4. downtown in the same area as O'malia's. 350 E New York. Not sure that another one could survive. I agree a Target is needed d'town. Downtown Philly even had a 3 story Kmart for its downtown residents.

    5. Indy-area residents... most of you have no idea how AMAZING Aurelio's is. South of Chicago was a cool pizza place... but it pales in comparison to the heavenly thin crust Aurelio's pizza. Their deep dish is pretty good too. My waistline is expanding just thinking about this!

    ADVERTISEMENT