Dodge City commissioners have approved an ordinance establishing a Chapter XI, Article 7 of the Code of the City of Dodge City for prohibiting pedestrians from entering or staying upon a designated roadway to facilitate a transfer of anything from pedestrian to vehicle occupant would be prohibited.
What is being referred to as the "Panhandling Ordinance," it states that pedestrians stepping out into the roadway or for those that remain along side a designated roadway, to complete a transaction, would be prohibited.
Therefore, anyone that goes into the roadway or along side the roadway and approaches a vehicle stopped on the roadway would be prohibited.
"The emphasis for this is traffic and pedestrian safety," attorney for the city Brad Ralph said. "We want to make sure everyone stays safe which includes people getting and people giving transactions."
The designated roadways would be any road listed within the ordinance would not be allowed for panhandling.
The roads that are being designated are Wyatt Earp Boulevard, 14th Avenue, Trail Street, Central Avenue from Comanche Boulevard north to Highway 50, Highway 50, 2nd Avenue south from Wyatt Earp Boulevard to the south city limits.
"After discussions we added that, any street that intersects with the designated roadways as well as 75-feet back from that intersection would be prohibited," Ralph said. "That way someone couldn't go around the corner to one of the side streets to complete a transaction away from traffic signals."
A similar ordinance was put in place in Wichita and those that are found to engage in these transactions will be ticketed with a fine.
City commissioners also amended an ordinance on alcoholic liquor regarding Boot Hill Distillery.
"Our (city) ordinance did not make provisions for micro-distilleries in the state of Kansas which is what Boot Hill Distillery is," Ralph said. "A state statute is in place where a micro-distillery can make packaged or bottled sales on Sunday's. Amending this ordinance now allows Boot Hill Distillery to do that."
According to City Manager Cherise Tieben, the ordinances were approved with a 4-0 vote. Commissioner Jan Scoggins was absent from the meeting and did not vote.
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