Lake Saint Louis has gotten stricter with panhandlers who have been asking for donations from drivers at intersections.
As expected, the city’s Board of Aldermen approved a modification of a city public safety ordinance at its April 2 meeting that will prohibit solicitation by people standing in road medians, particularly along Hwy. N and the intersection of Lake Saint Louis Boulevard and Interstate 70.
City officials have been hearing complaints about aggressive solicitation. While the city has a loitering ordinance that prohibits hindering vehicle flow or pedestrian traffic, Police Chief Chris DiGiuseppi told aldermen that a possible solution may involve toughening up that ordinance.
“I don’t want them [solicitors] to be hurt,” DiGiuseppi said.
DiGiuseppi drafted new language to add to the city’s the existing loitering ordinance limiting access to the medians but still allowing people to stand on public right-of-way on the side of the road. If that becomes a public safety problem, the city can add an ordinance that limits solicitation in the right-of-way, DiGiuseppi said.
He added that the ordinance change doesn’t prevent charitable groups from seeking roadside solicitations. It’s just that charitable groups like panhandlers cannot block or hinder traffic or stand in the median.