NewsCovering Colorado


Highway 21 getting signs to deter panhandlers, increase safety

Posted at 10:59 PM, Nov 02, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-03 01:05:33-04

COLORADO SPRINGS – A man living near Powers Boulevard reached out to News 5 saying panhandlers are using the highway’s median – and the city hasn’t tried to stop it.

“It’s really unlawful and it’s unsafe to be there,” said Ryan Jones, who said a city ordinance passed in 2017 to ban pedestrians from occupying medians less than four feet in diameter, with speeds limits higher than 30 miles per hour — should be enforced on Powers Boulevard.

The missing element? A sign that indicates it’s unlawful to occupy the median.

“Why don’t we prevent this from happening in the first place?” he wondered out loud.

The City of Colorado Springs says without a sign, it’s impossible to enforce the ban and ticket people.

But they’re working on it.

“I got in touch with the city’s traffic engineer and i did get some good news, she said she would look into it,” he explained.

The city’s traffic engineer sent a statement to News 5 which says, in part, pedestrian safety is important to them and they’re working with the Colorado Department of Transportation to make it happen.

Since Powers Boulevard is a state highway, CDOT needs to give the green light.

Jones agrees, once this gets enforced, pedestrians will be a lot safer.

“It is a safety issue and even though it’s not my safety, yes, i am concerned about other people that are, you know, really close, a few feet away from cars that could kill them.”

And he says panhandling can also be an eyesore.

“It’s something that i don’t think we want to see in our city, people standing on medians,” he remarked.
“I wish they could get help in other ways.”

He said he hopes to start seeing change soon.

“Some of this is proactive measures to prevent bad things from happening and make our city a nicer spot.”

The City of Colorado Springs says you could start seeing those signs pop up along powers boulevard within the next month.