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City Council to vote on expanding Sit-Lie ordinance

Police say the city's growth causing more issues with homeless on street
The amendment would expand the Sitting and Lying ordinance North and South in Downtown
Posted at 8:54 PM, Jan 10, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-11 01:02:30-05

COLORADO SPRINGS — Colorado Springs Police are asking City Council to consider expanding the controversial Sit-Lie ordinance, which passed in 2016.

Formally known as the Pedestrian Access Act allows CSPD to cite anyone sitting or lying in the pathway of highly-trafficked areas for pedestrians.

"It's unsafe for both the people that are engaging in that conduct -It opens them up for being preyed on by other individuals, being hit by vehicles. I know you all are aware of the traffic concerns that we have in the city. But it's also unsafe for business owners, for residents that live in these areas," said Commander John Koch.

Current downtown area falling under the Pedestrian Access Act

Many of the current City Council members, like Member-At-Large Tom Strand, served in 2016 when the original Sitting or Lying Down ordinance sparked backlash from advocates for those experiencing homelessness.

The City Council Representative for District 4, Yolanda Avila, did not serve in 2016 and says she opposes the expansion.

"I guess I would like us as a city to be more compassionate, and figure out... Instead of building more jails or more prisons, how do we stop the bleed at a level? I was never in agreement with the Sit and Lie."

Areas proposed in the amendment to expand the Pedestrian Access Act

Member at Large Bill Murray raise concerns over clogging the legal system with extra citations, and the amount of resources CSPD would need to be successful when taking on new areas.

City Council will vote on the amendment during the regular session on January 25.

The full presentation from CSPD can be read here.