New CMPD initiative designed to curtail panhandling - | WBTV Charlotte

New CMPD initiative designed to curtail panhandling

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -

Bold flashing words from CMPD takes about five seconds to comprehend. It tells solicitors to stay off the concrete median.

Charlotte Mayor Pro Tem supports the initiative.

"I realize that there are a lot of people struggling and feel that's the only way they can make it, but we're concerned about it because it creates public safety issues," Barnes told WBTV.

Woodlawn Road at the crossroads of I-77 in South Charlotte is where this written reminder offers a telling alert.

Folks at Chubz Famous Chili burgers have a front row seat to the narrow concrete median and the madness that comes from those soliciting cash from passing cars.

Scott Piechocinski owns the restaurant.

He said, "We see them occasionally and pretty much when we travel to pick up our product. Do you think there is a safety risk out there for these folks? I would always think there is safety risk, if you're sitting or standing in the middle of the road."

The message has not made to the intersection of Ashley Road and Wilkinson Boulevard.

The concrete barrier offers an avenue to cash money.

"It ain't right we're homeless," a woman at the intersection said. "I understand about the safety issues, but when you're homeless you do what you've got to do."

Harris Lambert works at a carwash near this busy corner, and would like to see the same kind of enforcement in West Charlotte.

"It can get annoying especially when you're trying to do your job and they're asking you for money," Lambert said.

However, It's this kind of sign Mayor Pro Tem Michael Barnes supports. "If the signs can help deter people from standing in the right of way from soliciting then I think it's a helpful tool."

The effort is being carried out by officers in the Westover Division.

Depending on the success, similar signs could appear in other parts of the city.

Copyright 2014 WBTV. All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly