Monday, August 24, 2015

Colorado Springs may ban sitting in public places

By Eric Boehm

Move it along, buddy.

No, there ain’t no rest for the wicked, nor for the weary or anyone else in Colorado Springs — or at least there won’t be if the city council carries through with a plan to ban taking a load off one’s feet.

The city council will vote Monday on an ordinance that would ban sitting, lying, reclining and kneeling on public streets, sidewalks, trails and “objects in the right of way” between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 p.m. to 3 a.m. Friday and Saturday nights in two commercial areas with lots of pedestrians, according to KOAA-TV.

The ordinance is being sold as a way to improve public safety in downtown Colorado Spring by targeting panhandlers and other individuals who loiter in the area. But some residents told KOAA they see it as a blatant attempt to go after the city’s homeless population.

“Seems like they’re trying to yet again, ‘you’re homeless, you’re homeless, you’re sitting on the corner doing nothing with your life’ kind of thing,” Justin Rover told the station.

Others said the proposed ordinance seems like a fundamental violation of the right to sit down.

“Why not be able to sit down and eat on a ledge wherever you may be, I mean it’s a free country, why not just allow it, we’re not hurting anybody,” Amy Lee told KOAA.

This isn’t the first time Colorado Springs has taken a rather extreme step to try and keep people from doing as they please within the city limits. In 2012, the city council banned panhandling — which might sound reasonable at first, until you realize it means they literally banned the act of handing money to another person, as if people in Colorado Springs are not capable of handling their own money and making their own decisions about how to spend it or to whom to give it.


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