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Lake City council members increase fine costs for panhandling ordinance

Lake City council members increase fine costs for panhandling ordinance
Published: Apr. 4, 2022 at 11:11 PM EDT
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LAKE CITY, Fla. (WCJB) -The final reading for a new pedestrian safety ordinance in Lake City comes at a higher cost for violators in the road.

“But for safety purposes, this is to move them off a certain distance off of the street,” said Lake City Council Member Todd Sampson.

Only ‘arterial’ roads are included in the ordinance and are defined as US Highway 90, US Highway 41 and US 4-41 in Lake City. The ordinance bans pedestrian and driver interactions on these roads within a 200-yard distance.

“But we need to start enforcing that because I don’t know but there’s been a big pick up if you go down the 90 corridor and the main corridor, with people getting right there on the street side it’s pretty dangerous,” added Sampson.

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The areas on Baya Drive, Main Boulevard and Marion Avenue are the main focus for Lake City Police to patrol.

“If the homeless can’t pay $25, then they not going to be able to pay the $100,” said resident Glenel Bowden.

First time violators pay a fee of $100, second offense is $175. Although, Bowden thinks the homeless will bear the brunt of the burden.

“I agree with the idea that you need some pedestrian safety but I think it’s targeted to try to discourage people from being in the streets,” Whereas someone said from the audience, if you got $100 to pay for a fine, you know, the homeless can’t.”

Lake city council members unanimously approved the ordinance which goes into effect immediately.

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