Kennewick City Council Considers Panhandling Ordinance - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Kennewick City Council Considers Panhandling Ordinance

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KENNEWICK, Wash.-- Kennewick City Council is discussing an ordinance Tuesday night that would make panhandling in the street a misdemeanor crime.

The ordinance addresses the safety hazards of a person entering traffic to ask for money.

The city has identified specific areas where the risk is high including intersections on SR 395, Columbia Drive, and Columbia Center Boulevard.

The city is adopting this policy after reviewing similar ordinances in other cities across the state.

"What happens is many of them around the state find themselves accumulating around these busy intersections. And we want to keep them from that dangerous situation and we don't want drivers to be put in a bad situation because they step right out in the middle of traffic," said Mayor Steve Young, City of Kennewick.

The ordinance would only apply to the specified locations with heavy traffic that officials say are the highest safety threat.

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