Colorado Springs city council passes sit-lie ordinance

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — If you’re sitting or lingering downtown Colorado Springs or in Old Colorado City, you could soon be asked to leave. City council on Tuesday passed an ordinance prohibiting sitting and lying on public rights-of-way in parts of downtown and Old Colorado City.

The ordinance is officially called the Pedestrian Access Act, but has been referred to as the sit-lie ordinance. It prohibits sitting, kneeling, reclining, and lying on sidewalks, trails, and other public rights-of-way during high traffic hours in parts of downtown and Old Colorado City.

But not everyone thinks it’s the best use of time or taxpayer money.

“They should be focusing on other things,” one Colorado Springs woman who asked to remain anonymous said. “Criminal activity, not somebody sitting down on the sidewalk or something. There’s so many drugs and other crimes they should be spending their time on besides messing with the homeless.”

But some think the new act is a good thing and will improve the downtown experience.

“The homeless problem is a blight on our downtown,” said another woman who also asked to remain anonymous.

According to the city, the Pedestrian Access Act grew out of complaints from local business owners, residents and tourists about the growing number of people sitting and lying in public walking space.

The prohibition will be in effect daily from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., and on Friday and Saturday nights from 10 p.m. to 3 a.m. During those times, people are only allowed to sit on objects intended for sitting, like benches, seat walls, and vault vents with concrete bench tops. People may also sit and lie in grassy areas of parks.

The ordinance applies to the following areas of Colorado Springs:

The area bordered by Pikes Peak Avenue to the north, 23rd Street to the east, West Cucharras Street to the south, and 28th Street to the west.
The area bordered by Pikes Peak Avenue to the north, 23rd Street to the east, West Cucharras Street to the south, and 28th Street to the west.

 

The area bordered by St. Vrain Street to the north, Wahsatch Avenue to the east, Cimarron Street to the south, and Interstate 25 to the west.
The area bordered by St. Vrain Street to the north, Wahsatch Avenue to the east, Cimarron Street to the south, and Interstate 25 to the west.

 

Enforcement of the ordinance will begin in mid-April, after a 60-day education period. During the education period, police won’t issue any verbal or written warnings.

After the education period, the penalty for the first violation is a written warning. The penalty for a second violation is probation and/or a fine of up to a $500. The penalty for subsequent violations is a fine of up to $500 and/or a jail term of up to 90 days and/or probation. A ticket, similar to a traffic ticket, will be issued for each violation.

“The Colorado Springs Police Department does not anticipate any significant additional costs for enforcement of this proposed ordinance, as enforcement would be a part of the regular law enforcement activities that police department personnel currently perform in downtown and Old Colorado City,” city officials said in a statement.

  • http://dailyhaze.com/sitting-down-now-illegal-in-colorado-springs-co/ Sitting down now illegal in Colorado Springs, CO | DailyHaze

    […] or lying down in multiple areas across the city. Labeling it the Pedestrian Access Act, this new ordinance seeks to improve the vitality of the city by removing the unsightly homeless from view of […]

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