Activists question motive behind new city median ordinance

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — The city of Colorado Springs now has an ordinance that will stop people from standing on medians on busy streets.

City leaders call it a public safety issue, but others don’t think that’s the case.

This is only for medians that are less than four feet wide, are on a road that has 25,000 cars driving on it during the day, and have speed limits of more than 30 mph.

The fine for someone caught doing this would be a maximum of $500 or probation.

One community activist said this is meant to punish one group of people only.

“They are targeting the homeless and it’s just another way for the city to push out people they don’t like,” said Trig Bundgaard.

One city council member said it’s not about that.

“This is about public safety. It’s not about stopping the panhandlers, because all they have to do is go half way across the street to a sidewalk on either side and there it would be totally legitimate,” said Don Knight.

Wanting to keep people safe isn’t what activists like Bundgaard are trying to question.

“None of the actual guts of the law I disagree with. What I disagree with is the fact that the maximum fine, people can’t pay, and there is no warning included,” said Bundgaard.

That will have major consequences for people who are already down on their luck.

“Literally people can come into our city, do something they think is legal, have no warning that it’s not, and their first experience is a fine they can’t pay, which results in court dates they can’t show up to and that’s too high of a human price,” said Bundgaard.

The roll out of this law will happen gradually, because police have to pinpoint the intersections that it will impact and then place signs telling people it’s illegal to do.

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