Lufkin Outlaws Roadside Panhandling
It's official. By unanimous vote, the Lufkin City Council has adopted a city ordinance that prohibits panhandling and solicitation of vehicle occupants on city roadways.
It does seem that roadside panhandling has increased in the Lufkin area over the past year or so. City officials say they're getting a lot of complaints about it.
Officials say the ordinance is necessary because it's dangerous to walk into traffic to solicit money from people in cars; dangerous for motorists and for the panhandlers themselves.
City Attorney Bruce Green says the new ordinance is carefully written, and he's confident that it doesn't violate or limit anyone’s First Amendment rights.
One has to wonder how effective this ordinance will be. Will panhandlers who ignore it be arrested? Officials say there are organizations that help people in desperate financial situations. Let us hope that's where the panhandlers will go, instead of begging on street corners, or going to jail.