Responding to motorists' complaints to police, the city of Wichita is considering a ban on fundraising solicitations at intersections.
City officials expect some opposition from organizations that depend on such fundraising.
The council could vote on the proposal Tuesday, when it will consider amending a city ordinance to repeal the approval of in-street charitable solicitation.
During a discussion Friday, Mayor Carl Brewer said he has seen children run into intersections to seek donations.
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"They have children doing it," Brewer said. "Eventually, somebody's going to get hurt. ... It's crazy out there."
The city also has received complaints that solicitations impede traffic flow at busy intersections, City Manager Robert Layton said Friday.
Council member Sue Schlapp said one solicitor stood in front of her vehicle.
Some worry about the proposed ban. Susie Mooney is director of Camp Quality Kansas, which pays for a week of camping for children with cancer, as well as trips to the Sedgwick County Zoo in the spring and a local pumpkin patch in the fall.
The group solicited at five Wichita intersections twice this year, raising enough money to pay for four children to go to a camp, the zoo and the pumpkin patch.
"We totally run on donations," said Mooney, who lives in Kansas City. "We do that (soliciting) twice a year.
"We were hoping to do more and more intersections and bring more and more kids to camp."
"I'm really disappointed," she said. "I'm really hoping they don't" ban the soliciting.
The Police Department initiated the move to prohibit the practice in response to residents' concerns, Layton said.
A city memo says that although fundraising is a "vital part of any successful community," there are other ways to solicit donations "that do not impact public safety."
Police Deputy Chief Terri Moses said: "The No. 1 concern is public safety." The intersections involved are "among both our high-traffic intersections in terms of sheer volume and also high-accident intersections," she said.
The intersections — such as Central and Rock Road and Central and Ridge Road — aren't designed to allow people to safely stand in them to solicit from motorists, traffic engineers have told Moses.
Moses said she does not have statistics on the number of accidents or injuries caused by in-street solicitations.
Sedgwick County has about 1,400 nonprofit organizations, but only 23 sought permits to solicit at intersections this year, Moses said. That's less than one-half of 1 percent.
"I realize that nonprofits are an essential part of any successful community," she said. "We don't want to hurt their fundraising possibilities, but we think the higher value here is public safety."
The 1995 Kansas Legislature amended a statewide ban on in-street soliciting to allow local authorities to grant permits to a person or organization.