Council votes to allow fundraising at intersections

WICHITA — The City Council approved the first reading today of an ordinance that will allow fundraising at intersections.

The ordinance has more restrictions than in the past, but it isn't the total ban requested by police.

The council also voted to bring the matter back for review in one year to see whether the restrictions worked.

The vote was 5-2, with Mayor Carl Brewer and council member Paul Gray voting against the ordinance.

Before the ordinance can become official, it must be approved on a second reading at the council's next meeting, March 8. A second reading is generally a formality.

A temporary moratorium on intersection fundraising will remain in place until after that second reading.

The council has considered intersection fundraising three times since mid-December. Each time, the police department has recommended a total ban, citing public safety and the difficulty of enforcing a partial ban.

Police Deputy Chief Terri Moses said the more restrictive ordinance does "enhance public safety."

"That was our original goal, and we've achieved that," Moses said. "Would have I rather had a total ban? Yes."

She said only four of the 1,400 nonprofits in the Wichita area had indicated they were against a total ban.

Among the restrictions included in the ordinance approved today were reducing the number of intersections where fundraising can be conducted to 25 from 42. The 17 intersections eliminated included those with the highest traffic volume and accident rate.

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