Q&A - Panhandlers on Medians
Metro Vancouver has several panhandlers who walk on the raised median in the middle of the roadway soliciting money from occupants of vehicles in the left turn lane waiting to turn at the intersection ahead.
My safety concerns are that these panhandlers (1) create a distraction to motorists that may cause a vehicle accident and (2) may fall off the narrow raised median into the path of traffic in the other lane that is often travelling at 60 km/h.
MVA s. 182 makes it an offence for pedestrians to be on a roadway (1) when there is a sidewalk on a least one side of the roadway and (2) to solicit business from an occupant of a vehicle.
Is a raised median in the middle of a roadway included as part of the roadway? Does soliciting business include panhandling? If the answers to these questions is negative, it may explain why the police have not been addressing this issue. Perhaps they are waiting for a serious accident to occur before they can justify enforcement.
In my view the vehicle occupants who give money to these panhandlers are partially to blame for providing the incentive for these panhandlers to be on the raised medians thus (1) creating a distraction to motorists and (2) placing the panhandlers at risk of being injured by moving vehicles.