LETTER – ‘No panhandling’ signs needed on Summit and Columbia median

Langley has posted signs on some streets declaring panhandling illegal. A reader says signs are needed in Kamloops, too. (Image: CBC)

I recently posted a letter to our current mayor around the city of Kamloops panhandling issue.

We currently have a problem at Summit and Columbia. We have people that will be standing on the median jumping into traffic for money.

Two days ago I witnessed an RCMP officer arrive at the Columbia and Summit intersection and put this guy in handcuffs. Same guy that was put in handcuffs was back up on the median jumping into traffic.

Today when I witnessed him on the median I called police and soon as he saw police he ran but he didn’t get far. Today I talked to the dispatcher — she said they have probably gone up there over 100 times in the past few days and I’m sure bylaws would agree it’s a problem area.

I would like to see what Kelowna has done in their high volume intersections and put signs: “No Panhandling” and the fine amount. If they are caught fines should be strictly enforced . Every day you can see someone in that intersection.


About Mel Rothenburger (6121 Articles) is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

7 Comments on LETTER – ‘No panhandling’ signs needed on Summit and Columbia median

  1. Edyn Rothenburger // September 8, 2017 at 2:04 PM // Reply

    If people are so broke that the have to resort to jumping up and down in the middle of the road to get a few bucks, imposing a fine on them will do little good. They won’t have the money to pay the fine so it goes unpaid, maybe to collections messing someone’s credit up even more than it possibly is giving yet another barrier in their lives.
    So they can’t pay so maybe they eventually have to spend 2 days in jail instead of paying, so he goes for probably 1 day under tax payers money?
    How about Kamloops starts looking at real viable solutions to assist individuals experiencing homelessness instead of just shooing them along and hoping the will somehow disappear?

  2. Some make their money that way and make a LOT of money. I felt sorry for a young girl one time so I went and bought her a hot soup and sandwich and a drink and gave it to her as she was sitting on cardboard in front of my bank. Then when I got into the car my teen said, “WHY did you do that mom? I’ve been to her house, it’s nicer than ours, that is how she and her boyfriend make their money.” We had a pretty nice new house at the time so I was surprised.

  3. I get the frustration that Matt is feeling, but do you really believe that more signs will make a difference ? Passing through Langley, I see those signs everywhere, and guess what, the panhandlers use them as back rests. I guess their effective for that any way.

    • It’s more of a safety thing as well. These people are jumping into traffic for money. I have seen same panhandlers in same intersection daily. Maybe signs might help and maybe they won’t. I hear a lot of fine a panhandler? Ok the city does not fine them what is an alternative idea? Some say pay fine with what money? Well with kamloops RCMP it’s taking a lot of time coming to that intersection consistently. But anyone can attempt to get a job over standing with a cardboard sign. If a homeless person on a sidewalk needs money I would buy that person food or coffee but money because I don’t want them buying drugs or booze so my donation is food.

  4. Shirley Sanderson // September 7, 2017 at 7:57 AM // Reply

    Shee, do we have so little empathy for the vulnerable we can openly wish harsh treatment of them.

  5. Lawrence Beaton // September 7, 2017 at 6:36 AM // Reply

    Can panhandlers afford to pay fines.

  6. Fine a panhandler? Where is he going to panhandle to pay for the fine?
    He may be a man of limited means, financially for sure but also physically and psychologically. I am not sure a tough guy in uniform can remedy his situation properly.
    Kids grown up without love and care and oftentimes under very difficult circumstances to parents which themselves had a tough upbringing.
    As a society we can’t legislate certain situations…panhandling is one of the symbols of our collective failure to widespread care and attention to others.

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