ACLU warns Merriam new ordinance limiting panhandling is ‘unconstitutional’

Merriam panhandling

The city of Merriam is standing firm on their February ordinance prohibiting pedestrians from being in nine medians, after the American Civil Liberties Union of Kansas and the National Homelessness Law Center sent a letter to city officials saying the ordinance is unconstitutional. Merriam City Administrator Chris Engel previously said the ordinance is aimed at improving public safety for drivers and pedestrians, not eliminating panhandling. File photo of a person panhandling in a median at 75th Street and Interstate 35 — one of the intersections included in the ordinance.

The city of Merriam is standing firm on its new ordinance that prohibits pedestrians from standing in medians at nine major intersections.

Merriam’s City Council approved the ordinance in a 6-2 vote on February 8, despite concerns that the measure singles out panhandlers — though the ordinance doesn’t mention panhandling.