By: Sharon Aron Baron
Coral Springs City commissioners recently gave tentative approval to an ordinance that regulates street solicitors at certain intersections in the city.
Brought forward by Vice Mayor Larry Vignola, this was a safety issue for both street vendors as well as for drivers.
Over a year ago, Vignola said he was driving along Royal Palm Boulevard and University when a vendor slipped off the curb and stumbled into the street. Vignola narrowly missed hitting him, and if he would have swerved, he would have hit a motorcyclist next to him.
He was so shaken up afterwards that he contacted the city attorney and asked him what they could do about it.
“I know people don’t want these guys out here because it looks bad, but this is clearly a safety issue,” said Vignola.
Not only was Vignola concerned about the safety of street vendors, but also high school children that were out collecting money for their teams. “It’s unsafe, and it’s a matter of when, not if, before someone gets hurt.”
The city attorney said that anything to restrict street vendors would have to wait until a lawsuit from the street vending company was heard in U.S District Court.
This happened last month when U.S. District Judge Robin Rosenbaum ruled that a charitable organization cannot sue a South Florida city over solicitation-permitting rules that never applied to it.
In September 2012, Pembroke Pines passed a series of ordinances regulating charitable solicitation. The ordinances bar individuals and organizations from asking for donations from and offering services to drivers engaged in traffic on six major city roads, but exempt people who lawfully display signs along those roads.
The ruling allowed the City of Coral springs to move forward.
“This is a great thing in the city, and it’s a safety issue for the city,”said Vignola.
The Coral Springs Police Department analyzed the most dangerous intersections and these were included in the ordinance.
- Sample Road & University Drive
- Royal Palm Blvd & University Drive
- Sample Road & 441
- Wiles Road & 441
- Atlantic Blvd & University Drive
- Riverside Drive & University Drive
- Sample Road & Coral Springs Drive
- Sample Road & Coral Ridge Drive
- Sample Road & Riverside Drive
- Sample Road & Rock Island Road
- Sample Road & NW 62nd Street
- Wiles Road & University Drive
- Wiles Road & Riverside Drive
- Wiles Road & Coral Springs Drive
- Wiles Road & Coral Ridge Drive
Mayor Vincent Boccard said that the passing of the ordinance was an accomplishment. Back in 2006, he addressed the issue, but it didn’t get the support in the legislature. “This is a chance to clear the intersections and make the public safe.”