Madison Median Ordinance takes effect Monday

Madison's new median law takes effect Monday in an effort to stop people from standing, and asking for money on street medians.

Friday, the Madison Police Department  announced how it was going to enforce the ordinance.  For the first week or so, officers will work to educate people giving out warnings to violators.

Police say median panhandling has gotten out of hand in Madison.

"We see people slowing down in the roadway, we see people stepping into the roadway, and we do not want to be responding to crashes, people getting injured, and frankly road rage that comes out of this, so it's that time where we're really focused on the safety," says MPD Lt. Mike Hanson.

But for others like Patrick, a panhandler on Madison's west side, the ordinance comes as both unfair and unjust.

"It's a low blow for those of us who are homeless this is a way for us to keep a roof over our head in the winter time. There is a shelter but the shelter only allows you to stay in it for 90 days and then you gotta be out on the street.

Patrick says he heard about the ordinance about a month ago, when police officers started warning him and others about the law and when it would start being enforced.

Under the ordinance, pedestrians cannot approach vehicles in the street or stand on the medians, unless they're crossing the street.

Similarly, drivers cannot stop or pullover to give someone money.

First time violators get a $92.50 ticket; repeat offenders can by fined up to $439.

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