Miami: No Begging Please
Post on April 17, 2015 by The Victoria Law Group 0 Comments
In an effort to make the Downtown area around the American Airlines Arena a bit more user friendly, Miami Commissioners nearly doubled the size of the city’s no-panhandling zone last week, aiming to keep beggars away from the Miami Heat games and arts performances that lure tourists and visitors to the heart of downtown.
The expansion was approved unanimously and will prohibit panhandlers from asking for cash around the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts and in blocks north and west of American Airlines Arena, near the lots where people who attend basketball games park their cars.
The city’s Downtown Development Authority, which pushed for the creation of the no-panhandling zone, asked for the expansion. The agency argued that penalizing beggars with fines and the threat of jail time has helped businesses flourish and is necessary to keep people coming to events at downtown venues.
Critics of the zone, including the American Civil Liberties Union of the Greater Miami, countered that it is unnecessary because Miami already bans aggressive panhandling citywide.
Read Patricia Mazzeia’s Miami Herald article here: