FRAMINGHAM (WBZNewsRadio) - Framingham city councilors have now voted to ban aggressive solicitation, a problem City Council Chairman Philip Ottaviani Jr. says has gotten worse in the last five years.
"People darting in and out of cars, businesses in downtown Framingham have been complaining, it's become a safety issue." He said. "It's more of safety ordinance, you can't go within 5 feet of a car, you can walk in a crosswalk but you can't dart in and out of traffic in downtown."
The ordinance fines panhandlers starting at $50 for walking along nearly 20 specific roads or approaching drivers. It'll be up to police to enforce the new ordinance.
City officials believe some of these people are just trying to survive, while others are part of organized panhandling.
"There's video of a minivan dropping 6-to-8 people. And them then going out to their spots. They have iPhone 14s, Apple watches, Nike sneakers." Ottaviani said.
Residents and those working in downtown Framingham told WBZ's Kim Tunnicliffe, they think it's a great idea.
"I think it's great, they were getting a little aggressive." One man said. "They bang on my window and going like 'can you feed me', they were just getting a little out of control."
WBZ's Kim Tunnicliffe (@KimWBZ) reports