New Median Ordinance Passes Colorado Springs Council Unanimously

Jan 25, 2017

Colorado Springs City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to pass an ordinance that makes it illegal to stand on certain city medians. 

The measure bans standing on sloped medians less than four feet wide on busy streets where traffic travels more than 30 miles per hour.

Council heard from several supporters of the ordinance including Mayor John Suthers. Police Chief Pete Carey also endorsed it, saying he's witnessed safety issues.

"I've personally seen dangerous behavior on medians that have been not designed to be stopped on or stood on," Carey said. "I've seen people wobbling, unsteady balance, sitting on these medians so that their legs are straddling into traffic lanes, things like that."

Several opponents spoke out against the ordinance, saying enforcement targets those without means.

During public comment, Andi Van Gogh of the local homeless advocacy group Coalition for Compassion and Action said she thinks this law is similar to last year's proposed "sit-lie" ordinance in that it targets the homeless. 

"The proposed ordinance is overly broad and it must be rewritten, or it will join the sit-lie as another assault on our basic civil liberties in Colorado Springs," she said. 

Councilor Jill Gaebler proposed adding a 60-day education period to the ordinance, and Councilor Bill Murray proposed reducing the maximum fine from $500 to $50 with the possibility of probation. Neither change was made.

The ordinance is up for a second vote in mid-February.