More Barriers to Begging [OPINION]
The Mitchell Administration has installed more raised cobblestones to try and discourage begging at the city's busier intersections. Crews have been installing the cobblestones at Routes 6 and 140 in recent days.
When the Administration first installed the raised cobblestones at the octopus intersection downtown, City Councilors Hugh Dunn, Maria Giesta and Ian Abreu referred to them as "inhumane" and "malicious." They accused Mitchell of "medieval tactics" that were "designed to hurt people." Panhandling has been much less of an issue at the intersection since the cobblestones were installed. I wonder their thoughts on the matter today?
The cobblestones have also been placed at Coggeshall Street entrance to Market Basket with somewhat less success. While the cobblestones seem to keep the beggars off of the median strips, they have moved into the street. This is where the police need to step up their enforcement of the laws that prohibit such activity.
The raised cobblestones are in place now at three locations. It is not a perfect solution but it helps. What can end the problem of panhandling overnight would be if people stopped giving money to the beggars. They continue to panhandle because it is lucrative.
Do not give money to the panhandlers and they will go away.
Barry Richard is the host of The Barry Richard Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.