NEW BEDFORD — Mayor Jon Mitchell addressed the city's continued efforts to prevent panhandlers from standing on busy intersections.

On his weekly "Midweek with the Mayor" segment on WBSM on Thursday, Mitchell said the sharp cobblestone is being added to areas where people often stand to solicit donations from passing motorists.

In addition to the "octopus" intersection at Route 6 and Purchase and South Sixth Streets, the cobblestones are being applied to a median at Cove and Orchard Streets in the South End. Jersey barriers are also being used at other major intersections in New Bedford.

"The practice of begging and stepping into the roadway at busy intersections is not only dangerous for the motorists," said Mitchell, "but it is particularly dangerous for those engaging in that practice."

Mitchell also said many of those panhandling are not homeless, but instead are people with substance abuse problems, with some exceptions.

Mayor Mitchell added that giving the panhandlers money is not the best way to help them.

"Often that dollar goes towards promoting the habit that got them there in the first place. Instead, tell them to go to the Sister Rose House. Go to City Hall on the 2nd floor and seek community services. Go to PAACA. There are service providers who do a really good job and we want to make sure they get plugged into those places."

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