ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. – A bill making rounds in the St. Louis County Council aims to change how pedestrians navigate the streets, specifically pushing to make it illegal to stand, sit or walk on roadways.
Bill No. 86, recently introduced by St. Louis County Councilman Ernie Trakas proposes the ban. The bill is also up for discussion in Tuesday’s county council meeting.
According to the bill, pedestrians would not be allowed to stand, sit or walk on roadways when a sidewalk is present. The bill does include some exceptions for first responders, a person legally helping with a car or health emergency or person getting on and off public transportation buses.
The bill also proposes, in situations when sidewalks might not be available along roadways, pedestrians must walk on the left side of the roadway with traffic approaching in the opposite direction.
Per the current St. Louis County ordinance (Section 1209.080), pedestrians are advised to walk along the roadway “when practical.” The bill would essentially make that guidance illegal, if approved.
Some municipalities in St. Louis County adopted ordinances last year addressing activities around the streets, including Brentwood, Chesterfield, Des Peres, Ellisville, and Manchester. Such ordinances were intended to crack down on panhandling in St. Louis streets.
The St. Louis County bill doesn’t specifically address panhandling. However, some advocates of homeless people around St. Louis County told FOX 2 last year that rules like what some municipalities adopted could make it tougher for those in need to survive.
According to county council documents, the bill is up for its “perfection stage” Tuesday, which could pave the way for final passage next week.