Des Moines will bar loitering in about 200 city medians

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Des Moines leaders intend to bar people from loitering on medians at about 200 city intersections.

The City Council voted Monday for an ordinance that takes effect next month. It bars people from “standing, sitting or staying on a median for any purpose other than to cross the street.” It won’t apply to medians that are 6 feet or wider. Officials cited safety reasons for the proposal.

The council voted more than six months ago to rescind its ordinance barring panhandling without a city license. That decision came after the American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa urged Council Bluffs, Des Moines and Grimes to repeal their panhandling restrictions.

Panhandlers holding signs asking for money often are seen standing on the medians at some of the 200 intersections included in the new Des Moines ordinance.