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City of Plano installs signs to curb people from going onto roadways

"This is a very giving community. We just don't think giving at intersections is the best way to help those in need," said Police Chief Ed Drain.

PLANO, Texas — The city of Plano is hoping to curb the number of people who walk out into the roadway to solicit donations. 

Two weeks ago, the city started installing Pedestrian Safety Signs in 25 of the busiest intersections across the city.

"For people to stand around on medians on sidewalks at intersections is inherently dangerous, especially when they step into the roadway," said Plano Police Chief Ed Drain.

WFAA met with Zan Holmes, who was at the corner of Central Expressway and 15th Street during the noon rush. Holmes said that when his wife of 27 years died last year, his life had spiraled downward. He needs $30 a day to keep the apartment he shares with two other people.

"If [cars] are moving then you don't go in the street. That's common sense," Holmes told WFAA. 

Zan isn't convinced with the new signs. The city said that there have been too many close calls of people getting hit and drivers getting distracted.

"At least I'm not out here robbing and stealing," said Holmes.

Chief Drain said it becomes a public safety issue when people enter the roadway. He said it is dangerous to both the solicitor and drivers on the road.

"This is a very giving community. We just don't think giving at intersections is the best way to help those in need," said Drain.

The city advises people to, instead, give to the local community groups who actively help those, like Holmes, who are in need. 

The city's Neighborhood Services Unit has established partnerships with a number of non-profits and groups who directly connect with people who are in need. 

Drain encourages people to explore other avenues to help that can be safer for all.

"The City of Plano cares about people in need. Our team makes contact with them and makes sure that everyone is offered help. Not everyone asking motorists for help in our intersections is actually in need. We make sure everyone in need who wants help, receives help," read a statement from the city's website.

Drain told WFAA that the police department has special enforcement to address solicitors who enter the roadway. 

He said officers will initially give solicitors warnings and then citations which could result in fines. If those fines aren't paid, it could constitute a Class C misdemeanor offense.

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