ALBUQUERQUE, NM (AP) – A federal appeals court on Wednesday upheld a lower court ruling that an Albuquerque ordinance aimed at curbing panhandling in certain locations was not tight enough to avoid violating the rights of the First Amendment.
The city ordinance prohibits pedestrians from gathering near a motorway entrance or driveway, occupying a median that is unsuitable for pedestrians, or communicating with anyone in a vehicle in any type of lane.
The order has been challenged in court on behalf of beggars, protesters and people distributing items to the needy.
City officials argued the restrictions were necessary to address pedestrian safety concerns and were tightly tailored so as not to restrict speech more than necessary.
The US 10th District Court of Appeals, as well as a US District Court judge, disagreed with the view that the provisions of the ordinance were not tight enough to meet the goal of reducing pedestrian accidents.