Panhandlers in the French Quarter are now forbidden to follow pedestrians, to cuss or call people names, or to block traffic.

 

The ordinance passed last week cracks down on what Councilwoman Kristin Gisleson Palmer called "organized aggressive solicitation" in the historic neighborhood.

The law says it is not intended to stop people from "passively" asking for donations with a sign, by shaking a cup of change or ringing a bell, or performing behind or next to a sign asking for money.

It bans soliciting in or near parks, playgrounds, banks, ATMs, bars, liquor stores, convenience stores and gas stations — or within 20 feet of an intersection or marked crosswalk, to people in parked or stopped vehicles, or to people standing in lines.