COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — A picture shared on Facebook over the weekend generated a lot of talk surrounding the homeless community in downtown Colorado Springs.
The Colorado Springs Police Department said the matter of having a gas grill on a public sidewalk is a first for them, and it raises questions on what exactly the laws are and how they fit in with the Pedestrian Access Act.
“There was a grill out there with a lot of trash and it’s just really disappointing to our city,” said Joe Campana, the owner of The Rabbit Hole.
This picture was posted Saturday evening showing a gas grill, a shopping cart and transients sitting outside the 7-11 on East Pikes Peak and Tejon.
“They commandeered it because it was underneath the bridge over at MVP [Monument Valley Park] for the longest time and they were just using it as a panhandling tool,” said Adam MacKenzie, a transient in downtown.
The recently approved Pedestrian Access Act is still in its education phase, meaning the legality of the matter is unclear.
“This is part of that education phase, to speak with the attorneys and see does this fall underneath this, that ordinance, or is this completely separate?” said Lt. Catherine Buckley with CSPD.
Although the grill was not actually used, it still had local business owners pretty upset.
“I would draw the line when they start bringing shopping carts downtown, when they start obstructing our sidewalks where people can’t get through, when they bring gas grills down to cook in the middle of downtown,” said Campana.
“I mean they have every right to be upset,” said MacKenzie. “It’s downtown, central downtown and they don’t really like the homeless people anyways.”
The grill was eventually removed by the city Sunday morning. CSPD is asking for patience as they work through the legal aspect of this unusual circumstance. As always, they encourage everyone to report these kinds of things to police.