Most of the Montgomery County Council members attending a hearing on panhandling and roadside solicitation have expressed support for a ban on such activities.  Currently, seven Maryland counties ban roadside solicitations and other jurisdictions have a permit system.  According to WUSA-TV, a report by a county Roadside Solicitation Task Force states that some residents and business representatives have expressed concern that panhandling or soliciting donations at intersections can be a public safety concern and lead to negative perceptions about crime and safety.  The County Council has agreed to support a bill in the Maryland General Assembly that could establish a permit system for those soliciting money at Montgomery County intersections.  Under the measure, solicitation from a median strip or sidewalk next to a roadway would be banned without a permit.

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