Roanoke County votes to erect signs discouraging panhandling

Signs will be placed at several high-traffic intersections in the county

ROANOKE, Va. – Roanoke County is taking a familiar step to try and reduce panhandling.

The Board of Supervisors voted to put up signs discouraging panhandling in the medians of several high-traffic intersections. This comes after both Roanoke City and Salem erected similar signs.

Roanoke County’s signs will read, “Say no to panhandling, there’s a better way to give," along with the 211 number. The signs are awaiting approval from the Virginia Department of Transportation, and county leaders estimate they could be installed within six weeks.

Assistant Roanoke County Administrator Richard Caywood said the county had noticed an uptick in calls for panhandling in the past year and a half. He hopes the signs encourage drivers to donate to charity instead of to panhandlers.

“It’s very difficult to manage the behaviors of the person who is actually panhandling," Caywood said. "However, if you can make it more difficult for them to receive money in that way, it could discourage them from looking at that as their best choice or best option.”

The signs will rise at the following intersections:

-Brambleton Avenue (Route 221) and Garst Mill Road

-Challenger Avenue (Route 460) and Cloverdale Road

-Challenger Avenue (Route 460) and Valley Gateway Boulevard

-Challenger Avenue (Route 460) at Walmart entrance

-Electric Road (Route 419) and Brambleton Avenue (Route 221)

-Electric Road (Route 419) and Ogden Road

-Williamson Road (Route 11) and Peters Creek Road

-Williamson Road (Route 11) and Plantation Road

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