New initiative aims to reduce panhandling at dangerous Henrico intersection

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Panhandling is illegal in some communities, but that doesn’t stop people from asking for money. New tactics in Henrico County are aimed at reducing panhandling.

At the intersection of Pump Road and Broad Street in Henrico County,  you’ll find signs posted warning panhandlers to stay off the busy medians.


Deputy County Manager Brandon Hinton said the signs are there to protect both the panhandlers and the motorists.

“That intersection is the worst intersection in Henrico County when it comes to car accidents,” Hinton told 8News.

b2725a39e72b4a888d688d48ddc2b62bThe street sign also has a phone number posted (804-501-7818) which is geared to refer panhandlers to agencies that could help them.

“They can call to get financial referals, housing referrals and even food referrals,” Hinton explained. “If there’s a need that the county can offer, we want to make sure they know about it.”

Right underneath the sign, Tim Nelson and his dog Flash were busy at work Tuesday, accepting anything drivers would offer.

“Every little bit helps,” Nelson said, adding that he has had some bad luck since he was in a car wreck a few years ago.

05e3903630084d579473111c017d2cd1“Well I was in a horrific car accident on February 2, 2012 and I got turned down on disability and I broke my arm, elbow, shoulder, four ribs, my head went through the windshield, got 35 stitches. I was at MCV for two-and-half months.”

Although cars whizzed by, Nelson was not fazed, “It’s not safe doing anything, you know, you just got to be on your toes and don’t play in the traffic.”

The signs in Short Pump are part of a pilot program. If they prove successful, Hinton said more signs will be put up near Cox and Broad.

This is a developing story. Stay with 8News online and on air for the latest updates.

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