Yep, you read that right! Starting this summer, it will be illegal to sit or lie down on sidewalks, curbs, and other public areas in Durango, thanks to an ordinance by the Durango City Council.On Tuesday, May 15, the Durango City Council unanimously approved an ordinance that will ban sitting or lying down on downtown sidewalks, curbs, alleys, railways, and other public areas. It will take effect this summer. This new law, according to Councilor Dick White, is meant to improve downtown Durango's atmosphere and to maintain safety for residents and tourists alike. "I think this is achieving what we are trying to achieve," White told the Durango Herald. It will be implemented from 7 a.m. to 2:30 a.m. along Main Ave. (from the Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad depot) to 12th Street. It will also affect Narrow Gauge Ave., the alley east of Main Ave., and East Second Ave. (from College Drive to Ninth Street). [caption id="attachment_37191" align="aligncenter" width="523"] Area of downtown Durango where the ordinance is being implemented. | Courtesy of Durango City Council[/caption] After an initial warning, if an offender is in violation of the ordinance, he or she will receive a fine of no more than $100. The second fine would then increase up to $200. Though, a municipal judge could impose a lower fine, if deemed appropriate.
It's important to note that the ordinance does not apply to anyone with disabilities, anybody experiencing medical emergencies, children in strollers, or those attending parades, festivals, performances, or other special events. It also exempts residents who sit on furniture installed by the city or a business. White said that the new law was based on similar laws found in Colorado Springs and Tempe, Arizona. "I wouldn't have brought an ordinance to you that I didn't think was legally supportable." Read about the Durango City Council's new sitting ordinance in further detail on the Durango Herald's website. Also, if you would like to view the city council's meeting on the law, you can watch a recording of the session here. (Watch 35:53 -- 1:25:42.) What do you think? Are you for or against this new rule? Would you like to see this being implemented in other cities around Colorado? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below, and let's get the conversation started.