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San Jose Downtown Association Considers Banning Shopping Carts For The Homeless

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downtown San Jose skyline

An aerial view of the downtown San Jose skyline. (Helene Labriet-Gross/AFP/Getty Images)

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SAN JOSE (KCBS) –  A ban on shopping carts is among the items proposed by the San Jose Downtown Association in a ‘Top 10’ to-do list for the city after some businesses said they were fed up with the level of crime and homelessness in the downtown area.

The 10-point plan, compiled by downtown businesses, includes safety measures and a call for faster responses to homeless encampments

One homeless person who called himself ‘Joshua’ said he doesn’t think a shopping cart ban is a fair suggestion for people who use the carts to collect recyclables.

“Take away their shopping cart, that’s like taking away their job. You take away their job, how are they going to eat?” he said.

Association spokesman Scott Knees said they want to hire off-duty cops to patrol the downtown area and to combine other law enforcement resources.

“For instance, share jurisdiction with the sheriff’s department, adding new park rangers; kind of any port in a storm here,” Knees said.

Downtown worker Connie Moler said she walks from her car to work with an uneasy feeling.

“I don’t feel safe,” she said pointing at panhandlers. “You’re walking and you’re being approached for multiple things and it’s just not a good feeling,” Moler said.

City leaders maintained that the 10-point plan is a good starting point for a broader conversation about the downtown core. At this point it is only a recommendation and does not carry the force of the law.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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