A public hearing on proposed revisions to the city’s graffiti laws, once scheduled for this afternoon, is likely to be postponed until Feb. 28. City Council rules state that anybody who shows up today to testify must still have a chance to speak, though they won’t be able to repeat their comments on the delayed hearing date.
Meanwhile, voting on a proposal to ban pedicab traffic around TD Ameritrade Park during the College World Series will likely also be delayed until the end of February.
Both delays are so all sides can try to reach some sort of compromise on various items in each proposed ordinance.
- Resistance to changes in the city’s graffiti laws largely comes from neighborhood groups and business interests who say the proposed rules are incomplete. Proposed changes to city ordinances would explicitly require property owners to remove graffiti from their property unless they give the city written or verbal permission to remove it. Police statistics show the city’s graffiti removal van visited 2,453 locations through the end of September, a sharp increase from the 1,196 sites recorded in 2010. City crews also handled 2,508 graffiti cases through October, an increase of roughly 1,500 cases from the same time frame in 2010
- The Omaha Police Department is also working with those opposed to a potential ban ballpark pedicab traffic during the CWS. (See the rough area that would be closed to carriage or pedicab traffic here.) Our very own Jeffrey Robb first reported that you might need to stow your rickshaw during the tournament. And any other horse-drawn carriage, pedicycle or four-person quadracycle. A lot of work needs to be done before an actual compromise is inked up, but Deputy Omaha Police Chief Todd Schmaderer told the council “I think there’s a possibility that we can work something out” earlier this morning. The deputy chief was scheduled to meet with some of the ban’s opponents today.