Letters to the editor

Apr. 16, 2013 @ 08:01 PM

Safety key to new solicitation rules

The City of Durham recently changed the roadside solicitation rules for two very important reasons: Safety for the motorists, and safety for persons seeking the attention of motorists along intersections and roadways within the city limits.  

While recent attention has been directed to the impact of these new rules on “panhandlers,” it is important to note that the rules apply to everyone soliciting – asking for money or selling an item - along the roadways. That includes charitable organizations, vendors, politicians, and youth promoting a carwash or yard sale. 

The new rules do not prohibit solicitation on city roads, but instead specify where these activities can safely occur. The biggest change to these rules is that roadside solicitation is not allowed in medians or on the inside of interstate or highway exit ramps. Also, while the new rules limit interactions between pedestrians and vehicles on many but not all roadways, they change nothing about where and how pedestrians may solicit from other pedestrians.

Durham has, and will continue, to take the rights and individual freedom of all its residents seriously while keeping our roads and motorists who use them as safe as possible. These revised regulations, certain not to make everyone happy, provide a balance that we can all live with.  While 14 citations have been issued since the ordinance went into effect, only one person has been arrested for impeding the flow of traffic along with solicitation. Durham residents can rest assured that the city will continue to work together with all interested persons and organizations to find solutions for those who feel roadside solicitation is their best option to meet their most basic needs.


Thomas Bonfield

City Manager



Volunteer tutors critical for some to reach their dreams

Few of us can say we achieved success alone. Our friends, colleagues, teachers and advisers have helped us get where we are today. But not every high school student has access to the same support. Durham, Raleigh and Chapel Hill schools are full of students with the ability, but not the resources, to succeed academically.

That’s why UNC-Chapel Hill’s chapter of the national college-access program Upward Bound needs you to tutor low-income and at-risk high school students from across the Triangle. Many of them dream of being the first in their family to attend college. All of them, like you, need support and help to reach their dreams.

Our volunteer tutors can participate in Upward Bound’s After-School Sessions or the monthly Saturday Enrichment Academy. They help students who have been selected to participate in the Upward Bound program, tutoring them in history, math, English, foreign languages and more.

Each hour you volunteer brings a student one step closer to his or her dreams. Volunteer tutors are constantly needed during the academic year, so contact Upward Bound’s Academic Adviser, Donovan Livingston, any time at (919) 843-4686 or dlivingston@unc.edu.


Brittany Darst

Chapel Hill


Thanks to police who helped find husband

I want to thank all the police and sheriff officers who were involved with searching for my husband on Thursday, March 28. He is a diabetic and was passed out with a low blood sugar for five hours. I am grateful for your calm manner and very helpful information while the search was in progress. I want to personally thank Officer Tanner of the Durham Sheriff's Office who found him and gave us instructions on where he was located so we could bring him home. God bless you all.


Roberta Logan