If you’ve been to Denver, Colo., there’s a good chance you’ve been to an area known as the 16th St. Mall, a mile-long stretch of shops, restaurants, retailers, and other attractions. One thing it will soon not have, however, is smoking, as in an attempt to make this particular downtown area more friendly to residents and visitors, the Denver City Council unanimously passed an ordinance on Monday banning smoking along the mall, as well as within 50 feet of the street.
The ban’s enforcement will begin on Dec. 1, with a fine of up to $100 possible for violators, though the council stressed it will be an education-first enforcement process, with fines used as a last resort for violators.
Prior to its approval, an amendment was added that will require the Denver Police Department to provide regular reports about citations issued under the ban, including demographic data, as there has been concern that it would target the city’s homeless population.
Another amendment that would have allowed the ban to expire after two years was defeated prior to the final vote.
Denver is home to approximately 683,000 residents, with just over 2.8 million people residing in the Denver metropolitan area.