One of the great things about Melbourne’s CBD (the Hoddle Grid) is that it’s so easily navigable. There are lots of parallel streets and laneways, so when walking around it’s pretty easy to take an alternative route, and still not get lost.
You can use this to avoid Chuggers.
Charity Muggers are notorious for getting in the way of pedestrians, desperately trying to get people to sign up for direct debits to charities, to the point of irritation.
As reported in the Herald Sun today, the City of Melbourne has decided to restrict Chuggers to 26 specified locations in Melbourne’s CBD. And they’ve published these locations on a map.
(See more detail in the full map, in PDF form)
Some of the spots seem a little unlikely — for instance Lonsdale and King Streets, in the middle of the CBD’s strip club district, where even at lunchtime there aren’t many pedestrians around.
Some don’t seem quite logical for other reasons. At Collins and King, I often see the Chuggers on the SW corner, as it has plenty of space. But the map dictates they use the SE and NW corners — the latter is quite constrained.
There are further restrictions in the policy:
Each Registered Charity Organisation may apply to collect funds within the central city at six of the 26 specified locations per day, for a maximum of 40 days per year.
It’s not immediately clear to me if this will restrict other (non-Chugger) types of fundraising. Policies can be a bit of a blunt instrument. As seen when Metro decided to restrict them, then changed their minds, policymakers sometimes can’t seem to distinguish between Chuggers, whom many people find annoying, and more socially acceptable fundraising such as the Salvos, the RSL or Legacy asking for once-off donations of change. (Metro has since seen the light.)
Anyway, back to the map…
While it’d be impractical to memorise all the locations, if there are some on, say, your usual walk to lunch, and you’d rather not face an over-enthusiastic Chugger leaping around, trying to shake your hand, calling out to you in the street, or just generally getting in your face, then you can use this map to avoid them.
Chuggers are also increasingly found in the suburbs. Not sure they’re mapped anywhere — you’ll just have to use the other avoidance strategies: keep walking, don’t slow down. Smile or acknowledge but don’t engage otherwise — and certainly don’t shake hands with them if they offer.
- A useful backgrounder to Chuggers from The Age in 2006: In your face in the name of charity
- Marcus Wong: ‘Chuggers’ inside Melbourne railway stations
Update January 2015: City of Melbourne has installed footpath markers in some or all locations where chuggers are permitted.