Commuters traveling down North Tryon Street probably noticed signs warning people not to block or crowd the sidewalks.
Signs like this already existed, but police said they were smaller and worn out.
Channel 9 spoke to a homeless man named Earl who said he has been on the streets of Charlotte since 1978.
Earl is a frequent visitor at the men’s shelter and spends a lot of time on North Tryon Street.
About a half-dozen large signs warn people not to congregate on sidewalks or block them.
Earl doesn’t think the signs are necessary. “If they keep us off the sidewalk, where they want us to walk, in the streets?” he said.
Carson Dean, executive director of the Men’s Shelter of Charlotte, said the city ordinance is needed to keep people from blocking the sidewalks, which forces pedestrians to walk out into the street to get around them.
Dean said the crowds create problems for drivers.
"It's really difficult to leave any businesses here out on our street, especially turning left, because there's so many people on the sidewalks and you just can't see," Dean said.
He talks to his clients about safety on the streets and said he's seen his share of close calls and accidents
"We've seen pedestrians up and down the street over the years get hit by cars because they stepped out and didn’t see,” Dean said.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police are hoping the ordinance and improved signage can also help to curb crime.
Last month, a man known to frequent shelters in the area was attacked on North Tryon Street then walked to a gas station near Dalton Avenue, where he died.
Police hope reducing the crowds and congestion can help to minimize any potential problems.
Bus stops are along the stretch and police tell Channel the ordinance does not apply to people who are waiting for a bus.
But if officers on patrol spot a large group of people blocking the sidewalk or traffic, they could be cited or arrested if they do not move when asked.