Loitering in San Francisco Sidewalks Now Illegal
Loitering in San Francisco from 7am to 11pm is now considered illegal - thanks to the sit/lie ordinance approved by voters last November. Under the law, people are not allowed to sit in sidewalks unless there is a permanent bench. Penalties can range from written and verbal warnings to 30-day jail sentences and $500 fines for repeat offenders.
Many are claiming that this law is conflicting with San Francisco's efforts to address the shortage of public open spaces. Since streets comprise 1/4 of San Francisco, sidewalks generally serve as gathering places especially in high-density neighborhoods like SOMA and Tenderloin.
It's so controversial that discussions have started about whether this sit-lie law will destroy Haight Ashbury's dating scene. Others claim that the law was implemented to target San Francisco's sanctuary policy, which has unintentionally protected repeat offenders who are also illegal immigrants from deportation.
Imposing an anti-loitering law, especially in a city like SF, is a bit draconian and impractical. What do you think?