Friday, August 24, 2012

Sit/lie law is working

Photo by Eric Risberg for AP

Sit/lie law works
Letter to the editor
SF Chronicle
August 16, 2012

Your summary of effects of the Civil Sidewalks Ordinance was well written and thought-provoking ("Haight is ground zero for sit/lie citations, Aug. 5; "Haight's older indigents get bulk of sit/lie citations," Aug. 6)
However, it must be said again that the law was not intended to deal with "the homeless problem." It is aimed at curbing unacceptable violent behavior that usually started with groups of wanderers staking out a tract of the sidewalk.
Has obedience of the law been perfect? No. Could the police and the courts do a better job of enforcing the law? Yes, there's room for improvement. Has it been effective? Most certainly, yes. The transient, violent thugs have gone. The bohemian wanna-bes have gotten the message. And even the People's Republic of Berkeley now wants a similar measure to give police there a tool to deal with those on the street who threaten public safety. I'd call the Civil Sidewalks ordinance successful by those measurements.
Ted Loewenberg
San Francisco


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