San Francisco Takes Lessons From Seattle Over Sidewalk Sitting

San Francisco's recently passed and controversial sit/lie laws that prohibit sitting on sidewalks were based on a similar rule passed in Seattle in 1993. Though that rule has been on the books for years, its controversy remains.
March 31, 2010, 9am PDT | Nate Berg
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"When residents and merchants of San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury neighborhood complained of being harassed by nasty thugs with pit bulls, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom proposed a sit/lie ban based on Seattle's law, largely because it withstood a federal court challenge.

But 17 years after Seattle became the first city in the country to pass such a ban, its impact remains as gray and cloudy as the city in which the law was born."

The law is aimed at the homeless, but locals in Seattle argue the rules do little to solve the problem of homelessness. Rather, they simply move homeless around.

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Published on Sunday, March 28, 2010 in San Francisco Chronicle
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