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You can't sit there: Berkeley looks to ban sidewalk-sitting
Update: In Fresno, we're dealing with people breaking serious laws ... while in Berkeley
Here is a bit of reactionary lawmaking.
This week it was reported that the Berkeley city council is looking to ban people from sitting on the sidewalk.
If you've been to Berkeley, you know there are people (some of whom are homeless, most of whom are dirty) who like to congregate there, and sometimes they do this on the sidewalks (sometimes with old janky guitars and dogs on leashes made of hemp).
It's a total inconvenient for those us who just want to get into Rasuptin and buy a record without having to smell our fellow human beings.
It's not the actual law I have a problem with. Obviously, there is a feeling (whether real or perceived) that people blocking the walkways is impeding on business and tourism in the area. And one way to deal with that problem is to make sitting on the sidewalk illegal (and hand out fines or lock people up or whatever the punishement might be). Other so-called progressive cities (San Francisco, Los Angeles, Portland and Seattle, Santa Cruz and Palo Alto) have similar laws.
What I take issue with using blanket criminalization as a means of solving society's ills. Especially when the new laws are redundant. Berkeley already has loitering laws in place.