San Francisco Police Begin Enforcing Sit/Lie Law

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS) – San Francisco police officers have started enforcing the city’s new ban on sitting and lying on the sidewalk.

In November, voters approved the sit/lie law, which makes it illegal to hang out on San Francisco sidewalks between 7 am and 11 pm.

KCBS’ Doug Sovern Reports:

Finally, after a few months of training, police officers are starting to enforce the law, giving verbal or written warnings for now.

Steve has been sitting on the Haight Street sidewalk for 40 years and got his first warning on Tuesday.

“The cops said that the first time, we get admonished. And then after that, they’ll start filling out tickets,” he said. “They only have a select few that they’re going to choose to do that with.”

Those tickets will start at $50 and could escalate to $500 or even jail time.

Bar owner Brian Molony owns Martin Mack’s and is one of the founders of the new Haight Ashbury Merchants Association.

He said he hasn’t noticed an impact yet, but he hopes the law will help police clean up the Haight, especially at the corner of Haight and Masonic.

“Businesses there really have a hard time,” he said. “People don’t want to walk over people who are peeing on the street. The whole thing is a disaster there.”

Officers who are patrolling the beat said for now, they will direct people to city services and not hand out tickets.

(© 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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  • Bloodhounds

    We needed to spend $ on training the police for this? This will be enforced at the longest a couple of weeks. I wish they would arrest the real criminals.

    • Fanny Forbes Franklen

      “Democracy is a pathetic belief in the collective wisdom of individual ignorance.” ~ H. L. Mencken —

      • Gibbs Bentley

        What do you call someone who uses patriot in their name?

        A degenerate statist that worships government. A dumb nationalist that will send their child off to die in a country they can’t find on a map or explain the geo-politics involved.

      • patriot 23

        what do you call someone who quotes an idiot ??

      • billybob the Toothless Texas Teabagger

        A: patriot 23

      • patriot 23

        Well bently it seems that you have made up your mind ,so I won’t be bothered to argue. However the liberal elite in this country will stop at nothing to relieve us of our rights and if they don’t get their way will lie, cheat ,steal and be the epitome of anti social behavior . eg Madison Wis. You are in the minority and like all bad children need to be spanked.

    • Gabriel

      Where’s the love? Flower power et al? IF you give bum a $500 fine who pays it?
      Jail? Three hots and a cot? Sure sounds better than lying in old chewing gum while being trampled on by the liberal elite. Maybe it’s time the city started electing responsible leaders who wouldn’t make SF a haven for bumage,criminals and the like? Not just dashing Metro’s? Fact is with the current economy allot more bums are coming your way. ALLOT MORE! Enjoy.

      • two words.

        A LOT.

      • Joey

        Put it on their maxed out visa!

      • Alucard

        You’re correct. Do you know who is never found hangling out on the streets? Immigrants. Isn’t it convenant that they don’t have medical health issures.

    • Freeland Dave

      No no no, you just don’t understand. This is the way SF is going to get rid of their lying politicians who stand or sit on the sidewalks telling us the whoppers they do.

      • Bobster


    • Regulas

      Ah, the city of New Sodom, the city of brotherly love……

    • Cody

      This law is void as it conflicts with the vehicle code which preempted all topics the vehicle code covers. Local authorities are not to enact local legislation for matters covered by the vehicle code per section 21 of the vehicle code.

      “21. Except as otherwise expressly provided, the provisions of this
      code are applicable and uniform throughout the State and in all
      counties and municipalities therein, and no local authority shall
      enact or enforce any ordinance on the matters covered by this code
      unless expressly authorized herein.”

  • WealthyWASP

    SF has become such a sewer under liberal/progressive rule…just a mess.

    SF used to be the safest, cleanest medium-sized city in America…now, it’s just another filthy, crime-ridden cesspool of failed leftist policies.

    • Captain Incredulous

      “SF used to be the safest, cleanest medium-sized city in America…now, it’s just another filthy, crime-ridden cesspool of failed leftist policies.”

      Really, when?

      • Russ

        You reap what you sow. Encourage the proliferation of worthless, non-productive individuals, give them a way to survive without doing anything, and guess what – you will have more and more of them. What a big surprise.

      • mark

        Never been to SF, but it sounds like its’ always sucked.

      • BlackAdam

        yep… The only thing I hear is good in SF is the weather.

      • Captain Incredulous

        I live in OC, CA now, but was the 6th generation of my family to live in San Francisco, and the 5th to be born there. It’s an incredible city filled with a lot of really nasty people, and I am not talking about your rank-and-file dtreet bums..

        When I go back to visit friends and family, I just make sure I have my “nasty people” filters on.

      • No Drudge dredge thanks

        “Captain Incredulous
        “SF used to be the safest, cleanest medium-sized city in America…now, it’s just another filthy, crime-ridden cesspool of failed leftist policies.”

        LOL! when was that exactly?

    • suzziesixpak

      but its a fun sewer. lots of sex and drugs, yummy. sf was never a safe city. wild and wooly. even in the 50s, the docks were dangerous, the tenderloin a lawless no man’s land, and the north beach a haven for organized crime. guess your just too young to know the real city. take it from a real senior citizen, the place has always been the frontier of human reality. if you want safe and sanitized, move to rapid cities, south dakota.

      • Kevin

        It wouldn’t be too hard to open up a few of the buildings in the Presidio to house these homeless people. If the shelters were run properly, and given the facilities at the Presidio, it would seem fairly straightforward that many could be re-trained to fine meaningful employment. Others could work cleaning up the city, of all the mess that they’ve created. Those that are mentally ill could be housed and cared for at the Presidio, by many who are competent homeless people.
        There is so much the city could do with such a human resource, but there simply is no political will to act on any programs anymore with vision. This issue could totally be turned around to the city’s benefit. I can understand the voters frustration as in my several years living in SF, it was frustrating, and almost everyone has a horror story they can tell you about dealing with a homeless person. I have had my own share of problems, but for the most part, the homeless that were always the problem, were those that should have been placed in a mental facility. Most are normal, some are lazy and don’t want to work, others simply keep hitting streaks of bad luck, others have given up, and unfortunately many are addicted to drugs.

      • bubba

        nice one suzzie

      • scorpi23

        It’s Rapid City, SD not Rapid Cities…but yes, this is a wonderful place to live. Pay sucks but scenery is great!

      • BlackAdam

        Perhaps they don’t teach older folks how to spell in SF? Rather, only leftist policy…

      • Icor 119

        I knew, old timer, what you meant when you said Rapid cities. Rapid City, cities. I also know that there are some nitpickies out there that don’t know how to deal with us “old codgers”.
        Just tellin’ it like it is. :)

    • teaisstronger


      Only the South is decent. The South looks like they way things were back in the 50s. Driving in Southern States is like driving in the real America when the raods were empty. The towns are nice and the South is a boom town. Every city is building and new companies are opening. Its the new America. It should breakaway from the Sewer before the Sewer begins to flow into the South.

      • Raoul Scott

        I live in the south. This is not true. In Atlanta, 1/2 of the city is 3rd world, the other half is an affluent. problems are just swept under the rug. even in the wealthy part there are huge holes in the ground every mile where construction projects were started and then aborted when the credit crunch of 2008 hit. They are terrible eye-sores. In Buckhead, the wealthiest neighborhood, people come up from College Park (the poorest) and commit murders and bank robbings.

        Know what you’re talking about before you put your fingers on the keyboard.

      • Kevin

        We up here in Northern New Hampshire would have you know things are pretty much the way they were a hundred years ago, ‘cept everyone has one of those new fangled iron horseless carriages. Seriously, if you want to think of opportunity (NH has no sales tax, no income tax) and has unemployment half of the national average. We have clean water, and air, cheap land. We have thousands of square miles of forests, and old homesteads. It is not to be believed, until you visit. If you like snow, we’re just what the doctor ordered for you that are tired of the rat race.

      • suzziesixpak

        yeah, rapid city. probably should have spelt it rapids city or rabid cities. it does have the friendliest folks in the world, really. ah the magic of being old. we not only dont know how to spell, but we even forget what words mean. its horrible to look at a street sign and not know what the damn words mean. like “curb your dog”. do i put a curb around the dog, bend the dog into the shape of a curb, or throw the mutt into the curb?? but please dont blame the leftists for my spelling. they may smell horrible, but they really had little to do with my education.

    • lukuj

      Beautiful city, but when we have visited we were appalled at the trash. We were told that fewer trash cans were provided so people would recycle. We were also very uncomfortable with making our way through the people sitting and lying around on the streets. The parks were particularly full of the homeless, making visiting them less than pleasant and a bit scary since some of those there were drunk or mentally ill.

      • bzerkr

        I agree, such a beautiful city spoiled by trash. Piles of trash, blowing trash, trash trash trash. Maybe locals get used to it or even like it, but I feel inspired everytime I’m in San Francisco to sell everything I own and move there to devote the rest of my days to picking up the trash. Might inspire other good people to begin other good deeds ….. };>{>

    • Paul

      When was San Francisco the safest, cleanest medium-sized city in America. Powell Street and the whole Turk and Eddy section has always been pretty dirty

    • Mike Soto

      Detroit coming to a city near you

  • Charles Walker

    Sad commentary on San Francisco…the worst depression, oops RECESSION since the Great Depression, and a man can’t even sit on a sidewalk.
    What is this world coming to?

    What about people who are in wheelchairs? Are they not sitting?
    Oh, o.k. if they are disabled…then that would be O.k.?

    Uh, what about a homeless person in a wheelchair?
    See how your mind just flip flopped?

    • derek

      Dude, you have never been to SF then. The homeless are everywhere. lying and sleeping and begging everywhere. I just went to SF last summer. I loved the city but they have a homeless problem and they beg like no other city I have seen before.

      • Roze

        It’s because of the dope in SF. I was on it years ago. You can get a 10 dollar “booger” of black tar heroin and be high for a couple hours. It’s cheap and people flock to SF JUST for the dope. The kids on dope is the problem, not some homeless 60 year old alcoholic. But of course SF doesn’t want to admit heroin is an issue! Sh!t, the cops on Market used to just make me throw my stuff away and I could go back and retrieve it after they left. Get the dope off the streets and you’ll get the beggars off of it.

      • Gabriel

        I guess you haven’t been to Seattle lately?

    • Russ

      “Or is it SO POSSIBLE that you just BLEW your MIND?!” (Cosmo Kramer on ‘Seinfeld’.)

    • Bokaj

      Sorry Charles Walker, not a chance of a flip flop after that completely weak argument. I left SF because of the direction the city was going, hopefully this is the start of a new trend. Question: What states are in the most financial crisis and who has been running them for the past several generations? Answer: California – Dems, Illinois – Dems, New York – Dems…when are you going to wake up people!!! Oh, that’s right you want to just hang out in the Haight Ashbury, defecate on the sidewalk and wonder why it smells like %$&!

      • Craig

        Yeah, right. The Dems were “running” states that have had multiple, often back-to-back, Republican Governors.

        I guess the Republicans are in charge of the Government now; after all, they control the House!!

        This is pure piffle.

      • chubbs

        those “republican” governors you mention were all libs

      • PJ Meade

        San Fran is a liberal progressive stink pot. For people who are soooo concerned with “sustainable” green nonsense, it is absolutely amazing to me that the left wing does not care about “sustainable” fiscal policy. In the end, I’m rich, I win. SF can rot.

    • mikeyMike

      Charles, yeah you really blew my mind with that brilliant observation. Go take another hit and see if you can come back with a coherent statement.

    • Ed

      I don’t think the bum who was interviewed has been searching for employment for the last 40 years from his spot on the sidewalk. Keep ’em moving all day and they will sleep well when the homeless shelter opens in the evening.

  • Hank Warren

    Useless cops arresting ‘sitters’ instead of real criminals, yet another violation of our rights. Add it to the list of gov’t violations of our right:
    They violate the 1st Amendment by placing protesters in cages, banning books like “America Deceived II” and censoring the internet.
    They violate the 2nd Amendment by confiscating guns.
    They violate the 4th and 5th Amendment by molesting airline passengers.
    They violate the entire Constitution by starting undeclared wars for foreign countries.
    Impeach Obama and sweep out the Congress.
    (Last link of Banned Book):

    • roraoc

      If the book is banned why does it have a link where you can buy it?

      That’s a rhetorical question. I don’t expect an intelligent answer.

  • DarwinsFolly

    Obama supporters betrayed by the socialist party due to lack of FHA home ownership! Let us give them no money down loans to buy homes to sit in! Where is Barney Frank and Nancy Pelosi on this civill right issue? Moochers and looter will be thrown away after the useful idiot shelf life has expired. When a Republican is in office they will do a 60 minute special on the street people and move the congress to subsidize lawn chairs and blankets for them. Liberal hypocrisy never ends.

    • dullatron

      You are incoherent. Possibly insane.

  • rico lebrun

    Poor Steve. After sitting on the sidewalk for forty years, he is first going to get a warning and then if he is still sitting on the sidewalk, he is going to get a ticket. I am sure this is what the residents of SF thought they were getting when they voted for this crackdown.

    • teaisstronger


      He lost everything in his 401K during the crash and then got laid off to make room for some H1B Engineer from China.

      • Rob Johnson

        Really, he was outsourced 40 years ago? lol

  • teaisstronger

    On a visit to SF several years ago, I cam up out of the BART at Nordstums about 9:00am and about 100 bumbs (homeless) were just waking up, they were sleeping on te sidewalk with sleeping bags, blankets, and cardbord. Most of them had the free shopping carraiges the City had bought for them to keep their stuff in. Some were coughing and spitting on the sidewalk. Its part of Americana so don’t take it away.

    • dullatron

      You have no idea what you are talking about. I have lived here for 14 years and seen nothing resembling an army of bums concentrated in one place like you say. Do they exist? Sure. Do I wish they would leave? Yes. But the problem is bad enough as it is and doesn’t need your overreactions and exaggerations to make it any more real or vivid. Go take your fevered imagination elsewhere and ruminate about the lack of the president’s certificate of live birth, or something.

      • herrdoktor

        I agree dullatron: continue to ignore the problem, maybe it will disappear. Your dismissive remarks do not make the problem less real nor less acute. You offer empty words, dullard.
        The birth certificate thing is a true red herring, no need to take that stink bait.

      • Diane McBride Hibbs

        Visited your city a couple years ago. I couldn’t walk a block without being asked for money by 3 or 4 people. This was in Union Square.

      • theduck6

        Really? That was very helpful. “You are exaggerating but not inaccurate, so SHUT UP you doofus”! That is pretty much what I took from your post.

        Progressive heart strings have put these less fortunate and, too often, mentally ill persons out on the street. When you depend on others for the minimum needs you congregate where the “free stuff” is. That is usually big cities run by liberals and democrats, but I wax redundant.

      • Gabriel

        The guy doesn’t seem to have a birth certificate…I am just sayin’.

      • ed

        Here’s a thought, turn your place into a homeless shelter and hangout for them, mo ron.

  • Regulas

    Ah, the city of New Sodom, the city of brotherly love, so to say.

  • teaisstronger


    The North Koreans can lauch their ICBMs at SF to test out they warheads. SF is a good place to hit becaus the surrounding mountains will contain the blasts and keep the radiation confined. Its a nice city but its not worth supporting anymore. The audience in the movie cheered during the showing of that filem Attack on LA.

    • Gentile Joe

      Ditto for all of Cali.

    • dullatron

      Very Christian of you. Suggest spelling lessons.

  • melvin

    Hey, a guy has got to pee when he’s got to pee. Send them up to Nancy Pelosi’s neighborhood, she’s so liberal she even pee’s on the street.

    • The Bald Eagle

      No Nancy has a larger bladder
      She pee’s on the entire country

  • Ted

    Congratulations to the good people of San Fran for finally addressing the bums and deadbeat problem. Our family visited back in ’07, we had to walk over and around these alcoholics and crackheads on the sidewalk all the time. I said I would never return to San Fran… now… I would reconsider!

    • herrdoktor


      Your memories of SF are a product of your fevered imagination. Just ask dullatron.

  • jnsesq

    Come on now. That’s not politically correct. Street blight has rights too! Must be Bush’s fault — or is it now Palin’s? So hard to keep up with the blame crowd.


    Yes We Can Build a



      Dude, you’re a flaming racist. Do us all a favor and take a baseball bat to your computer until it no longer works!

      • ed

        And anyone past the age of 12 who uses the word “Dude” is a moron.

  • SockRayBlue

    Seems like the Pelosi constituency is a bit rough.

  • john

    this is a city that offers ‘sanctuary’ to illegals with criminal records.

  • VanNessGuy

    I often visit San Francisco, and like it despite what it has become. If the city administration is able to reverse the failed experiment with “homeless” people, then maybe there is “hope” for the rest of us who work, don’t urinate on the sidewalk, don’t conduct illegal activity, and don’t treat the sidewalk as our own private property. It is false compassion to facilitate the street person lifestyle; they live like feral dogs, preying on others,often their fellow street person. Giving them free stuff only makes it easier, it doesn’t change them. They need to be forced to live like civilized people, and this new policy is a good first step.


    Not until the city bans places like will we see real progress.

  • john

    Many of these street people are truly mentally ill……these people used to be in mental institutions until a previous GOP president decided society was not responsible to care for them.

    • Felix

      Interesting you bring up the LPS Act…. Here is what it does. john, I can read also. Blaming Reagan for the street people is a straight up LIE.

      To end the inappropriate, indefinite, and involuntary commitment of mentally disordered persons, developmentally disabled persons and persons impaired by chronic alcoholism, and to eliminate legal disabilities;

      To provide prompt evaluation and treatment of persons with serious mental disorders or impaired by chronic alcoholism

      To guarantee and protect public interest;

      To safeguard individual rights through judicial review;

      To provide individualized treatment, supervision, and placement services by a conservatorship program for gravely disabled persons;

      To encourage the full use of all existing agencies, professional personnel and public funds to accomplish these objectives and to prevent duplication of services and unnecessary expenditures;

      To protect mentally disordered persons and developmentally disabled persons from criminal acts.

    • theduck6

      Funny. I seem to recall the mental institutions were emptied by liberals decades ago. They were “barbaric and deprived the dears of their freedoms and liberties”. Then again accuracy has never been the hallmark of the “blame the right” crowd… or mainstream media, for that matter.

      • john

        instead of talk’n out your bhole, read some history:

        Lanterman-Petris-Short Act

        signed in 1967 by R. Regan

      • theduck6

        WELL John. I didn’t realize a Ca law caused such a ripple all over the country. Why don’t you stop pulling subterfuge out of your bhole. Not making it easy to invol committ a person is NOT what we are writing about.

        Bleeding hearts, perhaps with good intentions, were the movers behind this shift. We all know where the road leads that are paved with good intentions, don’t we?

  • jt

    They need to send these homeless to the Obamavilles popping up around the country.

  • MP

    Which GOP president decreed that society was not responsible to care for the mentally ill? I must’ve missed that piece of legislation.

    Let’s be truthful, John. A major factor is liberal policies that send more and more people in need of mental-health care out on their own (as part of the de-istitutionalizing movement) that’s a primary factor in the mentally ill being on the streets.

    • John

      MP…….the president (then governor) that signed the Lanterman-Petris-Short Act
      (Cal. Welf & Inst. Code, sec. 5000 et seq.)

      Really, I don’t write history, I simply read it on occasions. According to history, it was written by a Republican and two Democrats, then signed by Ronald Regan in 1967. Have you heard of Regan? And please, be truthful MP.

      • Felix

        John be honest…..Do you actually read? Here is the intent of the LPS ACT you love to cite. Tell me how it put all the people on the streets.

        To end the inappropriate, indefinite, and involuntary commitment of mentally disordered persons, developmentally disabled persons and persons impaired by chronic alcoholism, and to eliminate legal disabilities;

        To provide prompt evaluation and treatment of persons with serious mental disorders or impaired by chronic alcoholism

        To guarantee and protect public interest;

        To safeguard individual rights through judicial review;

        To provide individualized treatment, supervision, and placement services by a conservatorship program for gravely disabled persons;

        To encourage the full use of all existing agencies, professional personnel and public funds to accomplish these objectives and to prevent duplication of services and unnecessary expenditures;

        To protect mentally disordered persons and developmentally disabled persons from criminal acts.

    • bigtimeliberal

      with liberalism being a mental disease im surprised there are not thousands sitting around.

  • jimmy37

    They’re getting rid of street people in Communist San Francisco?? What damned hypocrites.

  • Craigo

    Hahahaha, Fine the homeless $50. The stupidity of liberals is too large to enumerate.

    • Rupert

      They probably want the to turn to robbery to pay the fines so they can say they need more police to deal with the crime wave of homeless trying to pay the fines,

      Quite frankly, there are no liberal and conservatives anymore, just fascists who like to label themselves incorrectly.

      • theduck6

        Nooo. Don’t pay the citation and be run in to the hooskow…where you get 3 hots and a cot in a relatively (moreso than the street at least) environment.

    • Billybob the Toothless Texas Teabagger

      Yeah let’s try the Teabagger plan instead, load ’em on a train and gas ’em!

  • Frater O. Hooligan, H.M., S.H.

    So, Republicans, can we have a list of which cities ‘count’ as part of your vision for America?

    Are any of these cities on either coast? I know Chicago doesn’t count, either.

    Do you guys have influence ANYWHERE with a population greater than 6,000?

    • Craigo

      Frater the Hater. Doesn’t sound like hate is a republican trait to me.

  • rupert

    Some people love to kick other people when they are down. This is just another part of the meanness and hate that has taken hold of our country. I’ve spent three summers in San Francisco and none of the homeless ever bothered me and the sidewalks were never blocked by them. As for public urination – put more public toilets out there, They don’t have to be the fancy ones that clean themselves but there is only one of the “in” the Haight and that is on the edge of Golden Gate Park.

    They will spend more money hassling people than on public toilets.

    Making sitting on the sidewalk a crime is insane and it will only lead to making it illegal to stand on the sidewalk as well.

    Of course, this also means no more street musicians,right?

    Why not just turn the Haight, the Waterfront and Market Street into private commercial malls with mall cops to keep non customers out. They have done that to several downtowns in my hometown already. No one sits on the street there anymore.

    Take our downtowns, streets and shopping districts and sell them to private companies and the public be damned.

    Just like The Congress and the White House.

    All power to the corporations.

    A nation without a soul, heart or mind.

    • Rich Squires

      The most ‘progressive’ city in the country, controlled by the largest congregation/percentage of supposedly ‘inclusive, diversity-loving” democrats showing their true colors. They also behave similarly toward anyone with an opinion different from theirs. To all the sheep following hose self-appointed elites ..wake up!!! Get a clue, …or at least …buy a vowel. Liberalism taken to the extreme (California style) eventually approaches fascism, opposing views of view are suppressed, mocked, threatened, eventually jailed.

      • sammy

        so true

      • rupert

        As far as I am concerned, Richard Nixon was the last liberal in the White House and the last Liberal who got anything worthwhile done.

        He would not find a place in either right wing party today.

      • Bob A

        Are you calling the Dim’s are right-wing party? LOL

      • rupert

        @Bob A. Yes, they are a right wing party – war, bailouts for the rich, Wall Street in the Cabinet, tax breaks for the rich, cut social spending, increase military spending, threaten other nations, torture, squash dissent, punish and torture whistle blowers without trial – why Mr. Nixon would be shocked and outraged.

        Now they are gutting his EPA too. Clinton gutted the social welfare programs he signed into law. I bet you think Clinton is a liberal.

  • Craigster

    What happened to the liberal tolerance and everything is okay? What I want to see is the $50 collection process are they going to place a lien on the guy’s blanket — or have the dimocrats thought that far down the road? The guys are homeless, good luck collecting any fine. Dimocrats usual solution make another law and the problem will go away. Don’t forget to create a new agency or department of homelessness too so that a complete solution is in place.

    • rupert

      Give the Department of Homelessness a 30 million dollar budget and make sure it all goes to paying for their offices and salaries and make sure none of it gets to the homeless..

      Sounds about right, doesn’t it?

      • CAROL


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