The controversial Sit/Lie law, a.k.a. Prop L, won't be enforced until mid-February, but it already has had a chilling/gloriously cleansing effect on Haight Street, depending on how you see it. Haight Street merchants saw an immediate effect after the law passed in November, even though it didn't take effect until December 17 and still hasn't seen any enforcement from the ever vigilant Upper Haight-based police.
“It really emptied out, just by virtue of people hearing that it passed," says Bruce Smith, owner of Roberts Hardware at 1629 Haight. Tommy Giang, who works at Stussy, agrees, saying that the usual vagrants, stoners, and ne'er-do-wells really took the hint. "I didn’t think they’d take it very seriously, but they’ve complied really well."
We suspect winter might have something to do with this, and a fresh crew of spring/summer campers who haven't heard the news are on the way. Nonetheless SFPD spokesman Lt. Troy Dangerfield says that cops are being trained to "use judgment when applying the law," and not bust every Hippie Heather just trying to take a load off on her way to Humboldt. First-time offenders will just get a verbal warning, while repeat offenders will receive escalating citations starting at $50. Should we take bets on what percentage of those tickets will actually get paid?