A new report reveals that the sit/lie ban that went into effect in 2011 has had negligible effects in Upper Haight, the area where it was meant to effect the most change. Surprising no one, the study found that the majority of repeat offenders "are often chronically homeless and have significant health conditions," and nearly 60% of those who were polled noticed little or no difference in homeless activity.
Meanwhile, the value of the study has its detractors. Booksmith owner Christin Smith noted that the researchers were not in contact with the nine-member Haight-Ashbury Merchants Association, instead polling available employees during weekends.
With the highest number of citations handed out by the Park Police Station (and none by the Tenderloin Station, because police would presumably just throw citations out their windows while slowly driving by), the report does address the major failings of the law, chiefly a lack of effective tracking and implementation. Offenders are given a piece of paper offering alternatives to sitting and lying, but must call 211 or 311 to access these services. The efficacy of this practice is questionable, as there is no reliable tracking data regarding those who have taken advantage of the programs.
So: nothing new here, but it is rewarding to remind City Hall that "repeatedly citing individuals who cannot pay fines does not break the cycle of repeat offenses."
[SF Public Press]