Late last night, after a raucous, Berkeley-style (redundant?) debate, the city council voted to direct the city manager to draft a ballot measure on restricting sitting on the sidewalk, which the council will take up on July 10.

Tracey Taylor of our news associate Berkeleyside says the vote was 6-3, with the no votes coming from Kriss Worthington, Jesse Arreguin and Max Anderson.

The ordinance would prohibit sitting on sidewalks in commercial districts between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m., with exceptions for medical emergencies, people with disabilities, and “attending a parade, festival, rally, demonstration, meeting or similar special event lawfully conducted pursuant to a City-issued permit.”

If voters sign off on the ban, it would not take effect until March, 2013. Berkeley already prohibits lying on the sidewalk. (And yes, you can still tell an untruth in public– just don’t recline while doing it.)

KQED’s Ian Hill Storified last night’s contentious meeting, which lasted until about 1 a.m.


Jon Brooks

Jon Brooks writes mostly on film for KQED Arts. He is also an online editor and writer for KQED's daily news blog, News Fix. Jon is a playwright whose work has been produced in San Francisco, New York, Italy, and around the U.S.

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