Honolulu mayor signs extended sit-lie ban into law

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell signs Bill 48 into law in Chinatown.

It is now against the law to sit or lie on public sidewalks during the day in various neighborhoods on Oahu.

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell signed Bill 48 into law Tuesday, which expands the current sit-lie ban to include portions of Chinatown, Downtown, McCully-Moiliili, Kailua, Wahiawa, Ala Moana-Sheridan, Kaneohe, Waimanalo, Kapahulu, Waialae, Kahala, Aina Haina-Niu Valley and Hawaii Kai.

A signing ceremony was held on Kekaulike Mall at King Street in Chinatown with many area business owners in attendance.

“This is a great first step in cleaning up the area for businesses to prosper and rejuvenate,” said Howard Lum with the Chinatown Community Center Association. “Chinatown is looking forward to (being) a much better and brighter place.”

“It was really important to get this law passed,” said Kim Tram, who owns a produce stand and market in Chinatown. “We are the vendors here and with this law, it can help us make things a lot easier for everybody.”

Officials say there will be a two-week education phase when no one will be cited and fliers will be handed out. Then violators will be warned before a citation is issued and, potentially, an arrest made.

“People are going from point A to point B or they’re going to a business, or they’re going to a restaurant, going back home. Our goal is to make sure the sidewalks aren’t impeded so that they can traverse wherever they’re going and get there safely,” said Clayton Kau, assistant chief, Honolulu Police Department.

Bill 48 was adopted by the Honolulu City Council on Nov. 14 and prohibits sitting or lying on public sidewalks in a number of areas zoned for commercial and business activities island-wide from 5 a.m.-11 p.m.

A similar measure that applies only to Waikiki was signed into law in September.

In the six weeks since enforcement of that ordinance began, Kau says police officers issued 262 warnings, 72 citations and two arrests.

Note: The text of Bill 48 includes maps of the locations that fall under the new ordinance.

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