HPD to start enforcing sit-lie law in Chinatown

HPD to start enforcing sit-lie law in Chinatown
Published: Dec. 22, 2014 at 3:21 AM HST|Updated: Dec. 22, 2014 at 2:00 PM HST
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Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell (on left)
Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell (on left)
Corazon Dejesus
Corazon Dejesus
Missy Owens Mull
Missy Owens Mull

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Honolulu police officers have been telling merchants in Chinatown they will begin enforcing the new controversial ban which prohibits people from sitting or lying on sidewalks on Monday.

The new sit-lie law that Mayor Kirk Caldwell expanded into Chinatown earlier this month bans sitting and lying on sidewalks between 5:00 a.m. and 11:00 p.m.

Corazon Dejesus has been sleeping on the streets of Chinatown for three years. She says it's going to be difficult waiting until 11.

"We have to be out of the park at 9 o'clock. So we stand by there, or we stand by here, we don't put down our luggage. Then at 11, then we can lie down, we can put all our bedding's," said Dejesus.

Dejesus says police officers have been warning them this whole week.

"The police said you got to be neat you know because you're an eyesore," Dejesus said.

"I'm practicing sleeping while standing," she laughed.

Missy Owens Mull owns a small business in Chinatown, Owens & Co. She says officers came by her store this week saying they will start enforcing the new law.

"Definitely glad to hear it. I feel like it'll make it a lot easier for business owners. We do sometimes have a tough time with that and we want to keep the sidewalks open for our customers," said Mull.

The mayor says the sit-lie ban has worked miracles in Waikiki. Since it was implemented in September, HPD says more than 70 people have been cited. They face up to a $1,000 fine and 30 days in jail.

Business owners in Chinatown believe they'll have the same results in their area.

"I definitely do think it will help. There are other pockets of downtown that the sidewalks are blocked many hours of the day and I think this will help sort of alleviate those problems and get our customers to move around downtown and patronize more of the businesses," Mull said.

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