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Saratoga Springs Updates Sidewalk Law

Lucas Willard

The City of Saratoga Springs has updated its controversial “sit/lie” law that prevents individuals from obstructing a public sidewalk. 

The updated law reduces penalties and clarifies language against obstructing the public right of way.

Despite the penalty reduction, groups like the New York Civil Liberties Union have called to repeal the law, saying it unfairly targets the homeless.

Public Safety Commissioner Chris Mathiesen, who sought to revise the law, disagreed.

“It’s very much an issue regarding public safety and this insistence that it has something to do with anything else or has some sort of other intention here, that just isn’t there,” said Mathiesen.

Mayor Joanne Yepsen, who voted against the original law, said she could not support the revisions to a law she disagreed with. 

Lucas Willard is a news reporter and host at WAMC Northeast Public Radio, which he joined in 2011. He produces and hosts The Best of Our Knowledge and WAMC Listening Party.
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