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Protest planned for Saratoga sidewalk sitting ban

SARATOGA SPRINGS — It didn’t take long for city residents to come together in an effort to protest against an ordinance passed by the Saratoga Springs City Council earlier this week that prohibits people from sitting or lying on the sidewalk should they be blocking pedestrian traffic.

A Sunset Sit-down Session event recently was created on Facebook inviting people to protest the ordinance – which should take effect some time next week – from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday at City Hall.

no sittingDeputy Public Safety Commissioner Eileen Finneran said the ordinance must first be printed as a legal notice in local papers before taking effect the day after it’s printed. The notice has yet to be submitted to local papers, she said.

The Facebook event encourages a peaceful protest to “raise awareness of the fact that this ordinance has no bearing, nor does it actually work towards the betterment of the human condition.”

City officials have said the ordinance won’t target specific groups of people and is aimed at ensuring clear access to sidewalks so pedestrians can move about safely, however, residents say that it would indirectly target the homeless.

“This is unfortunate, because it is a blatant attempt to eradicate through legalities the homeless and poor people who live in this beautiful city,” the protest event’s Facebook description reads.

Amanda Fries

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