The number of visitors to the neighborhood has declined in recent months, according to a new survey. Some merchants report that business is down.
Many say the slump is an effect of the city’s sit/lie ordinance, the new law that was meant to improve the neighborhood’s fortunes.
More properly, the article repeats an allegation that media coverage and public complaints over the issues behind the ordinance is proving bad for business. At least I have to assume as much as the ordinance itself hasn't had an effect on anything since it hasn't even been implemented yet.
I didn't support sit/lie. Thought it was bad public policy. Still think so. You need a change of policing culture and enforcement of current laws to attenuate the disorder problem on Haight.
But this kind of horseshit is straight out of Ibsen. It's bizarre, blame the victim shit.
And as for business losses, I've seen a business proffer report for a smoke shop that's lost over $100k in net sales over the last year, but it's located downtown, not on Haight street.
More over, the article alleges that complaints of sexual assault are, again, "bad for business":
So this is the second gaffe in the course of a few months where the New York Times is made to look like it's excusing sexual assault:
But the depiction of the Haight as dangerous has taken hold, especially online.
On the social network Yelp, the majority of reviews (13 of 17) of Haight-Ashbury posted since March 2010 mention young street “punks.” In the preceding 12 months, only 1 of 14 reviews mentioned the issue.
On the Web site Virtual Tourist, a posting in January said a woman had been “sexually assaulted” on Haight Street “by a young junkie, with several friends. He put his hand right up my skirt.” When the group confronted the man, she wrote, “in two seconds, there were like fifteen screaming junkies with dogs surrounding us.”
They are accounts unlikely to attract tourists. In fact, 25 percent of visitors surveyed in a yearlong 2010 study released last week by the San Francisco Travel Association cited homelessness/panhandling as the top complaint.
Guys, help me out here! Is this me or is the whole fucking world turning inside out?!