Sit-lie bans on Oahu are poised to expand to two Chinatown pedestrian malls in downtown Honolulu. 

The City Council voted 7-2 Wednesday to override Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s veto of Bill 44, which extends the sit-lie prohibition to College Walk Mall and Kila Kalikimaka Mall.

The bill, sponsored by  Councilwoman Carol Fukunaga, also extends the hours of the sit-lie ban at Fort Street Mall and Union Mall.

Lawmakers cited public safety and access to businesses in their support of the measure.

Homeless Chinatown

Without a home in Chinatown.

Nick Grube/Honolulu Civil Beat

“Sit-lie” refers to sitting or lying on a public mall “or on a tarp, towel, sheet, blanket, sleeping bag, bedding, planter, chair, bench, or any other object or material placed upon a public mall,” according to Bill 44.

In his veto message, the mayor said he supports “the intent” of sit-lie bans but that Bill 44 “contains legal deficiencies.”

Caldwell said he fears the city may be subjected to “unnecessary legal challenges and to the payment by the City’s taxpayers of costly attorneys’ fees incurred by plaintiffs.”

A better alternative, Caldwell says, would be finding, creating and providing affordable housing “so that those less fortunate persons who live on the public rights-of-way have other options than simply moving into different public rights-of-way as more laws are passed.”

Council members Brandon Elefante and Kymberly Pine voted against the veto override.

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