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Council Delays Vote on Medians

While Santa Fe City Council delayed its medians vote, a similar measure will soon be considered by the state legislature.
ACLU of Illinois
While Santa Fe City Council delayed its medians vote, a similar measure will soon be considered by the state legislature.

Santa Fe City Council decided to delay two contentious issues that were up for public hearings last night.

One of the measures, an ordinance sponsored by Mayor Alan Webber, would prohibit sitting or standing in medians in the streets of Santa Fe.

Mayor Webber said he is consulting with constituents in relation to how the bill would affect the differently abled community.

Several members of the community in attendance voiced opposition to the proposed ordinance, despite the delay in the hearing, including Daniel Williams, policing policy advocate for ACLU New Mexico.

“We have serious concerns that although this proposal is being brought forward in the name of pedestrian safety, it will have the affect of harmfully criminalizing our neighbors who experience homelessness or extreme poverty.

"Certainly pedestrian safety is an urgent issue here in New Mexico especially, but we have not heard any evidence advanced that people occupying medians of a certain width is a significant driver of traffic accidents.

"In fact when we’ve looked at evidence in other municipalities, it has been shown that it’s just the opposite. That it’s a very, very small proportion of pedestrian accidents.”

The ordinance if passed would subject violators to a maximum penalty of $25.

The public hearing on medians, already rescheduled once before, will now be on the agenda for the council’s next meeting on July 1.

That’s also the new date of a second public hearing pushed back last night.

That one pertains to an ordinance brought forth by council members Alma Castro and Jamie Cassutt, designed to disallow housing discrimination connected to a would-be tenant’s source of income, such as vouchers.

Last night’s meeting began with a presentation by Gay Dillingham, filmmaker and chair of the Santa Fe Film and Digital Media Council.

She discussed her group’s strategic plan, which emphasizes creating opportunities for local creatives and crew by fostering education and promoting affordable housing initiatives.

 

Rob Hochschild’s professional radio career began in the late 1980s, when he worked as a news reporter at WCIB on Cape Cod and as news director for WKVA in central Pennsylvania. Prior to moving to New Mexico, he worked for Boston public radio stations WGBH, WBUR, and WUMB in a range of roles, including news reporter/anchor and music host. His career with KSFR began in September 2023, when, as a volunteer, he launched a music show called Mosaic.