La Mesa Police Chief Ed Aceves said he went to Sacramento Monday to testify before an Assembly committee that was considering a bill that would make it illegal for people to loiter at center medians of busy intersections.
Speaking at the City Council meeting Tuesday, Aceves said the bill did not get enough votes to go further than the Housing and Transportation Committee of the Assembly. It died in committee, he said.
"To say I'm disappointed in the process is probably an understatement," said Aceves. "Yesterday seemed less about the issue and more about politics."
Senate Bill 604 aimed to make streets safer by making it illegal for people to loiter at a center median within 300 feet of an intersection with a traffic light. The bill was championed by Aceves and pushed through the California Senate by La Mesa's Senator Joel Anderson.
"We needed nine votes to pass, and the vote was 7-2," said Aceves. "One of the ways to get around voting is not to say anything, which is what happened."
Anderson put it up to be reconsidered, but that won't be until next year.
Aceves said that more than 400 pedestrians die each year in center medians in California.
There is no law that currently prohibits soliciting or loitering in center medians, though there is a law that prohibits such actions on freeway onramps.