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I am homeless and I live in Berkeley CA, on the median of I-80 off a bike trail.
A friend of mine was just told by a BPD officer that act SB-876 right to rest does not apply to us because we are on state property.
But state property is public property right?

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SB876 includes this statement (https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=201520160SB876), 53.8 (b):

“Public space” means any property that is owned by a government entity or any property upon which there is an easement for public use and that is held open to the public, including, but not limited to, plazas, courtyards, parking lots, sidewalks, public transportation facilities and services, public buildings, shopping centers, and parks.

If the area around the bike path can be used, that is, it's like a park, then you can probably doss there. If the area is not designed for use beyond riding/walking/skating on the bike trail, the Berkeley police office is correct because the space is not designated for "public use."

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SB 876 does not apply to anyone since it is not law. Perhaps the person was saying something about what would be the case, if it had become the law. The bill defined "public space as

any property that is owned by any government entity or any property upon which there is an easement for public use and that is held open to the public, including, but not limited to, plazas, courtyards, parking lots, sidewalks, public transportation facilities and services, public buildings, shopping centers, and parks.

and then says that

Persons experiencing homelessness shall be 3permitted to use public space in the ways described in this section at any time that the public space is open to the public without discrimination based upon their housing status, and without being subject to criminal, civil, or administrative penalties. Permitted use of the public space include, but are not limited to, all of the following:

(1) Free movement without restraint.

(2) Sleeping or resting, and protecting onself from the elements while sleeping or resting in a nonobstructive manner...

So if, for example you were sleeping there, that would be allowed. The property is owned by the state, hence it meets the minimal definition of public space under the under the bill.

Since this is not a law, you shouldn'e expect a police officer to have an expert opinion about the effect of such a law – if it becomes a law, they will be instructed accordingly.

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