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San Francisco's Bay to Breakers foot race is famous for its flamboyant revelers who run in all manner of costumes, from coordinated uniforms to absolutely nothing at all. But that's all going to change this year, according to the SF Chronicle:

City leaders and sponsors of the 98th annual wacky footrace announced several major changes Wednesday that detractors say will turn the over-the-top, only-in-San Francisco party into a 12K footrace like any other race in any other city in the world.

At the May 17 event, police will cite or arrest anybody openly drinking alcohol or appearing to be drunk, and will physically remove floats and any other items on wheels like shopping carts with kegs in them, officials declared.

People dressed in oversized costumes must run at the back of the pack, walkers must stay to the right while runners stay to the left, and no in-line skates, bicycles or skateboards are allowed. Nudity is not allowed, though police said they aren't planning to issue citations for indecent exposure.

Predictably, Gavin Newsom and Ross Mirkarimi trotted out the same old lines used any time a politician wants to do something incredibly unpopular:

Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi, whose district includes much of the race's route, called the crackdown "severe but possibly necessary as a result of the catastrophe of the last two years."

Rather than try to ameliorate the issues raised by thousands of people gathering for a celebration, the route San Francisco is increasingly taking is to punish everyone for the behavior of a few. Roughly 80,000 people run the course each year, and only a tiny fraction of those cause problems.

Gavin Newsom is running for Governor, and hoping to impose his brand of nanny-state soft authoritarianism on the entire state. Please remember incidents like this in 2010.

Originally posted to oaktownadam on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 03:22 PM PST.


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