In a move that calls to mind the authoritarian public decency and cleanliness rules of Singapore, the San Francisco city government is now forcing businesses into keeping the sidewalks in front of their stores and restaurants clean and sparkly. That includes the wads of gum that get spit onto the concrete only to dry into tar-like discs. And if they don’t comply, they’ll get charged a whopping $500.

Mission Local reports that a slew of business owners along Mission Street, one of the city’s most heavily trafficked thoroughfares, are getting hit with fine.

“Merchants on heavily trafficked streets, like Mission and 24th Streets, have been receiving either brochures or letters about their sidewalk responsibilities, long before the warnings were posted, Christine Falvey, a spokeswoman with the Department of Public Works says.”The City is responsible for the streets, and the businesses are responsible for the sidewalks. That’s how it works in San Francisco.”

It would take one person working full-time for three years straight to get every last piece of gum off – and that’s only if the people of the Mission spontaneous stopped spitting fresh wads onto the sidewalk.

The employees at La Oxaquena and Mission Street Liquor and Groceries said they received letters about cleaning up the gum in front of the businesses. Harry from La Oxaquena said that they scrapped the gum off and wash it off with a pressure washer. This set him back $300 dollars.

Coincidentally, $300 is exactly how much it is going to cost Ismael Karagh, the owner of Farah Smoking Shop, to hire a company to clean his three storefronts.”

To read more, go to Mission Local.