Spider-Man, Mickey Mouse and Elmo are one step away from being put in their place in Times Square.
The City Council’s Transportation Committee unanimously passed a bill Wednesday that would give the city the power to regulate pedestrian plazas and permit costume characters in certain sections. The bill, which goes up for a full Council vote Thursday, was created in response to numerous harassment complaints from tourists and other visitors from the performers.
“Today’s vote on our plazas … marks a significant step forward for the innovative program, ensuring that this and our many other public spaces will be protected for years to come,” City Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez, who chairs the transportation committee, said in a statement.
A survey released last year by the Times Square Alliance found 61% of Times Square employees reported a negative encounter with a street performer.
Although the alliance, businesses and even the Naked Cowboy endorsed the legislation, several performers and vendors said they were concerned about the loss of revenue by being put in a specific spot.
Rodriguez reassured that those actors and artists will be able to support themselves in their regulated areas, especially since there will be signage that encourages tipping.