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Times Square performers will soon be restricted to "activity zones"

Written by
Jillian Anthony

Molesting Elmos may soon be no more! Or, at least you'll know exactly where to find them. Yesterday the City Council voted 42-1 to allow the Department of Transportation to set up "designated zones" within the pedestrian plazas of the city where performers (oddly-shaped Disney characters, desnudas, etc.) can do their thing, Gothamist reports. That means the many characters of Times Square will no longer be able to run amok.

The zones will likely be a bout the size of a bus, and the performers and ticket sellers would be corralled in there together, a Hunger Games-esque war zone just waiting to erupt. As someone who has to maneuver around horrifying-looking characters every day on her way into and out of work, that area size does sound very small.

The Times Square Alliance teamed up with The Naked Cowboy, of all people, to support the initiative. The sole dissenter, Brooklyn Councilmember Robert Cornegy, said of his decision: "Don't knock the hustle. I don't believe we should regulate or police any New Yorker out of harmless activity they rely on to keep money in their pockets and put food on the table, and that includes posing in costume and performing for tips in the transit system. To me, these expressive activities help make New York City a more vibrant, world-class city." Doesn't sound like there's many people on his side.

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