In an effort to quell some of the chaos of New York's Times Square in New York City (which sees some 50,000,000 visitors annually) the city will be painting zones to organize street performers and tourist traffic.
A new map of the Crossroads of the World was issued last week limiting panhandling Elmos and "desnudas" to "designated activity zones."
Green colored areas will be known as "chill zones," where people can relax without the threat of being bothered by an adult-sized Hello Kitty or any other street performers. There pedestrians can "Sit, nosh, meditate, take in the sights, and watch the world go by (literally) on a different kind of Broadway stage."
In contrast, there will be "designated activity zones" in blue, where people can pose for pictures in exchange for tips. Purple areas will be "express lanes" designed to relieve pedestrian congestion.
Eight weeks ago, the city council passed legislation empowering the Department of Transportation to relegate costumed characters, desnudas and ticket sellers to designated zones within the Times Square pedestrian plaza from 42nd to 47th streets. The legislation was backed by the Times Square Alliance, a business-interest group that raised concerns about "aggressive" desnudas and costumed characters over the summer.
"They harass tourists, they aggressively solicit tips, and many of them won't leave you alone. And even worse, they get into fights with each other, they grope people, and they get arrested for assault and battery at an increasing rate," Councilman Dan Garodnick (D-Manhattan) said of the bad actors among the performers.
According to nydailynews.com: "It's like a parking law," said Jose Escalona Martinez, who was dressed like Batman. "It's wrong. I'm going to fight."