The Latest: Batman at hearing on Times Square regulations


NEW YORK (AP) — The Latest on a New York City Council public hearing on legislation that would regulate costumed characters and other commercial activity in Times Square(all times local):

12:45 p.m.

Costumed characters including Spider-Man, Batman and the Joker are among those in the audience at City Hall for a New York City Council hearing on legislation that would regulate how they operate in pedestrian plazas like the ones in Times Square.

The council’s committee on transportation is looking at a bill that comes after scores of complaints in recent years over aggressive panhandling behavior, primarily from the costumed characters pushing onlookers for tips.

A police official says there have been 16 arrests this year, compared to 15 arrests in all of last year.

The legislation would restrict costumed characters, naked painted ladies and bus tour ticket sellers to a specific zone in Times Square.

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12:46 a.m.

The costumed characters, naked painted ladies and bus tour ticket sellers who have made all of Times Square their stomping grounds could be restricted to specific zones under legislation being considered by the City Council.

The council’s committee on transportation is holding a hearing Wednesday morning on legislation that would allow the city’s Department of Transportation to create rules and regulations for pedestrian plazas like the ones in Times Square.

The bill comes after scores of complaints in recent years over aggressive panhandling behavior, primarily from the costumed characters pushing onlookers for tips.

But the costumed performers and the union that represents some of the bus tour ticket sellers says forcing them to remain only in one place would cause them to lose money.