Committee Reports

Testimony before the NYC Council Committee on Transportation providing the Department of Transportation authority over pedestrian plazas


The Sex and Law Committee (Katharine Bodde, Chair) provided testimony before the New York City Council Committee on Transportation (DOT) on Int. 1109-2016, which would provide the Department of Transportation authority over pedestrian plazas. The Committee raised concerns that the legislation had the potential for abuse in the resulting regulations as it relates to how they are applied to the various performers the legislation is seeking to reign in. Accordingly, the Committee recommended that the City Council amend the bill to (1) take legislative notice that, by law, both men and women in New York are permitted to be topless in public; (2) require that activity permits be issued on a non-discriminatory basis; (3) require that any time, place, and manner restrictions on speech adopted by the DOT be written and enforced in a non-discriminatory manner; and (4) recommend that police officers patrolling pedestrian plazas be trained in public exposure laws and free speech rights. 


Int. 1109-2016 – would provide the Department of Transportation the ability to designate pedestrian plazas, with all existing plazas grandfathered in; the authority to promulgate general rules of conduct applicable to all plazas and rules to regulate the use of and activities within individual pedestrian plazas and adjacent sidewalks. In addition, an agency or office designated by the Mayor would be required to promulgate rules establishing a process for the issuance of permits for events within pedestrian plazas and pertaining to the management of pedestrian plaza operations during events.


Signed by the Mayor (2016/053) – April 21, 2016