It's official! Tour bus companies in Hollywood can no longer set up on sidewalks to sell their tours.
"It's a safety issue" explains Council member Mitch O'Farrell, who walked along the walk of fame, explaining
the new ordinance passed last month by LA City Council, in response to overcrowding of vendors, especially along Hollywood Boulevard.
Tour sales solicitation is common along the Boulevard, and the competition between companies has brought complaints about aggressive sales practices from tourists and business people.
"We are not rude" counters one tour seller, "now we have to stay inside private property, and who can afford the rent here, now?"
Indeed, only a handful of tour companies actually have storefronts. Even some of those are not too happy with having to bring in their kiosks and personnel inside.
"This is how we get the business!" says one operator, complaining the ordinance is unfair because it doesn't include cd vendors or character actors who stand on the streets.
LAPD officials explain that it's a First Amendment issue, at least with the CD vendors, who are not selling, but asking for a donation for a CD of their music (their intellectual property, as the law sees it). But if "they get pushy," adds the commanding officer at Hollywood Division "we are definitely gonna stop them!"
The actors on the strip are trying to unionize, as they fall into their own intellectual property parameters. One Superman adding that the "good" characters don't harass people, just the "scammers" that get into fights or hassle the tourists.
Today, no citations were issued, said police officers, as this "is more of an informational campaign" right now.
But yes, they will start writing citations soon, if they need to.
(FOX/CNS) - City Councilman Mitch O'Farrell walked along the
tourist area of Hollywood Boulevard today to remind tour-bus company operators
that a new law prohibits them from selling sight-seeing tickets on city
The City Council unanimously approved the ordinance last month. Sidewalk
vending of other types of goods and services was already illegal throughout
the city, but tour-bus companies had been exempted -- until now.
"Tour operators set up on the sidewalk with no permit, they block the
sidewalk," O'Farrell said. "They sell tours and people pay cash."
Tour sales solicitation is common along tourist-filled Hollywood
streets, prompting some complaints of aggressive sales tactics. The new
restriction is aimed at controlling what O'Farrell called a "wild west of tour
Tour companies will no longer be allowed to set up portable kiosks on
the sidewalks, but must operate on private property -- such as a Hollywood
Boulevard store front.
"This is a public safety issue," O'Farrell said. "It's a quality-of-
life issue. And we need to really raise the standards here in Hollywood."
WTTG FOX 5 & myfoxdc
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