By City News Service
City Councilman Mitch O'Farrell walked along the tourist area of Hollywood Boulevard Monday to remind tour-bus company operators that a new law prohibits them from selling sight-seeing tickets on city sidewalks.
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 sales."
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."