NYC Businesses Now Facing Fines For Air Conditioning The City’s Sidewalks

Image courtesy of Prayitno

Lovely though it might feel to walk through a sudden gush of Arctic air on an otherwise hot, steamy New York City day, businesses that keep their doors open with the air conditioning on can now expect to pay a fine if they’re caught blasting cool air onto the sidewalks.

Under an expanded law that went into full effect this week, stores and restaurants can expect a $250 fine — or more — if they keep doors or windows open while the A/C is on, the Associated Press notes.

The law passed last fall, but first-time violators only received warnings up until July 1. No one has crossed the air conditioned line so far. It’s an expansion of a 2008 measure that applied to large chain stores. Last year, the city handed out 308 warnings and issued 19 violation notices to those chains, compared to 64 warnings and zero violations in 2014, according to Consumer Affairs Department.

Despite the fact that many businesses will probably throw their doors open to attract customers anyway, there are those environmentally-friendly folks out there who are helping businesses keep the cold in, as well.

“It still bothers me because we’re in a terrible energy crisis in this world,” says one resident who closes open doors whenever she finds businesses are cooling the outside world.

NYC cracks down on ‘air conditioning the sidewalk’ [Associated Press]

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