CITY HALL — An effort by two Downtown aldermen to ban street musicians from Michigan Avenue and State Street advanced Wednesday, winning the endorsement of a City Council committee.
Supporters of the push by Alds. Brendan Reilly (42nd) and Brian Hopkins (2nd) packed the meeting of the City Council Committee on License and Consumer Protection, saying the music made it impossible to sleep or work.
The full Council is scheduled to consider the issue at its meeting Feb. 22. Ald. David Moore (18th) was the only alderman to vote against the measure, saying it would be impossible to enforce.
Street musicians would be banished from Michigan Avenue from Cedar Street to Balbo Avenue, which includes the stretch that runs along Grant Park. Performers would also be blocked from a stretch of State Street between Jackson Boulevard and Huron Street.
The proposed ordinance pertains specifically to performers who "emit noise that is audible to a person with normal hearing more than 20 feet away."
Street musicians already are barred from the streets near the Petrillo Music Shell in Grant Park or Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park while official performances are underway.
Reilly said last week that the CTA should allow more street musicians to perform in the subway.
Last month when the ordinance was introduced, street musicians defended their work.
"We wouldn't be getting paid if people didn't like what we do," one said. "These streets are gray. The sounds — the bus, the cars — suck. Music is necessary."