TIMES SQUARE — The city has expanded the size of the painted boxes that costumed characters, topless “desnudas” and ticket sellers are now required to stand in while they work — to mixed reviews from their occupants.
As of Wednesday, the city’s Department of Transportation had widened four of its designated activity zones for commercial activity in Times Square by 2 feet.
They will expand the remaining four zones tomorrow, a DOT spokeswoman said.
"As we’ve said, we (and NYPD) would monitor the designated activity zones once they were installed and enforcement began to see if any adjustments needed to be made,” she wrote in an email. “We will continue to monitor [the situation].”
After the city started enforcing the new rules last week, many characters said they felt the boxes were too small to work in.
“With the bigger space, it’s good,” Elmo impersonator Gerardo Paris, 29, said on Wednesday.
But unlike some costumed characters, Paris pointed out that he has a second source of income — packaging cheese for Oaxaca Mexican Grill at a center in Paterson, New Jersey.
Before the zones, he said, “there was more money.”
A Princess Elsa impersonator named Rosa, 39, echoed Paris' sentiment.
“It’s the same,” she said of the expanded boxes. “It doesn’t work for me.”
However, Naked Cowgirl Patricia Burck — wife of The Naked Cowboy Robert Burck — described the additional space as “great.”
“Sometimes on the weekends, it’s very crowded,” she said. “I think it’s more organized [with the boxes],” she added.
The Times Square Alliance also recently placed signs next to the designated zones noting that performers expect a tip for photos.
Ticket sellers, meanwhile, continued to voice their discontent at having been lumped in with the costumed characters and topless performers in the first place.
On the same day the city began enforcing the designated activity zones, the City Council passed a bill requiring vendors who sell tour bus, comedy club, ferry boat and other tickets to apply for a Department of Consumer Affairs license.
Go New York ticket seller Kassimou Chitou said he hadn’t heard about the license rule, but noted it would be “no problem” to apply for one, even if it meant paying a fee.
The designated activity zones were another story, he said.
“If you come here on Saturday or Sunday even, [the performers] take [all the space],” he said. “I don’t know how we’re going to survive.”
Stand Up NY ticket seller Rick Martinez said he wasn’t aware the licensing legislation had passed.
Besides, being required to stand in the boxes was more of a detriment than paying for a license, he maintained.
“I’m not making enough money. A lot of people already quit," he said.
“It’s horrible, because I gotta compete with the Naked Cowboy, and Elmo, and everybody else.”