Cities as Communicative Change Agents
Edited By erin daina mcclellan, Yongjun Shin and Curry Chandler
4. ‘Ain’t Too Proud to Beg’ or Advertise: The First Amendment Implications of Advertising and Panhandling on the New York City Mass Transit System: ADRIENNE E. HACKER-DANIELS, ILLINOIS COLLEGE, U.S.
4. ‘Ain’t Too Proud to Beg’ or Advertise: The First Amendment Implications of Advertising and Panhandling on the New York City Mass Transit System
ADRIENNE E. HACKER-DANIELS
This chapter explores the impact of legal rulings and transit regulations in fashioning policies which attempt to weigh governmental interests against First Amendment rights on the New York City mass transit system. As astutely noted by Clifton Hood in his fascinating chronicle of the history of the New York City subway system from its nascence in 1904 through its 100-year mark, this transportation tour de force ranks as one of the “twentieth century’s greatest urban achievements.” The formulation of reasonable policies regarding commercial/political advertising and panhandling on New York City’s mass transit has been peripatetic and elusive at best. Dilemmas have arisen in light of the inability of either the courts or regulatory agencies to provide stable and consistent applications of First Amendment principles commensurate with the mission statements and regulatory tenets of the MTA. Notwithstanding the significant growing pains in this “city that never sleeps,” the subway system has played an integral role in every facet of the city’s lifeblood. A plan is offered for balancing governmental interests and First Amendment rights against a backdrop of a particularly tenuous period of the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority.
Keywords: First Amendment, public forum, content neutrality, advertising, panhandling, transit system, subway, freedom of speech
As astutely noted by Clifton Hood in...
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