2018: A Year of Transformation and Growth

Bloomberg Seeks to Limit the Length of Kissing in Public Spaces

Apr 1, 2013
Feb 14, 2018
"Everywhere you look, there are kids canoodling. Think of all of the germs being spread around! It's just gross.” / Photo: PPS

Citing data showing that kissing is up to dangerous levels in the city's streets and public spaces, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has introduced a measure to attempt to limit the length of public displays of affection in the interest of public health. Bloomberg admitted that the rampant PDA may be an unintended consequence of the improvements in public spaces that have been central to his mayoralty.

Getting people out of their cars, the mayor admitted at a press conference this morning, may have encouraged people to get a bit too close. “Our sidewalks are getting stopped up," the mayor lamented. "When we started this, we saw research that suggested we’d find lovers in the rear places. But they weren’t there. The most fervent embracing we’ve recorded recently has usually taken place in the most visible locations, with couples oblivious of the crowd. Everywhere you look, there are kids canoodling. Think of all of the germs being spread around! It's just gross.”

Increasing Kissing was first documented in the 1970s by William H. Whyte. / Photo: New York Magazine

The mayor pointed to a new report out of New York University that shows an alarming 34% increase in the average length of instances of PDAs around the city over the past five years. As such, the city is moving quickly to implement a ban on kisses lasting longer than 16 seconds in public spaces. The mayor indicated that a task force has been assembled with members from the city's Departments of Health & Mental Hygiene and Parks & Recreation, along with several high-ranking officials from the NYPD.

"This isn't just a few cute little pecks on the cheek," explained Thomas Farley, the city's health commissioner, who was also present at this morning's announcement. "We haven't seen kissing up this high on New York's streets since the 1970s!"

In response to critics saying that this is an extension of his “Nanny State,” Bloomberg said he is "facilitating people to control themselves" in NYC’s increasingly attractive public spaces.

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2018: A Year of Transformation and Growth