Iowa City takes step toward pedestrian mall rules

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — The council has taken its first official vote in favor of tightening rules on loitering at Iowa City’s pedestrian mall.

The City Council voted for the proposals at its meeting Tuesday night. Two more approvals are needed for the ordinance to be adopted.

The proposals would ban lying on benches during certain hours and ban lying on planters that hold greenery. Another rule would limit the ability to keep personal items in public spaces.

Supporters say the new rules are needed to deal with increased loitering. Critics say the proposals seem to target the homeless. Others object to restrictions on the use of public space.

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