NYC cracks down on ‘air conditioning the sidewalk’

NEW YORK (AP) — Along New York City’s steamy sidewalks in the summer, there’s long been a reliable respite from the heat: waves of air-conditioned comfort wafting from open doors.

But now the nation’s largest city is pushing businesses to cool it on such wastefulness. Under a newly expanded law, most stores and restaurants could be fined $250 or more if they keep their doors or windows open while running the A/C.

Backers say they’re trying to stop an energy-wasting practice. But business owners question how the law will be enforced, and some say the city shouldn’t dictate what they do with their doors.

The new law passed last fall, but first-time violators got only warnings until July 1.

It expands a 2008 measure that applied only to large chain stores and inspired a similar law in Washington, D.C.

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