West Palm Beach officials want to put brakes on mobile strip club ads

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - On any given night along a busy Clematis Street in Downtown West Palm Beach, the trucks are easy to spot.

They roll from one end of the street to the other with huge advertisements for strip clubs.

The West Palm Beach City Commission is now trying to figure out a way to ban such messages.

"When is my five-year-old son going to start asking what's going in in there? Because I know it'll happen eventually," said Anya Nicholson as she played with her son near the Clematis fountain.

Nicholson is not alone.

City commissioners like Kimberly Mitchell also detest the moving advertisements.

"I'd like to see what we can do as a city to say, 'what is acceptable and what is not acceptable,' " said Mitchell.

On Monday, Mitchell and other city commissioners discussed a way to stop adult clubs from floating advertisements throughout the city on trucks.

"It really does make the city look junky," said commissioner Shanon Materio.

When reached for comment, several area strip clubs did not want to speak about a proposed ban. Several managers did express concerns over freedom of speech.

"You cannot regulate the speech. You cannot regulate the content that's on there. But what you can do is have a conversation about do we want trucks on streets at certain hours," said Elliot Cohen, spokesperson for the city of West Palm Beach.

The city is now looking at current code to see how it could regulate the trucks.

Parent Anya Nicholson said she would like to see more done and is not concerned about 1st Amendment Rights.

"No, not at all. The way I was raised was you don't advertise sex," said Nicholson.

The city could bring up the topic at a future city commission meeting.

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