If an alien landed in New York City and wanted to know what the worst, most menacing thing about Times Square was, not one person would say its pedestrian plazas. In fact, the Bloomberg-era initiative to rid traffic from the city's most jam-packed tourist destination and offer a small reprieve from the gridlocked urban hellscape has been widely praised since it went into action. But now, as topless women proliferate alongside Elmos looking to make a buck, the plazas have come under scrutiny as sites of iniquity. The solution? NYDN reports that Police Commissioner Bill Bratton and Mayor de Blasio have suggested nixing the plazas, and along with itin theorythe "jiggly pests" that have New York's Most Wholesome quaking in their boots.
"You could argue that those plazas have had some very positive impact," de Blasio said at a Thursday meeting during which he addressed Times Square's topless women, "You could also argue that they've come with a lot of problems. And a lot of the surrounding business community has certainly cited those problems. So we'll give that a fresh look." On the other hand, CBS Local caught a more incendiary quote from Bill Bratton: "I'd prefer to just dig the whole thing up."
Not everyone's on board with ripping up the plazas. City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito opposes tearing out the plazas, and Transportation Alternatives also supports maintaining the plazas, saying that ripping them out would be "antithetical" to the Mayor's Vision Zero plan that seeks to eliminate traffic-related deaths.
· De Blasio suggests eliminating Times Square pedestrian plazas to kick out topless women, costumed characters [NYDN]
· Mayor de Blasio Raises Prospect of Removing Times Square Pedestrian Plazas [NYT]
· All Times Square coverage [Curbed]