It's pretty rare for a mayor to propose something that everybody immediately agrees on, but pretty much everybody seems to agree the Mayor de Blasio's proposal (expanding from a remark by Police Commissioner Bratton) to get rid of the pedestrian plazas in Times Square because we must Protect The Children from body-painted women is, in a word, bad. "Sure, let's tear up Broadway — we can't govern, manage or police our public spaces," Times Square Alliance president Tim Tompkins told Times archicritic Michael Kimmelman, who writes:
It's hard to grasp [de Blasio's] calculus. One of Mr. de Blasio's big initiatives, Vision Zero, aims to improve pedestrian safety. Ripping up the pedestrian plazas in Times Square, restoring cars and forcing millions of people to dodge traffic again, runs headlong into his own policy.
Time and again, Mr. de Blasio leaves an impression that he understands very little about the dynamics of urbanism and the physical fabric of the city ... Entertaining the demolition of the plazas, the mayor sends a message that New York can't support the sort of great pedestrian hubs that thrive in competing cities around the globe. New York archicritic Justin Davidson had similarly harsh words, in a column titled "De Blasio's Proposal to Destroy Pedestrian Times Square Is the Opposite of Progressive." Davidson writes:
I understand that the mayor doesn't care for the carnival atmosphere at Times Square — neither do I. But eradicating a pedestrian plaza because you don't like who's walking there is like blasting away a beach because you object to bikinis or paving a park because you hate squirrels. It represents such a profound misunderstanding of public space that it makes me question the mayor's perception of what counts as progressive. That bikini comparison is almost too apt.
· Challenging Mayor de Blasio Over Times Square Plazas [NYT]
· De Blasio's Proposal to Destroy Pedestrian Times Square Is the Opposite of Progressive [Daily Intel]
· Mayor Proposes Nixing Times Square Pedestrian Plazas [Curbed]