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Times Square Pedestrian Plazas Can Stay (For Now)

[Photo by Andrew F. Kazmierski /]

A month after NYPD commissioner Bill Bratton suggested that tearing out Times Square's pedestrian plazas would be a good way to overhaul the much-maligned public space—an idea that pretty much no one was on board with, save for, inexplicably, Mayor de Blasio—the commish is officially backtracking. The New York Post reports that Bratton said, "I think the consensus that's quickly arising is to finish what's been started" regarding improvements to the area. He also (finally) acknowledged that "it would be really tough to dig it up and replace it and fix" the pedestrian plazas. Duh.

A group of politicians, including Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, recently proposed implementing changes to Times Square that would include designating specific areas within the space between 42nd and 47th Streets where life-size Elmos and topless women could continue their shenanigans. That, and other proposals, are still under consideration by the task force that Mayor de Blasio and Bratton established to address the "issue."

Still, there's a chance that Bratton could change his mind—according to the Post, he also noted that the issue of the plazas could be revisited in the future:

"Our estimation is by the end of 2016, all the planned construction will be done, so we can take a fresh look without all those orange cones and barriers and see how the place looks."
· Bratton backs down on plan to rip up Times Square [NYP]
· Bratton drops call to rip out Times Square plazas [Crain's]
· Officials Propose 'Times Square Commons' Plan for Ped Plazas [Curbed]
· All Times Square Coverage [Curbed]