NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Following numerous calls for an end to the topless, body painted women seeking tips for photographs in Times Square, State Sen. Ruben Diaz of the Bronx has a different solution.
He’s introducing legislation to ban all toplessness, male or female. Diaz’s proposed ban would end toplessness in any public place, except beaches.
“What I’m proposing, and I’m submitting a piece of legislation, is to be able to treat everyone equal,” Diaz told 1010 WINS. “So I’m trying to make it illegal to make it in the state’s streets to be half naked, a man or woman.”
On Thursday, Police Commissioner Bill Bratton offered his preferred solution: Tearing up the pedestrian plaza there.
“By ripping up the plaza that would not take care of the situation because the naked women and the Naked Cowboy and all the people they will move to another place,” Diaz said. “So the mayor will have to continue ripping up places and that will not do away with the problem.”
Bratton made the suggestion in the wake of growing complaints about the “desnudas,” or women wearing body paint and a thong, and aggressive costumed characters seeking tips for photos.
However, city Comptroller Scott Stringer and City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito are very much against Bratton’s proposal, CBS2’s Marcia Kramer reported.
“This isn’t a treasure hunt where you start digging up streets. The bottom line is you should be dealing with the quality-of-life issues that face New Yorkers,” Stringer said.
“The City Council is considering its legislative options, but the speaker believes in and supports keeping pedestrian plazas,” Mark-Viverito’s spokesperson said.
The Times Square Advertising Coalition also didn’t like Bratton’s idea.
“After six years and $40 million spent by the City constructing the plazas, it would be a terrible mistake to eliminate them as the number one complaint from visitors before their construction was the lack of pedestrian space,” the TSAC said in a statement. “It is imperative that a solution is reached that addresses the harmful and negative activities that currently exist in the area.”
Mayor Bill de Blasio has formed a multi-agency task force to address the “growing problem,” and said he would consider the idea.