NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A partial agreement was reached Thursday on what to do about quality of life issues in Times Square, as a task force created by Mayor Bill de Blasio on those issues met for the first time.
The deadline for solving the Times Square problem is fast approaching, but police Commissioner Bill Bratton refused to be painted into a corner about what to do about what are widely considered disruptive elements. The costumed characters and the women who decorate their bare chests with vibrant designs are soliciting tips from crowds of people.
“I think we need to put in place time, place and manner restrictions, which will create zones – and zones that have cartoon characters and painted ladies, and CD sellers and hop-on, hop-off bus people,” said City Councilman Corey Johnson (D-3rd). “But you shouldn’t be harangued and harassed walking through Times Square.”
The proposal, called “Roadmap for a 21st Century Times Square,” suggests breaking up the area into three zones that together would make the “Times Square Commons.” One zone would be for unimpeded pedestrian traffic, a second for special events, and a third for what they called “protected solicitation’” – that is, the costumed characters and topless desnudas.
“There should be a zone for commercial activity, there should be a zone for the general public where no commercial activity will take place, and there should be another zone that allows for performance type work,” Johnson told 1010 WINS.