Renewed efforts to rein in desnudas, costumed characters in Times Square

New City Council bill would give DOT power over pedestrian plazas

TRD New York /
Mar.March 10, 2016 05:15 PM

It seems the plan to foil Minnie, Mickey, Woody, Elmo, and, oh yeah, the topless ladies in Times Square is afoot once again.

Council member Dan Garodnick introduced a bill that would authorize the Department of Transportation to make rules for pedestrian plazas throughout the city. If the City Council passed the bill, it would enable the Times Square task force to implement its plan.

In the fall, the task force proposed dividing Times Square into zones, with a separate area for the costumed characters, the painted women (dubbed “desnudas”), as well as others soliciting money, the New York Daily News reported. Other areas might be designated for endeavors such as art programming.

“We expect that with this power, DOT will now set out rules to bring some order out of the chaos,” said Garodnick, who sponsored the bill along with Corey Johnson. Both represent different parts of Times Square.

Pedestrian plazas are still technically classified as streets and the new bill would allow the DOT to set up regulations, according to the Daily News.

Costumed characters and the desnudas have been a thorn in Mayor Bill de Blasio’s side. Last year, de Blasio suggested opening up the area once to vehicles — an idea that was quickly swatted down. The city increased the number of police officers in Times Square and is looking to add traffic agents to curb congestion.

Garodnick hopes the plan is enacted before summer. [NYDN]Dusica Sue Malesevic

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