New York City officials are hoping to put their foot down this year and control what goes down at the city’s pedestrian plazas while Times Square once again saw the reemergence of the painted topless women as the Big Apple welcomed warmer weather.
On Wednesday, the city council introduced legislation that would give the Department of Transportation the authority to supervise and manage pedestrian plazas throughout the city, according to the Observer.
The bill, which would apply to current and future plazas, would create a public review process and the establishment of rules for each pedestrian plaza, Politico reported. The DOT would work with elected officials, community boards and local organizations to come up with the specific guidelines.
Politico added that a year ago, the city dealt with criticism over how it has handled the public spaces, and matters got worse when the New York Daily News called out the city for allowing the topless painted women — known as desnudas — to pose for photos at pedestrian plazas and ask for tips. The publication described the presence of the women as “a symbol of declining quality of life.”
The city previously was also involved in conflicts on how it handled costumed characters in the Times Square surrounding area, Politico reported.
Wednesday’s legislation will now allow city officials to create specific rules for the desnudas and costumed characters.
According to the Daily News, the bill would divide the pedestrian plazas into zones and would allow those soliciting money to operate only in specified areas.
Once the bill is passed and the DOT reaches an agreement on sets of rules, the NYPD will then enforce the regulations.