New York City Council proposes zones for commercial activity in Times Square, pedestrian plazas

TIMES SQUARE (WABC) -- With the weather so nice, it's no surprise Times Square has been packed.

But if some on the City Council have their way, there could be some pretty significant changes coming to Times Square and plazas across the city, impacting everything from those costumed characters to those controversial topless women.

A new bill being considered by the City Council would impact everyone from Spider-Man to The Statue of Liberty, to even the painted ladies, which can barely cover up their patriotism.

The bill, which was introduced Wednesday, would let the city's Transportation Department take control of pedestrian plazas and allow only certain parts of the area to be used for commercial activity, including the many characters, clothed or not, who are out seeking tips.

It has been a controversy for months, even leading to a task force by Mayor Bill de Blasio.

Critics say some of these street performers are overly aggressive and that having designated commercial areas will give folks cruising the plaza a choice whether they want to encounter them or not.

As for the topless, painted ladies, they remain as popular as ever.

The bill would impact 49 existing plazas in the city, and another 22 that are about come online.

Supporters of the bill emphasize this is not any kind of ban on the performers, just some new guidelines.

They say they expect the council to pass this bill in the coming weeks and are pushing to have the new law in effect by the start of summer.
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