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Bill Bratton

Bratton: Times Square Plazas Will Stay

The de Blasio administration has finally put to rest the idea of yanking out the Times Square pedestrian plazas. Was that so hard?

Erik Engquist at Crain's reports that Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said City Hall will see through the $55 million capital construction project to cast the plazas in concrete, which has been in progress for a few years already. The city will "finish the construction as designed with some additional improvements," Bratton told a breakfast gathering of the big business-affiliated Association for a Better New York in Midtown this morning.

Mayor de Blasio's Times Square task force is supposed to issue its recommendations about desnudas, aggressive Elmos, and other pressing problems on October 1. It looks like those recommendations will be strongly influenced by the ideas put forward last week by a coalition led by the Times Square Alliance -- new rules about where commercial activity like posing for pictures with tourists for tips is allowed, plus an NYPD unit trained in the nuances of Times Square law and order.

Last week Bratton said he first raised the prospect of tearing out the plazas to "smoke out" who's on the side of keeping them. When the smoke cleared, Bratton was pretty much by himself, a police commissioner whose ideas are at odds with how most New Yorkers want to manage their streets and public spaces.

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