NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Mayor Bill de Blasio insisted Monday no decision has been made to tear up the pedestrian plazas in Times Square.
The mayor has formed a multiagency task force to address what his administration has dubbed "problems" involving tip-seeking costumed characters and topless, painted women at the Crossroads of the World. One of the options on the table is removing the pedestrian plazas, which former Mayor Michael Bloomberg implemented in 2009.
Police Commissioner Bill Bratton, a co-chair on the task force, has already voiced his support for doing away with the plazas, which he says create a gathering spot that breeds problematic behavior.
De Blasio: No Decision Made On Times Square Pedestrian Plazas
When a reporter asked de Blasio whether the idea to rip out the plazas runs counter to his "Vision Zero" reforms engineered to protect pedestrians, the mayor quickly pointed out reopening Times Square to more traffic is only a proposal.
"I think we can safely say there has been some portrayal of this as a fait accompli," de Blasio told reporters, including WCBS 880's Rich Lamb. "I didn't say that, nor did anyone else. We said we have a one-month process, and this is one of the things that has to be examined."
The mayor promised that the task force will examine the safety ramifications and crowed, "I think what we've done with Vision Zero is beyond what any previous administration has done."
De Blasio noted that pedestrian fatalities last year fell to their lowest levels since 1910, adding it's actually lower this year.
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