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NYC Mayor Wants To Get Rid Of Times Square's Topless Tip-Seekers03:52
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A semi-nude model poses for a photo in Times Square on August 19, 2015, in New York City. As the iconic Times Square continues to draw tourists with its entertaining and carnival-like atmosphere, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio has announced that the city is preparing to address the issue of topless and painted women who pose for pictures while soliciting tips. In recent years, Times Square has seen an influx of performers who dress in a variety of costumes and sometimes become aggressive with the public. The semi-nude women, who call themselves desnudas, Spanish for naked, and pose for photos in exchange for tips, are a new addition to the colourful environment. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
A semi-nude model poses for a photo in Times Square on August 19, 2015, in New York City. As the iconic Times Square continues to draw tourists with its entertaining and carnival-like atmosphere, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio has announced that the city is preparing to address the issue of topless and painted women who pose for pictures while soliciting tips. In recent years, Times Square has seen an influx of performers who dress in a variety of costumes and sometimes become aggressive with the public. The semi-nude women, who call themselves desnudas, Spanish for naked, and pose for photos in exchange for tips, are a new addition to the colourful environment. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
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New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said Thursday that he may consider removing pedestrian plazas in Times Square, to deal with an influx of semi-nude women in body paint, seeking tips in exchange for photos with tourists.

The pedestrian islands were installed just six years ago, eliminating driving lanes to create a public hangout space. The plazas are credited with lessening pedestrian injuries and increasing satisfaction from the surrounding business community.

WNYC radio host Brian Lehrer talks with Here & Now's Jeremy Hobson about the history of the pedestrian islands and their now-murky future.

Guest

This segment aired on August 21, 2015.

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