De Blasio's task force meets to address Times Square's topless women, costumed panhandlers

Associated Press

The city's task force charged with solving the problem of topless women and costumed panhandlers in Times Square has held its first meeting.

Mayor Bill de Blasio convened the group after a growing number of complaints about the women, who wear body paint and little else.

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A decision was not reached after the group's first meeting on Thursday.

The meeting included City Council members, commissioners and civic leaders.

Several of those who attended said there was support for a plan advocated by the Times Square Alliance business group. The alliance proposed placing the women and costumed panhandlers in a separate, distinct zone.

It also advocated preserving Times Square's pedestrian plazas, which some have considered destroying.