From the NY Post:
It took 25 years to save Times Square from its dark age, and it took City Hall just three months to turn it into a squatters' camp.
Despite all of yesterday's ribbon-cutting hoopla, complete with a confetti-firing cannon, the Crossroads of the World looks almost exactly like what it's been all summer -- a five-block-long sea of dazed, low-rent tourists glued like chewing-gum wads to the cheapest seats in town.
Yesterday's ceremony introduced some pathetic "improvements" installed over the past few days. Horrible orange barrels have been replaced by iron barricades nearly as awful. Planters resembling truck-bomb stoppers now share pedestrian "plazas" with flimsy-looking red tables, chairs and umbrellas.
The disconnected, awkward plazas that chopped up Times Square and gutted its energy are unworthy of a prison yard.
Their cheaply graveled and paved surfaces, painted with dopey colored circles that seem the work of preschoolers, are an affront to Times Square's historic central role in the life of the city, and to the power and glory of its landmarks.
Department of Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan closed Broadway to vehicular traffic in the name of easing congestion. But in the process, she managed to turn the myth that Times Square is strictly for tourists into a fact.
A coalition of outdoor sign companies that recently formed to have a greater say in the city’s development plans for Times Square may have scored its first victory.
The city’s plan to furnish Times Square with tables and chairs had called for many more sun umbrellas than were installed Monday when the city replaced temporary plastic furniture with a stronger metal variety.
There are just 19 umbrellas to the 650 chairs and 250 tables that were moved on Monday into pedestrian plazas on Broadway.
A new organization representing the outdoor sign industry in the neighborhood, the Times Square Advertising Coalition, is concerned that the umbrellas could impede peoples’ views of the 150 flashing signs in the area.