Mayor Bill de Blasio says a multiagency city task force will be convened to address what he calls the "growing problem" of topless individuals and costumed characters in New York's Times Square.

The ranks of nearly nude women at the major tourist attraction have been growing. Many of the women wear only body paint and a thong. They charge a few dollars to pose for photos with tourists.

De Blasio says Thursday that Police Commissioner William Bratton and city lawmakers will study the legal issues associated with regulation and report back their findings by Oct. 1.

One idea under consideration is to eliminate the pedestrian plaza where the topless women gather. The costumed Elmos and other characters gather there as well.

The pedestrian plaza was created under Mayor Michael Bloomberg.