on Unlicensed Vendors on Canal Street
From Sing Tao Daily
July 16, 2004
Every weekend or holiday, street vendors selling paintings and
counterfeit products overcrowd the sidewalks of Canal Street, raising
public safety issues as they occupy parts of the street and cause
The Fifth Precinct, which covers Chinatown, conducts
constant crackdowns on unlicensed vendors on Canal Street. To avoid
still maintaining their business, many vendors have been securing
spots on the west side of Broadway, which is overseen by the First
Precinct. Recently both precincts have decided to join together
to crack down on unlawful vendors in the area.
On July 15, several
undercover police officers from the Fifth Precinct cited an unlicensed
vendor on Centre Street, who was selling paintings.
He was issued two tickets and his property was confiscated after
he failed to show a license.
According to a police officer, the vendor has been issued many
warnings before the citation but refused to cooperate. He added
that many vendors on Canal Street are very familiar with the rules
but often ignore them.
Ms. Chen, the owner of a store selling souvenirs
and accessories on Canal Street, applauded the joint effort by
the two precincts.
She said more than 50 vendors gather around the corner of Broadway
and Canal Street every weekend, overcrowding the sidewalks. In
addition, many cars turn onto Canal Street from Broadway, making
the spot dangerous for both cars and pedestrians.
“They are not helping my business,” Chen said angrily. “Many
tourists get annoyed by the crowd and would walk faster, passing
the stores without buying anything.” She also said some tourists
only buy from the vendors, which directly affect her business.
Most storeowners in Chinatown agreed.
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Translated from Chinese by Larry Tung.