Street Meat and Pashmina Sellers Are the Latest Casualties of Times Square Cleanup

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USA, New York City, Manhattan, Times Square
Photo: Jose Fuste Raga/© Corbis. All Rights Reserved.

Mayor de Blasio and NYPD chief Bill Bratton may have failed to eliminate Times Square’s pedestrian plazas, but the police are still cracking down on the neighborhood’s costumed characters and body-painted gals. Now, DNAinfo reports that another group of New Yorkers who make a living off the tourist hordes are suffering as well: “The number of tickets issued to Halal carts, hot dog stand and pashmina sellers in the area went from 99 in July to 449 in September — a 435 percent jump over three months.”

According to DNAinfo, vendors are getting cited for violations such as “selling too close to building entrances or less than 10 feet from a crosswalk, for being in wrong zones at the wrong times and for being too close to fire hydrants.” (Several vendors have claimed that they’ve been ticketed for infractions they didn’t actually commit.) When asked about the increased enforcement, an NYPD officer said, “We’re trying to make it safer for pedestrians to cross the street.” We wouldn’t want anyone to accidentally hand their money over to some locals on the way to the Olive Garden.