New York orders the eviction of street vendors from the iconic Brooklyn Bridge – El Sol de México

The street vendors of the iconic Brooklyn Bridge in New York, a large number of them Latino, were surprised and disconcerted this Friday with the notification made by the city that they must vacate the place by January 3.

The city’s Department of Transportation (DOT) posted notices along the bridge fence early in the morning, in English and Spanish, informing them of the decision, which affects both licensed and unlicensed vendors. .

“As of January 3, 2024, the sale of merchandise is not permitted on the Brooklyn Bridge. Please remove all belongings by January 2 at 11:59 PM. Any property left on the bridge will be removed.” , is noted in the sheet about the new rule that the Mayor’s Administration, Eric Adams, has implemented, which argues for security reasons.

Licensed vendors who spoke with EFE consider it unfair that everyone is evicted from the place because the rule should be imposed on those who do not have permission to sell on the streets.

Many repeated over and over again the surprise with which they received the notification, while thousands of people, some with children and others carrying their pets because of the tumult, little by little tried to cross the bridge from Manhattan to Brooklyn, one of the points most tourism attracts.

Others stopped to buy hats, sweatshirts, stuffed animals, hot dogs, water, or any souvenir from the city at the dozens of stalls along the route, which aggravated the great congestion of pedestrians on the bridge, which crosses about 34 thousand people a day, according to DOT data.

At its widest part the bridge measures five meters but there are areas where it is reduced to up to one and a half meters, which is further reduced with the sales stands.

“I’ve been here for more than 15 years, from the beginning, there was no one. My children, ages 10 and 7, and my wife depend on me,” said Mdrahman, from Bangladesh, who sells water, soda, pretzels and hot dogs. at the entrance to the bridge in Manhattan.

The seller assured that he does not plan to “go anywhere, I need to work,” and insisted that he is not selling illegally. “What am I going to do (without selling), live on the street?”

Yomaira, an Ecuadorian who has eight sales stands at the beginning of the route, on the Manhattan side, and hires war veterans to serve them, said that it is a family business with which she pays for the studies of her two university-aged children and one of 14 years.

“We were attentive to what was happening,” said the seller, also licensed, when referring to the public hearing process carried out by the DOT, but “today we were surprised” by the news.

Cristian, a Peruvian who sells crafts, seemed more resigned and told EFE that he will look for a new space for his sales.

The vendors blamed the newly arrived immigrants for the congestion on the bridge, which they say has been happening for a year and a half since they began arriving, noting that they have opened stalls without licenses and that in many areas space is reduced due to this. for walk.

They reported that they are also sleeping under the tables where they place their merchandise.

“This bridge is one of the most important points in the city, for tourists and New Yorkers, who have demanded more space to walk and run by bike and be safe,” Transportation Commissioner Ydanis Rodríguez told EFE, insisting that Eviction is a decision based on security.

The commissioner indicated that the bridge is a concern for the city police. “‘Brooklyn Bridge’ is a place where you can’t walk safely,” and if an emergency occurs they want to be sure they can mobilize the public, he said.

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He explained that in the notification sellers will find a link that will take them to a web page where they will be informed about other places to sell their merchandise.

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