The city is throwing vendors off the Brooklyn Bridge.
Not literally: A new ban is being implemented Wednesday that prohibits peddlers from hawking souvenirs, drinks and360-degree selfies from the pedestrian pathway in an effort to crack down on what’s essentially become a bizarre bazaar.
The pedestrian walkway on the 141-year-old bridge has always been popular with tourists, but it has ironically become more chaotic since 2021, after a new dedicated bike path gave pedestrians more room to roam. Many illegal vendors have filled the bridge, causing safety concerns and worries about the bridge’s “structural load capacity,” as well as impeding pedestrian flow.
“The Brooklyn Bridge is one of New York City’s most stunning gems,” said Mayor Eric Adams in a statement. “Tourists and New Yorkers alike deserve to walk across it and enjoy its beauty without being packed together like sardines or risking their safety.”
Vendors will be prohibited from the bridge’s approach on the Dumbo and Manhattan sides of the bridge.
“Vending on Brooklyn Bridge impedes pedestrians’ movement and creates security risks,” DOT Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez said Friday.
The law has some pushback from vendors themselves. One of them told Streetsblog that he relies on selling New York-themed sweaters for his livelihood and isn’t sure where he will relocate. “Ban? Oh shit. That’s really bad news, because I depend on it for my everyday existence,” Patrick Dellamore told the blog.
Another vendor told the Gothamist that the law unfairly targets licensed vendors. “We have a license, and there’s a lot more people out here who don’t have a license,” vendor Tyrone Lopez recently told Gothamist.. “But the bad part about it is, everybody’s going to suffer for it. I think it’s unfair for us veterans to even have to go through the same thing.”