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City introduces vendor-free zones

Illegal stallholders will be totally banned from many famous city spots under new regulations to be introduced next month.

The move, aimed at vendors who sell items such as souvenirs, food and drink and clothing without licenses, covers 26 areas and 90 roads and is backed by fines.

Illegal vendors are an everyday sight in the city. At present, when confronted by urban management officials they can have stock and equipment seized.

Areas that the city government wants to make vendor-free include the Bund, Yuyuan Garden, People’s Square, Xintiandi, Xujiahui and Zhongshan Park.

Roads that will be covered by the restrictions include Nanjing Road, Chongqing Road, Fuzhou Road, Hengshan Road and Huashan Road.

These key areas and traffic arteries represent the image of Shanghai, said a circular issued by several government authorities.

They are of great significance to the city’s traffic and environment and are thus listed as stall-free areas, added the circular, produced by bodies including the Shanghai Greenery and Public Sanitation Bureau and the Shanghai Food and Drug Administration.

According to the circular, street vendors operating without a license can in theory face a fine of up to 500,000 yuan (US$80,645). It is thought that this sum would apply to large-scale organized operations posing security, environmental or health hazards.

Individual stallholders setting up shop in vendor-free zones face fines of 50 yuan to 500 yuan.

The city has been exploring a number of options for managing street vendors, including setting up temporary street vendor centers in vacant spaces at big communities.

Authorities have set up 69 buffer zones hosting about 3,990 stalls across the city to date. These include a former parking lot near the Xiandong residential complex in Songjiang District.

But there are still 104 spots where illegal street vendors sell their wares, involving about 7,260 stalls. These have led to disputes over traffic safety and the environment and disruption for residents, authorities said.

Stallholders from a popular but now-closed illegal market in Zhabei District — the Pengpu night market — have recently relocated to a new market in Baoshan District where their businesses are legal.

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