Subterranean Doughnut Blues

The Story

Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Another subway interaction made headlines in New York after police were filmed ticketing a woman illegally selling churros. Politicians and advocates expressed outrage at what they called “over-policing” of a harmless activity. But law, practicality, and public order are all on the police’s side; the city has laws against selling food in the subway system for good reason.

The Facts You Need to Know

  1. Tickets: The woman had been ticketed ten times in six months for subway vending, which is against MTA regulations and city laws. Read more.

  2. Police: Critics of policing in the subways have failed to demonstrate that the NYPD is acting unreasonably or using excessive force. Read more.

  3. Vending: Efforts to liberalize street-vending restrictions meet consistent opposition from brick-and-mortar establishments and local residents. Read more.

“I understand the facts. The facts are she was there multiple times and was told multiple times that’s not a place you can be, and it’s against the law and it’s creating congestion. And she shouldn’t have been there.”

Bill de Blasio, New York City Mayor

Twitter Take

The Past is Present

Reclaiming Our Public Spaces By Fred Siegel (Spring, 1992)

“Public space is both the glory and shame of New York. New Yorkers glory in the liveliness of our sidewalks and plazas, the vitality that sets us apart from other big cities where reliance on the automobile has reduced the streets to a mere means of getting about. “

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