NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Aggressive ticket vendors were pushed out of city parks after a police crackdown earlier this year.
However, as CBS2’s Hazel Sanchez reported, the problem wasn’t solved, it was just moved.
The city started cracking down on the problem following overwhelming complaints in Battery Park about pushy ticket vendors and violent attacks that left a tourist knocked unconscious by a vendor in February.
The NYPD launched Operation: Tour de Force, and arrested 27 suspects accused of selling bogus tours.
“I think residents noticed right away there was a difference right around the perimeter of the park, but honestly the vendors just moved a couple of blocks inward,” Patrick Kennell, president of the Financial District Neighborhood Association, said.
Kennell explained vendors that moved out of the park are setting up shop on nearby streets.
None of the vendors, still aggressively giving the hard sell for their tickets, would speak to CBS2.
“We’d like to see the practices controlled,” Kennell said. “We don’t want anyone to lose their jobs.”
There are efforts in City Council to control the ticket vendor trade, with efforts to keep the problems that are solved here from moving somewhere else.
City Council member Daniel Garodnick proposed a bill requiring all vendors be licensed and limited to work in specified zones. Vendors would be banned from subway entrances, bus stops, and any place within a block of a city park.
“We want to definite this better, create some simple rules and get this problem under control,” Garodnick said.
Police do have a quality of life detail in Battery Park and at the Staten Island ferry, and they say they’ll address any neighborhood’s spike in vendor problems accordingly.
Police said arrests for unlawful ticket selling practices in the Battery Park area have gone up in the last year. Since January, police said they made 75 arrests compared to 41 during the same time last year.