Pengpu night market shuts, buses to run normally again

from ShanghaiDaily

A POPULAR night market in Zhabei District will be shut down following renewed efforts to drive away illegal vendors, the district government said yesterday.

A temporary buffer zone that was created at the Pengpu night market will be scrapped after crowds of illegal vendors packed the area, authorities said.

The buffer zone on the north of Linfen Road allowed vendors to do business from 10pm to 2am every day, but with vendors swarming into the zone and setting up cooking and barbecue stalls, residents in the vicinity complained about noise and smoke pollution, officials said.

Eight bus lines that were forced to make a detour because of traffic congestion on the road will go back to their original routes, the district’s traffic authorities said.

An isolation strip separating motor and non-motor lanes has been set up in the area.

Officials said they would continue with their efforts to clear the night market of vendors and expand the area of crackdown gradually. Almost no illegal vendors were seen in the area since Tuesday after the latest round of crackdown, reported.

The district’s urban management team is patrolling the area to make sure the vendors don’t return again.

Making detours

The illegal stalls occupied the roads and pedestrian paths in the past. Eight bus lines, including No. 206, 951 and 912, have been avoiding the Wenxi and Linfen roads after 8pm.

The market, which is illegal, has almost become synonymous with the Pengpu locality. It has been there for about 10 years, and has been nicknamed “the Nanjing Road Pedestrian Mall of the Pengpu community.”

Till very recently, the Zhabei District government had been unable to drive away the vendors because of the market’s popularity with the locals as well as tourists. The illegal vendors do not pay any taxes or fees for their stalls, making their products cheap and affordable to the community.

Most of the 200,000 residents in the Pengpu community are relocated residents from old torn-down neighborhoods, and out-of-towners who have relative low buying power, making the night market with its cheap food and products extremely popular.

There were some 400 stalls set up along the 1,000-meter-long section on Linfen Road.

A large crowd meandered along the road until way past midnight every day.