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Brooklyn Bridge Has Now Transformed Into A Terrible Flea Market

It’s a bridge too far gone.

The tourist-jammed Brooklyn Bridge has become a “disgusting, mile-long souvenir shop and flea market” due to illegal vendors who clog up the famous walkway, residents rage.

There is a city proposal to ban all vendors to “enhance pedestrian safety” and “ease overcrowding on the elevated pedestrian walkways.”

A Post reporter and photographer spent an afternoon on the bridge this week observing the sea of two dozen sellers.

Legal vendors, like M.D. Rahman, who has been selling hot dogs and $1 water bottles near the entrance since 2003, and Marco Balaguer — one of multiple licensed disabled vets who sell hats and trinkets — resent the illegal hawkers who are now eating into their livelihoods.

“There’s not enough space and it’s unfair competition!” barked Balaguer. “I just paid $400 in taxes to renew my license.”

Fellow disabled vet and licensed vendor Robert Velsor gave the proposed vendor ban a thumbs-down because it is too wide-ranging.

“You have non-licensed vendors doing what they want — and we suffer,” he fumed. “If they close the bridge [to vendors], where do I go to work?”

Street vendors plying their trade around the iconic span is nothing new, but the number of stands has ballooned since the city moved bicyclists to a protected lane on the road two years ago.

One young woman selling brightly-colored hats sheepishly admitted she didn’t have a vending license.More than a few merchants — including one bartering bracelet and wristbands — would not discuss whether they had a permit.

Area residents are fed up.

“It is totally disgusting. The bridge used to be a great place to walk over. Not anymore because of all the vendors,” wrote John Fratta on Nextdoor. “Only the City of New York can screw up a nice feature for us residents. I no longer go there.”

Desiree Maumus-Hall echoed, “When did Brooklyn Bridge become one big souvenir shop?”

Manhattan resident Katie Raffa griped that the bridge is “INSANE. So dangerous. The walkway is already wayyyy too narrow for how many people are on the bridge. Moving the bike lane was a positive, now it’s just a flea market.”

The de-facto flea market also limits the photo options of tourists, with the best vistas blocked by pushy vendors.

“It has essentially made an iconic NY picture site into an illegal trinket store,” said one resident.

It’s also loud, with multiple video setups every 100 yards blasting Jay-Z’s 2009 hit “Empire State of Mind” and vendor Rahman’s recorded voice in a loop announcing, “Ice cold water! One dollar for the water! One dollar for the water!”

Councilman Lincoln Restler told The Post he supports the planned DOT vendor ban. “It’s important that we provide reasonable support to vendors and create spaces for them to thrive. The Brooklyn Bridge is not that space.”

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