SAN DIEGO — San Diego police have begun enforcement on new sidewalk vendor regulations in the Gaslamp Quarter. The new sidewalk vending ordinance, passed in May, bans sidewalk vending in the Gaslamp Quarter.

“We’re trying to minimize the traffic collisions and, quite frankly, the violence,” Lt. Arturo Swadener with SDPD said Friday.

He said they have had issues with large crowds around hot dog carts in the Gaslamp Quarter, where people are blocking sidewalks and spilling out into the streets. Lt. Swadener said they have seen up to 70 sidewalk vendors in the Gaslamp Quarter in one night.

“It’s led to a lot of violence down there these hot dog carts, first of all they are unregulated and they could be unsafe, secondly they have become a gathering point for a lot of people and it’s become dangerous,” he added.

This enforcement update comes about two weeks after two hot dog vendors got into an argument over territory outside Petco Park after an event. On Saturday, Nov. 19, around 10:30 p.m. police responded to the intersection of 10th Avenue and K Street after a 31-year-old man was stabbed in the back. Police arrested 21-year-old Yoni Yanes. The victim was taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

According to Swadener, fines and citations will be given to vendors who are not following the new guidelines.

“The citations are progressively enforced, what that means is the first citation could cost maybe $200, they go up to $1,000. The penalties for the fourth citation could include seizing and impounding their carts,” he said. “Generally the vendors have been cooperative, I’ve been out there myself, they’re fairly cooperative, but for them it’s a business, they are making thousands of dollars a night.”

Swadener said police have been educating vendors for weeks on the new rules.

“The city has posted signs and we’ve done weeks of education handing out flyers to these vendors explaining the rules and the ordinances to them,” Swadener said.