Intrepid street food explorers may be familiar with the gallery of vendors that set up shop alongside the Manhattan Bridge in Chinatown, hawking everything from hot dogs on a stick to durian fruit. But now, cops are cracking down on the merchants, accusing them of some fairly gross-sounding misdeeds.

The vendors are allegedly leaving piles of foul-smelling trash out overnight, selling rotten produce, and even peeing into bags and throwing the bags out on the street. Recently, police have implemented a temporary no-parking ban to keep trucks from parking on Forsyth Street, which is destroying sales for many of the vendors: "There's no business, no people. There used to be big lines but not now," said merchant Andy Lin. Some vendors have been arrested for selling without a license.

We spoke to Street Vendor Project's director Sean Basinski to get his take on the crackdown. "The Forsyth Market is an amazing fruit and vegetable market that draws people from all over the tristate area because of its prices, the variety and quality of its produce," he says. He says that vendors purchase produce from wholesale markets in the Bronx that's about to go bad and sell it that day, and then hire a private carting company to pick up their garbage at the end of the day ("I have receipts to prove it," he adds). "The [cops] have it out for this market," he says, and claims that he's seen police troll the block every 20-30 minutes to distribute tickets for "ridiculous" infractions like "blocking the bridge from view" against graffiti artists.

The market has long been a favorite for cheap eaters. Just last week, the Street Vendor Project recounted a Chinatown walking tour that included stops on Forsyth for "tender chicken and beef, fish balls, fish tofu or deliciously fatty lamb" kebabs; food blogger Craig Nelson calls out the Fu Zhou Good Taste cart as a favorite as well. "If its such a foul market, then why do thousands of people shop there every day?" asks Basinksi. "Because it's a wonderful place."