The pedestrianised area under a large flyover in central Kunming used to get taken over every evening by dozens of illegal vendors selling mobile phone covers, underwear, headphones, you name it. The local police have tried a variety of tactics to clear the area, but as soon as the cops disappear, the shops reappear. This has lead to congestion, fights and some traffic injuries (mostly electric bikes hitting passers-by). But last week I went there and the whole area has been filled with potted plants! Apparently this is the latest police brainwave; simply give the vendors nowhere to set up! And there are just a couple of policemen on duty now making sure the plants aren't nicked! I'm not sure if it's barmy or inspired, but so far it's doing the job...
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