Parked Marketing Vans Anger Upper East Siders
By Kiratiana Freelon on December 14, 2012 7:29am
UPPER EAST SIDE — Upper East Siders battling street vendors have taken on a new fight — marketing trucks.
At a recent Community Board 8 Street Vendor Task Force Committee meeting, chair Michele Birnbaum described an emerging citywide trend of truck-based street vendors that park up and distribute ads for companies, vocational schools or other commercial enterprises.
"There are new kinds of truck vending and advertising that hadn't been happening before," she said. "These are trucks that stay in public metered spots."
Birnbuam said that she noticed several vans handing out flyers and advertising services in her neighborhood, including one used by the Center of Woodwork, located at 426 E. 73rd St., which parked on East 86th Street and passed out flyers about carpentry services.
She also said that a truck from ASA College, a vocational school with a campus at 1293 Broadway, had parked in the same area. The vehicle was used as a sort of information booth.
Birnbaum searched through the Department of Consumer Affairs rules and couldn't find any regulations governing this setup, she said.
"These trucks are un-permitted as far as I could find out," she said. "It seems to be completely under the radar.
"This is obviously proliferating."
Sgt. Sean St. Clair, of the 19th Precinct, told Birnbaum that the NYPD couldn't do much to intervene.
"The advertising on vehicles, I don't think there's anything restricting what they can and can't do," said St. Clair, who spoke at the meeting.
"Because there are no rules and regulations for these trucks, all we can do is write them [parking] tickets. We only have the codes that we're given."
Manuel Calixto, the manager of the Center of Woodwork, said his business did nothing wrong.
"The van is sometimes parked on 86th Street, but that is a commercial area," he said.
"There are signed trucks parked there all the time. My van is just a van. We're not selling anything, really. And if we're parked there, we're paying the meter."
Victoria Kostyvukov, a spokeswoman for ASA which sets up an informational truck at Lenox Avenue and 125th Street said, "We're not selling anything.
"We're just trying to promote college to different communities."