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SoHo Community Board Pushes City to Review Vendor Rules

By Andrea Swalec | January 25, 2013 7:11pm | Updated on January 28, 2013 10:43am

SOHO — Community Board 2 has backed SoHo residents fed up with the vendor trucks, carts and tables that line their streets, passing a resolution asking Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the city to address their concerns about trash, traffic and pollution.

At a full board meeting Thursday night, CB2 unanimously asked the mayor and the city to convene the Street Vendor Review Panel for the first time since 2001, they say, to review the number of vendors operating on Broadway between East Houston and Canal streets, which they call the Broadway Corridor.

"[The] proliferation of vendors of the Broadway Corridor constitutes a serious and immediate threat to the health, safety and well-being of the public and local residents," the resolution says.

In a statement Friday, Sean Basinski, director of the Street Vendor Project at the Urban Justice Center, urged CB2 to cooperate with vendors.

“Street vendors are a vital part of New York, and lower Broadway is a busy commercial strip that is enhanced by the presence of vendors," he said. "Rather than trying to ban vending there, we encourage the community board to work with vendors to find solutions that benefit vendors, shoppers and residents alike.”

SoHo residents have long complained that the tangle of rules is misunderstood by vendors and inconsistently enforced by police, firefighters, the Department of Health and the Department of Environmental Protection.

The mayor's office did not immediately respond to an inquiry about the panel, which is made up of members designated by Bloomberg and the Small Business Services, Transportation and City Planning departments.