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Local Leaders Looking to Control Street Vending Ask UES Residents for Input

By Shaye Weaver | September 25, 2015 9:08am | Updated on September 28, 2015 8:52am
 Community Board 8 wants to hear the public's concerns about street vendors who work on residential streets.
Community Board 8 wants to hear the public's concerns about street vendors who work on residential streets.
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DNAinfo/Gwynne Hogan

UPPER EAST SIDE — Community leaders want to hear the neighborhood’s concerns about street vendors who operate on residential streets.

Community Board 8’s Vendor Task Force Committee, which has pinpointed issues of safety, cleanliness and space around sidewalk businesses in recent years, is meeting on Sept. 30 to understand what problems street vendors could be causing near homes and come up with ideas on how to solve them.

Since 2006, the Community Board has recommended that the City Council take a number of actions to cut down on the impact sidewalk businesses have on pedestrians, from establishing a new permitting system, forming aesthetic guidelines, creating a dedicated enforcement agency and a compliance tracking system, to holding food vendors to the same standards as brick and mortar restaurants.

The resolutions stem from problems that have “worsened” like an increase in over-crowded sidewalks and unsanitary conditions, according to the board’s resolutions.

The issue of regulating street vending has recently vexed NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton, who has been dealing with complaints about Times Square vendors.

“There’s a myriad of rules and regulations that control vending, that control peddling, that control the Elmos of the world and the painted ladies, different agencies involved in issuing those regulations,” he said at a press conference on Tuesday. "If you’re a certain type of vendor, you can be within 10 feet of the intersection. If you’re another, you can be within 10 feet of the crosswalk."

Bratton said he'd like to work with vendors and the City Council to make sense of the rules and regulations that govern street vending.

The Community Board's Vendor Task Force Committee will also go over the rules from the city's Health Department, Sanitation Department and Department of Consumer Affairs in how they pertain to street vending, according to the task force committee's co-chair Michele Birnbaum.

The meeting will begin at 6:30 p.m. at the Church of the Holy Trinity's Draesal Hall at 316 E. 88th St.