Councilmember Alan Gerson says hes planning to introduce a new bill to sharply reduce vending on city sidewalks.
I expect after the budget season, the issue will be on the Council agenda. I certainly intend to put it on the Council agenda, Gerson said last week.
Gerson said hes particular concerned about what he calls the unacceptable situation in Soho and recently spoke to the First Precinct about vendor conditions there. The vendor sprawl on Prince and Spring Sts. is totally unacceptable, the Lower Manhattan councilmember said.
A person with a wheelchair or walker cannot get by, he said.
We need to identify spaces, not on sidewalks, where the city can establish vendor marts, as the city has done in Brooklyn, he said. He thinks Battery Parks Pier A and a Tribeca parking lot may work, at least as temporary spaces.
For example, theres a parking lot on Lispenard St., Gerson said.
No one would be forced to go anywhere, Gerson noted, adding, The idea is to make areas available and let vendors decide for themselves.
He said there needs to be new regulations on the number of vendors allowed on sidewalks and the space allowed between vendors.
The problem with the current rules is they create loopholes that tend to a total lack of regulations, he said.