Proposed new rules for park vendors
The Parks Dept. is holding a public hearing next week on a new plan that would curtail the number of art vendors in the city’s parks.
The Parks Dept. already regulates food vendors, but those who peddle “expressive matter” like books and paintings were seen as protected under the First Amendment. Dozens of these art vendors pack Battery Park, Union Square Park and other city parks every day, and the Parks Dept. said this creates a safety hazard and makes the experience of the parks less enjoyable.
The new rules would limit the number of art vendor spaces in Battery Park to nine, located around the perimeter. Union Square Park would get 18 spaces and the High Line would get three. The proposed rules say the spots would be given out on a first come, first served basis, but it is unclear how exactly that will work.
Art vendors are already protesting the rules.
The hearing will be held at 11 a.m. on Fri., April 23 at Chelsea Recreation Center, 430 W. 25th St.