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Fri. Jun 21st, 2024
Street Vendor Policy Commission
Street Vendor Policy Commission

Senator Jose Peralta calls for a Street Vendor Policy Commission

 

Coexistence between street vendors and brick-and-mortar retailers is critical to the social and economic development of our neighborhoods and communities. This is why State Senator Jose Peralta (D-East Elmhurst) introduced a bill in the Senate calling for the creation of a street vendor policy commission to modernize the regulation that govern street vending.

“Street vendors and mom-and-pop stores sustain families and are a established fixture and essential parts of our communities,” Senator Peralta said. “I strongly believe street vendors and brick-and-mortar businesses can peacefully coexist. My bill calls for a revamped Street Vendor Review Panel that includes all stakeholders to study the problems and provide recommendations.”

Senator Peralta noted, “Nobody is happy with the current system. Local residents complain, street vendors complain, small retailers complain. The system is in disarray. A decade of inaction on issues surrounding street vendors has highlighted the urgent need for reform.”

Senator Peralta said the commission to regulate street vending would be composed of nine members: five representing relevant city agencies (director of the Department of City Planning or designee; commissioner of the Department of Consumer Affairs or designee; commissioner Department of Transportation or designee; commissioner of the Department of Small Business services or designee; and the commissioner of the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene or designee), two members representing street vendors’ interests, and two members representing the interests of small business owners.

The street vendor policy commission would evaluate and make recommendations, among other subjects, on the following:

  • Lifting the caps on street vendor permits;
  • Establishing a mechanism to rescind licenses of those who illegally rent out credentials;
  • Creating zoning regulations and structures to reduce sidewalk and street congestion;
  • Create a letter grading system for the street vendors similar to that of the restaurants;
  • Reducing fines for minor violations and focus on serious health, safety, traffic and sanitation violations; and
  • Establishing a mediation process in which street vendors and business owners can resolve conflicts.

“Leaving the system as is will only lead to more frustration. Inaction is not an option, and establishing a street vendor policy commission with a clear mandate would go a long way to regulate the system,” Senator Peralta said. The Senator’s district includes Roosevelt Avenue from 75th to 114th streets, a stretch filled with mom-and-pop operations, streets vendors, and vehicle and foot traffic.

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