On East 86th Street, Sanitation Improvements and Street Vendor Challenges
|86th Street, Before(L), After (R) (A.Fine)|
|Big Belly, 86th + Lex|
|86th + Third Avenue, Early Morning|
- The City Council is considering increasing the number of vendor permits. Shortly after the meeting, CB8 has come out opposed to these increases.
- The City allows vending in front of residential buildings that are zoned residential with a commercial overlay. In other words, buildings zoned for apartments and stores. Yet, in my book, the commercial overlay relates only to the building use, not the use of the sidewalk!
- Aside from in front of the Metropolitan Museum, no street vendors are allowed on Fifth Avenue and Park Avenue. Hmmm, convenient.
- Apparently, there is a very influential street vendor lobby that both the City Council and CB8 appear to be intimidated by. Who knew?
- There is a widespread myth that street vending is some magical, entrepreneurial path to larger business success. The truth is, that might have been the case on Orchard Street in 1915, but today entrepreneurs can utilize street fairs, flea markets, and that thing known as the internet if they want to start a business.
- The three agencies that are responsible for enforcement (Health, Consumer Affairs, Sanitation) are all understaffed with inspectors combined numbering in the dozens, total.
|86th bet Third and Lex|
Let this be said. I am not against people trying to make an honest living. I don't even have that big of a problem with food trucks so long as their numbers are limited and they are diligent about keeping the area near the truck clean. Who doesn't like a decent truck Taco here and there? What I do have a big problem with is complete disarray on our sidewalks. The problems are numerous, pervasive, and need to be addressed. The sidewalks belong to all New Yorkers. We should not be forced to live with unsightly filth, and unnecessary congestion in densely populated residential areas. 86th Street is finally making progress, let's make this a trend!