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The progressive behind the illegal street hawkers clogging NYC streets
‘Illegal’ vendors overrun Bronx strip with no cops to chase them
Does Bill de Blasio ever meet a deadline?
The infamously tardy mayor is over three months late appointing members to an advisory board established to review street vendor activity just as illegal peddlers have taken over whole sections of The Bronx, Manhattan and Queens.
A law the City Council passed in March stripping the NYPD of enforcement over street vendors required Mayor de Blasio and Speaker Corey Johnson to appoint a combined 10 members to the Street Vendor Advisory Board by April 21.
While Johnson has seated his six appointees, de Blasio has yet to choose his four representatives.
“It just goes to show you that they have no real care or sense of urgency in doing this,” said Jeff Garcia, head of the New York State Latino Restaurant, Bar and Lounge Association.
The board is supposed to review state and local laws related to street hawkers, including assuring that they’re at least 20 feet from building entrances— a rule is routinely broken by peddlers who crowd the sidewalks along Fordham Road in The Bronx, Main Street in Flushing, Queens and Canal Street in Lower Manhattan.
“These rules they put in place should be enforced,” Garcia said, noting that illegal vendors are taking business from brick and mortar stores that pay taxes, rent and fees.
A de Blasio administration spokeswoman claimed the still-unformed board would nevertheless hit a November target date to issue a report on recommendations for amendments to the new law that put the Dept. of Consumer Affairs and Worker Protection in charge of enforcement.
“The city is in the process of making appointments to the Vending Advisory Board. Our goal remains to complete the report in November,” the spokeswoman said.
“How can you write a report if you haven’t had any meetings and haven’t appointed all the members? Give me a break,” fumed Wilma Alonso, head of the Fordham Road Business Improvement District.
“The Council is anxious for this work to begin,” said Jennifer Fermino, a spokeswoman for the body.
“This is a problem dating back to the Koch administration. There are no excuses for delays,” she said.
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