News & Politics

City Busts Met Museum Vendors; Vendor Group Bites Back


Chinatown bus companies aren’t the only businesses, nor the smallest, that the city is cracking down on. This morning, the Times reports, cops descended on the pushcart vendors in front of the Metropolitan Museum and dished out tickets to six (or seven) of the nine vendors — who also happened to be disabled veterans — for violations including being too far from the curb. The vendors says cops have been doing this for weeks, and sometimes charge that they’re too close to the curb.

Met management says “growing proliferation of vendors” in front of the Met has them “deeply concerned about safety and access issues on the plaza.” Cops say the law is the law.

The Street Vendor Project of the Urban Justice Center, which looks after our pushcart pals, says they’re disappointed but not surprised: “Merchants and other business interests have joined forces with city officials concerned with congestion, modernization, and ‘quality of life’ to bar vendors from streets and regulate them excessively. Because of this, vendors are subjected to incessant and inhumane ticket blitzes… ”

As usual, SVP proposes instead that the city “embrace” vendors “and open our sidewalks to make vending laws work better for vendors, their customers and everyone else.”

This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on August 26, 2009

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