Street vendors vie for business and permits

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Recent years have seen a steady increase in the number of street vendors on Broadway, mostly near the busy West 231st Street subway stop. One of the vendors, Peter Diego, has eked out a living selling used books and miscellaneous merchandise like an unpackaged pair of speakers.

His career at that intersection came to an apparent end last week when officers from the 50th Precinct told him and two neighboring vendors to pack their wares and leave on grounds they did not have the appropriate permits.

“You know you cannot come back. This is your last warning,” Officer Santosuosso told Mr. Diego.

“You’ve gotta get a license,” Officer Gunther stated.

The vendor asked if he should sweep the area and an officer replied, no.

“I’ll do whatever you want,” Mr. Diego said as he pushed his items in a trolley to a nearby truck owned by another vendor, who agreed to help Mr. Diego move.

Scenes like this might become a thing of the past if the City Council lifts a longstanding limit on the number of street vendor permits in New York. Since 1981, there have been 3,000 such permits — leaving many vendors to rent the documents from the original owners — but a project from the non-profit Urban Justice Center is working to remove the cap.

“We want people to be able to work legally inside the system as opposed to outside the system, which is not good for them, it’s not good for consumers — we don’t know who’s selling what — and it’s not good for the city, because we have countless police hours spent chasing people who lack a permit,” said Sean Basinski, the director of the Urban Justice Center’s Street Vendor Project.

However, business improvement districts, or BIDs, around the city are strongly opposed to increasing the number of street vendor permits.

Katherine Broihier, the district manager of the Kingsbridge BID, described street vendors as nuisances who sully the streets, take business away from brick-and-mortar stores and do not pay taxes to the city or fees to her organization.

“These vendors have been around forever and a lot of them deserve to be, but there’s a lot of them who take advantage of everything,” she said, explaining they do not follow the same rules for trash disposal as regular stores.

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Camp426

...one of the vendors, Peter Diego, has eked out a living selling used books and miscellaneous merchandise like an unpackaged pair of speakers...“You know you cannot come back. This is your last warning,” Officer Santosuosso told Mr. Diaz....

“I’ll do whatever you want,” Mr. Diego said as he pushed his items in a trolley to a nearby truck owned by another vendor, who agreed to help Mr. Diaz move.

Well, is he Mr. ""Diego" or "Mr. Diaz"....?

Is this just casual racism, or did the reporter care so little about his subject...?

Also, I'm pretty sure that if you are selling printed material, i.e., books, magazines, newspapers, even certain t-shirts and other items, a permit is not required. This is a fundamental First Amendment protection that has been upheld by courts countless times.

Thursday, July 23, 2015
Camp426

...one of the vendors, Peter Diego, has eked out a living selling used books and miscellaneous merchandise like an unpackaged pair of speakers...“You know you cannot come back. This is your last warning,” Officer Santosuosso told Mr. Diaz....

“I’ll do whatever you want,” Mr. Diego said as he pushed his items in a trolley to a nearby truck owned by another vendor, who agreed to help Mr. Diaz move.

Well, is he Mr. ""Diego" or "Mr. Diaz"....?

Is this just casual racism, or did the reporter care so little about his subject...?

Also, I'm pretty sure that if you are selling printed material, i.e., books, magazines, newspapers, even certain t-shirts and other items, a permit is not required. This is a fundamental First Amendment protection that has been upheld by courts countless times.

Thursday, July 23, 2015
NYC4LIFE

I was just getting off the 1 train coming home from work and observed this man in the blue shirt, I believe this story refers to him as Peter Diego. It seemed to me that Mr. Diego was arguing with the neighboring perfume or cologne vendor at the time. I am not sure over what because he was pretty hard to understand, which I attributed to him being intoxicated after observing the beer bottles under his table. Both vendors were yelling at each other nothing physical just seemed like a heated argument. I ended up leaving the area but now that I see the story I guess the police had to show up to take care of their issues. And in turn they were asked to leave. From what I saw Mr.Diego was selling miscellaneous items some books, compact disc's, clothes and fruits - which I believe were limes or lemons. Mr Diego had his products spewed all over the street and in some areas blocking the flow of the people traffic. The set up did not look professional and made the area look like a dump in my opinion. In my short observance of the area I did not see a vending license/permit at the time being displayed by Mr.Diego. I know in Manhattan they wear their licenses/permits around their necks for the the public and police to see maybe its different in the Bronx. Weather or not Mr. Diego needed a license/permit to sell his misc. items and fruits I'm not sure but I am glad something was done by the officers because there is too much people traffic in that area to have a vendor taking up the sidewalk with a load of junk and some shady fruits. Between the train station bus stops and the business traffic his set up was just too much in my opinion.

Friday, July 24, 2015
RiverdaleTheBronx

231st and Broadway has become the type of place that my great grandparents moved to the Bronx a century ago to avoid. That place has become one great heck hole.

Friday, July 24, 2015