Mayor Thomas M. Menino today made it clear that he stands behind pushcart vendors at Downtown Crossing, who have less than a month to wheel their wares elsewhere.
"I support the small business owners operating pushcarts in #DowntownCrossing & the vendors who kept the area alive during difficult times," he said this afternoon on Twitter.
A group of property owners within The Downtown Boston Business Improvement District are developing plans for an improved, smaller pushcart program that will do away with the nearly 30 vendors in the shopping district.
In an interview with the Boston Business Journal yesterday, Menino questioned the idea of displacing vendors that have worked in the neighborhood for three decades.
“These guys have been struggling, and now the good days are coming and the association wants to bring in other vendors from elsewhere?” Menino said. “I want to take care of the vendors who kept Downtown Crossing alive in the difficult times," he said.
The Change.org petition, which was started by Robert Grover of Weymouth, had 629 supporters as of deadline yesterday.
Andover resident Cyn Stolz was one of nearly 650 people to sign the petition since Saturday.
"Downtown Crossing used to be vibrant, fun, a great place to shop, wander around. Now it is dismal, depressing yet through it all the street vendors endured. Don't you dare move them out. They have as much right, if not more, to be there," Stolz said.
A spokesman for the Downtown Boston Business Improvement District said he had no comment on the situation, but that the group was preparing an official statement.