Council promises to slash street vendor fines
Street vendors appear to have won a battle to lower fines.
City Council Speaker Christine Quinn said today that the Council will pass legislation to cut the maximum fines for street cart infractions in half.
The Council will pass the legislation Wednesday at their regular stated meeting, she said.
The bill will slash maximum fines for vendors from $1,000 to $500, easing what many have criticized as exorbitant fines for small-business owners.
The legislation will also prohibit vendors from no-standing zones at hospitals, taxi stands and within 20 feet of residential building entrances.
“The legislative package the Council will pass next week will ease the financial burden placed on street vendors and will clarify city regulations on where vendors can operate,” Quinn said.
The Urban Justice Center, which has pushed to ease the burden of fines through their Street Vendor Project, called the announcement a “major step.”
In December, the group started placing ads on carts specifically calling on Quinn to support them.
And this month, they threw a party to collect cash for peanut vendor Sully Garzon, who they said was ticketed $1,000 for being three feet too close to a doorway.
An ad for the party asked Quinn to show up and explain why the $1,000 fine was fair.
“This is great news,” said street vendor Aziz Rahmat, who has a coffee and donut cart in Midtown.