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NY Post
New York Post
16 Dec 2023


NextImg:NYC councilwoman seeks to block plan to boot Brooklyn Bridge vendors

A Manhattan pol wants to put the kibosh on the Adams administration’s plan to ban vendors from hawking food, booze, and souvenirs on Big Apple bridges.

Councilwoman Gale Brewer (D-Manhattan) plans to introduce legislation this week that would still allow pushcarts to operate on bridge walkways — provided they’re at least 20 feet apart from each other and leave a minimum 16-foot-wide area for pedestrians.

Following a slew of Post reports on a mile-long black market of rogue hucksters operating on the Brooklyn Bridge, the city Department of Transportation moved in October to ban all bridge vending.

The DOT plan is currently undergoing a public review, but Brewer’s bill would circumvent it.

“I believe strongly that a full ban on vendors is not necessary,” said Brewer at a hearing Wednesday. “There are spots on bridges that are appropriate for vendors, and they are identifiable and can be enforced – particularly on the Brooklyn Bridge.”

According to the NYC Department of Transportation, the Brooklyn Bridge pedestrian path is too crowded with vendors and could pose a safety hazard in an emergency. J.C. Rice

The bill is part of a larger, vendor-friendly City Council legislative package seeking to overhaul NYC’s street-merchant industry.

They include increasing the cap on vending licenses so that thousands of additional street vendors can operate legally, and another to “decriminalize” vending violations.

Councilwoman Joann Ariola (R-Queens) said she supports DOT’s vending ban plan but believes Brewer’s bill at least begins “curbing the chaos” on crowded bridge pathways that “could potentially turn disastrous in the event of an emergency.”

Manhattan Councilwoman Gale Brewer feels her new bill is a compromise that addresses safety issues on the NYC bridges and allows for vending. Stephen Yang
The bill is part of a larger, vendor-friendly City Council legislative package seeking to overhaul NYC’s street-merchant industry. Paul Martinka

“What we have with this legislation is a compromise — not going as far as I’d like, but far better than the current free-for-all,” she said.

DOT spokesman Vincent Barone said the agency is reviewing Brewer’s bill as it continues to “process feedback on our proposed rule.”

“It’s important that all New Yorkers and the millions of people who visit our city each year can enjoy the Brooklyn Bridge without impediments to safety and pedestrian mobility,” Barone said.