From the Queens Courier:
Another quarrel has erupted over street vendors, but this time it’s outside of Queens Center Mall.
Eduardo Giraldo, vice president of corporate and government affairs of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Queens, said the abundance of street vendors outside the mall and around Queens has become a problem, particularly on weekends when police street enforcement is low.
“The city does not want to do anything,” Giraldo said. “Politicians do not want to take sides.”
Jeffrey Owen, senior property manager at Queens Center Mall, said he can’t speak on behalf of the retail stores inside the mall, but that management is aware of the number of vendors surrounding the mall. There are over 50 street vendors around the mall.
Owen said the city requires that property owners clean the sidewalks next to their property. Property owners who do not clean the sidewalks bordering their property, including 18 inches from the curb into the street, may be issued a summons. That’s why Owen said they pick-up any garbage, even if it was left behind by a street vendor, especially when it is windy.
Jose Perez, secretary of the Union of Street Vendors of Queens, which claims 60 members was formed this past February to defend street vendors against what they call attacks from local businesses. Perez said many of the people working outside Queens Center mall have been there for years and that it is not until now that there have been complaints.
A community affairs officer at the Precinct 110th said local politicians and businesses have complained about the street vendors, who some are licensed and unlicensed. He said some street vendors have been issued summonses, tickets and even arrested.