Broadway Building’s Management Tries To Ruin Everyone’s Lunches
As you may have heard yesterday, there’s been an effort by the building management at 140 Broadway to get the carts parked on Liberty St. to move. They include a smoothie cart that’s been there forever, and new additions like the 99% Vegetarian Food cart, A-Pou’s Taste and Biryani House. The Street Vendor Project was out yesterday along with some of the cart operators trying to get support by petition or having people write or call the building management to voice their opinions. When I stopped by the table they had set up there was already a stack of the signed petitions sitting there and a bunch of people filling them out. SVP intern Dana said that an infuriated office worker from the 140 Broadway building came down and got a petition to photocopy and circulate around.
So what’s all the fuss about? And why does it only affect the few carts on the northern part of the plaza bordering Liberty? Well, the building management is saying the property line extends into Liberty St. (but stops just short of the carts lining Broadway) and despite it being designated as a public space and therefore open to vendors they’re saying the contrary. Last Friday the police were called and came by and ticketed the carts. They didn’t come out on Monday, but Tuesday were not only serving food but also manning the petition table and collecting signatures. All of the affected carts also had signs on them like those above urging those in line to speak out against the effort to get them to move.
The sad part is if they are forced to move not only is the upper part of the FiDi losing some carts serving something other than lamb/chicken over rice or crappy hot dogs, but they’ll likely not be able to find another place to park. There are apparently a lot of restricted streets and spaces where carts can’t sit, and those that aren’t restricted already have vendors parked there.
So how can you fight for your vegetarian food, smoothies, dumplings (and crack-like Chinese spaghetti) and biryani? The Street Vendor Project is asking you to either sign a letter of support which I’m guessing you can get from any of the vendors (provided they haven’t been ticketed and asked to leave again) or call the property manager for the building, Cliff Parker, at 212-943-1500 and voice your opinion. You can also “like” the Save The Liberty Street Vendors on Facebook.
In the end it comes down to how many tickets these carts can fight before they’re forced to either move somewhere else or shut down temporarily. Neither of those options sound like good ones for downtown lunch’ing.