You are reading

‘The situation is getting worse’: Councilwoman announces petition calling on city agencies to enforce existing street vending regulations in Flushing

Mar. 8, 2023 By Carlotta Mohamed

Councilwoman Sandra Ung on Wednesday, March 8, announced a petition calling on the city to enforce existing street vending regulations, including the no-vending zone that went into effect in 2018, to address the proliferation of unlicensed street vendors in downtown Flushing. 

The councilwoman was joined by Dian Yu, executive director of the Flushing Business Improvement District (BID), and concerned community members for a press conference near the Flushing LIRR Station on Main Street and Kissena Boulevard, where some vendors sell vegetables, fruits and clothing. 

Street vendors on Main Street in downtown Flushing on Wednesday, March 8, 2023. Councilwoman Sandra Ung, local business owners and community members are launching a petition calling on the city to enforce existing street vending regulations. (Photo by Paul Frangipane)

“I am encouraging everyone who is frustrated like us to sign this petition and show the city that people who live, work and visit here, support enforcement of the no vending zone and want our sidewalks to return back to the pedestrians they’re intended for,” Ung said. 

A person signs a petition calling on the city to enforce existing street vendor regulations, launched by Councilwoman Sandra Ung on Wednesday, March 8, 2023. (Photo by Paul Frangipane)

The current density of street vendors has created a risk to public safety. The petition drive comes ahead of an interagency meeting Ung will host next week to discuss the issue.

“It’s one of the busiest commercial corridors in the five boroughs and home to the third busiest intersection in the city,” Ung said. “And let me be clear, our goal is not to prevent people from making a living or providing for their families; however, in the absence of enforcement, the current situation in downtown Flushing has become untenable.”

Street vendors on Main Street in downtown Flushing on Wednesday, March 8, 2023. Councilwoman Sandra Ung, local business owners and community members are launching a petition calling on the city to enforce existing street vending regulations. (Photo by Paul Frangipane)

The lack of enforcement has created an opportunity for vendors selling counterfeit goods, live seafood and illegal cannabis, according to Ung. 

“It is clear the current approach of trying to educate vendors to follow the law is not working and, in fact, the situation is getting worse,” Ung said. “It has become nearly impossible for people with mobility issues to navigate downtown Flushing.”

Ung said her office has heard complaints from people with disabilities, commuters who wait for the buses and those who now avoid shopping and eating out in the area. 

In April 2022, Ung met with Vilda Vera Mayuga, commissioner of the Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (DCWP), for a walking tour of Main Street to discuss the issue and possible solutions. Although DCWP allocated additional resources, such as providing educational outreach and voluntary compliance from the vendors, their strategy didn’t help to resolve the issue, according to Ung.

Three months later, Ung had urged the city yet again to address the proliferation of the unlicensed street vendors. After repeatedly violating the law and refusing to comply with DCWP, the agency was forced to work with NYPD to confiscate the goods that the vendors were selling.

Street vendors on Main Street in downtown Flushing on Wednesday, March 8, 2023. Councilwomman Sandra Ung, local business owners and community members are launching a petition calling on the city to enforce existing street vending regulations. (Photo by Paul Frangipane)

However, one year later, community members are still complaining about the illegal vendors. 

“We have to gain the sidewalk back. The sidewalk is for all New Yorkers,” Yu said. “We cannot forget that we are a transit hub with 100,000 walking on Main Street, so we have got to get the street cleaned up and have the city agency enforce the law.”

Dian Yu, executive director of the Flushing Business Improvement District speaks at a news conference in downtown Flushing on Wednesday, March 8, 2023. Councilwoman Sandra Ung, local business owners and community members are launching a petition calling on the city to enforce existing street vending regulations. (Photo by Paul Frangipane)

Attorney Leo Rosales, who practices personal injury at a law firm on Main Street and 39th Avenue, said he has heard from many clients about their difficulties navigating the sidewalk along the commercial corridor.

“A lot of my clients have difficulty walking and it’s hard enough already and worse to have sidewalks narrowed. It’s just very difficult for my clients, so this is a great effort,” Rosales said. 

Ira Dananberg, a hearing instrument specialist at Acousticon of Flushing Hearing Aid Center at 39-01 Main St., said he works with a lot of elderly people who are very intimidated navigating the streets now. 

Ira Dananberg speaks at a news conference in downtown Flushing on Wednesday, March 8, 2023. Councilwoman Sandra Ung, local business owners and community members are launching a petition calling on the city to enforce existing street vending regulations. (Photo by Paul Frangipane)

The sidewalks are half the size they should be, causing him to lose a lot of business because people don’t want to come to downtown Flushing anymore, Dananberg said. 

“I’m sure it’s hurting a lot of businesses and something really needs to be done,” Dananberg said. 

Additional reporting by Paul Frangipane.

Recent News

Curtis Sliwa calls for more protection of kids after brutal sexual attack on teenage girl in Flushing

Jun. 18, 2024 By Gabriele Holtermann

Following the horrific incident where a 13-year-old girl was raped in Kissena Corridor Park in Flushing last Thursday, former NYC mayoral candidate Curtis Sliwa, several GOP candidates, and community leaders held a rally in the park on Monday evening. They called for increased protection for children in Flushing after the attacker forced the victim and her friend into a wooded area at knifepoint, tied them up, and committed the heinous crime.

Urgent manhunt underway for ‘animal’ who allegedly raped a 13-year-old girl in Flushing park on Thursday: NYPD

The NYPD announced a $10,000 reward is being offered for information that leads to the arrest of a Hispanic man who allegedly raped a 13-year-old girl in a wooded area of Kissena Corridor Park on Thursday afternoon.

More than sixty investigators were at the crime scene late into the night. During a press briefing by NYPD brass on Friday, Chief of Department Jeffrey Maddrey said that the manhunt was expanded city-wide and that the department would spare no expense until the suspect was apprehended.

Southeast Queens man arraigned on weapons charges after cops search his ‘ghost car’ near LaGuardia Airport: DA

A Hollis man was criminally charged after police discovered a cache of weapons in his vehicle during a traffic stop. He was pulled over for driving a “ghost car” with obscured license plates in East Elmhurst near LaGuardia Airport during the early morning hours of June 12.

Judd Sanson, 27, of Jamaica Avenue, was ordered held without bail after he was arraigned in Queens Criminal Court on Thursday afternoon on a criminal complaint charging him with multiple counts of weapons possession, unlawful possession of pistol or revolver ammunition, and unlawful use of a police uniform or emblem and other crimes after the arsenal was found in his SUV.

Man sought for raping 13-year-old girl in Flushing park in broad daylight Thursday: NYPD

An urgent manhunt is underway in Northeast Queens after a Hispanic man allegedly raped a 13-year-old girl at knifepoint in Kissena Corridor Park in broad daylight on Thursday afternoon.

Police from the 109th Precinct in Flushing reported that the youngster was with a 13-year-old boy in the park near Kalmia Avenue and Colden Street at around 3:30 p.m. when a stranger approached and threatened them with a knife, forcing them both into a wooded section where he tied them up. The perpetrator proceeded to forcibly remove their cell phones before sexually assaulting the girl, police said, adding that he fled in an unknown direction.