It’s Time for New York City To Scrap Its Cap on Street-Food Permits

New York City’s move away from enforcement by police of street food vending has led to a new report that shows it is not achieving its main goals. This was meant to shield vendors from regulatory harassment. New data shows that vendors are not being protected from the regulatory harassment they face in NYC. ReleasedBy GothamistWNYC suggests that the city might be selling tickets to more vendors now than it was before the changes.

The 2020 proposal to remove police enforcement of vending regulations from the streets was made by Bill de Blasio (then-Mayor). So called It is a welcome and long-overdue move, which should reduce dangerous and unnecessary confrontations between food vendors and police.

The primary enforcement of vending regulations was moved from NYPD last year to DCWP by the City of New York. The new WNYC/GothamistAccording to data, the city’s police continue issuing tickets. That—coupled with the fact DCWP issued more tickets this past summer than the city did during the same period in 2019—means that, combined, Eater New York ReportsDCWP reported that NYPD and DCWP “issued 540 tickets last July through September, compared with 525 NYPD tickets for the same period of 2019”

Sometimes the ticket quality or quantity can frustrate. One vendor Gothamist WithAccording to claims, 70 tickets were issued to him last year. Some of these violations included “not being close enough to curb” which can lead to fines up to $1,000.

New York City has many problems with its regulations regarding food vendors. It is not just that an agency gives tickets for alleged violations. In fact, blame for the overwhelming majority of any “problem” with food vending in New York City falls squarely on the city’s longstanding and utterly pointless cap on vending permits—which every food-vending operation must have in order to sell legally in the city. Around 3,000 permits have been issued by the city. In a 2011, I described how my life has been for many decades. This article Please see the following: There are reasonsPermits attach, as I explained. All things—food trucks, stands, carts, and the like. However, licenses are required, but not limited, and must be obtained by the Peoplethose who are employed at food stands, food carts or trucks.

Practically, the cap on permits means thousands of New Yorkers who want to sell street food legally—including those with valid licenses—cannot do so for no reason other than that the city refuses to sell them the permits it requires.

This artificially low cap Many city vendors are forced to obtain permits to sell their products on the black market or operate without them.

This was eleven years ago. It is still a problem. New York City has resorted to aggressively ticketing vendors. 

It’s a problem for many reasons. Food vendors are vulnerable. For decades, for example, recent immigrants—no one’s idea of a powerful lobby—have comprised a significant number of city food vendors. The number of food vendors has increased significantly since the Covid pandemic. This is because chefs, and other members of the kitchen workforce who have lost their jobs, are also included in the increase. And while New York City’s permit process Doesn’t serve to protect consumers and workers—the DCWP’s whole raison d’etre—it doesProtect incumbent vendors from the threat of competition. Protectionionism cannot be used as a basis for law. 

Even though it’s terrible, New York City might not have one of the most egregious permits processes in the country. Across the country, in Los Angeles, underground food vendors who were promised a path to legal vending are experiencing largely what New York’s vendors face—and on an even larger scale. A 2018 California law, which was meant to make street vending legal for approximately 10,000 food sellers in Los Angeles County and other parts of the state illegal in California, failed miserably. The county of Los Angeles has seen 98 percent failure to get vending permits for the approximately 10,000 underground vendors.

In New York City many politicians are well aware of the problem. Their willingness to take the gentler approach of then-Mayor de Blasio to enforce food vending laws as a step towards reforming an inefficient process seems to be lacking. Andrew Yang was the tone deaf candidate for mayor last year. Notified“That NYC doesn’t enforce regulations against unlicensed street sellers.”

New York City’s inability to provide fair and impartial permits has been evident for decades. There are no food vendors in this area. Even small reforms have not succeeded. New York City needs to end its requirement for permits for all food vendors.