News Release                                              

Contact: Scott Sieber 718-888-8747


New York, NY – Council Member Peter Koo today introduced a pair of bills that look to address two major quality of life issues in downtown Flushing and throughout the City of New York – street vendor pollution and sidewalk obstructions.


Intro 969 will prohibit all sidewalk obstructions in downtown Flushing and stoopline stands in certain areas of downtown Flushing.


Intro 970 will prohibit the use of under-fired char broilers at mobile food vending units citywide.


Last year, the Flushing community celebrated the completion of up to nine feet of widened sidewalks on Main Street, Flushing. The new space was intended to provide critical relief to the hundreds of thousands of commuters who use the transportation hub’s more than 20 bus lines, subway, LIRR, and others who visit Flushing for its restaurants and shopping.


“Unfortunately, the widened sidewalks gave rise to an increase in illegal street vendors and stoopline stands – people who are taking advantage of the new space to sell everything from health insurance, counterfeit handbags, bed sheets, pots and pans, fruits and vegetables, cell phones, and even socks,” said Council Member Koo. “We are overrun with sidewalk obstructions, and our sidewalks have become an obstacle course. As a small business owner, I have no objection to people innovating in order to turn a profit, but I wholeheartedly object to those who do so at the expense of their community.”


The bill would prohibit stoopline stands at the following locations:


  • Main Street between Northern Boulevard and Sanford Avenue
  • Roosevelt Avenue between College Point Boulevard and Union Street
  • Kissena Boulevard between 41st Avenue and Barclay Avenue
  • 40th Road between Prince Street and Main Street
  • 41st Avenue between Main Street and Union Street
  • 41st Road between Main Street and Frame Place.


General and food vending would be prohibited within the following boundary:


  • North: Northern Boulevard
  • East: Union Street
  • South Sanford Avenue
  • West: College Point Boulevard.


Licensed veterans and vending protected by under the Constitution’s freedom of speech provisions would be exempt from these restrictions.


The other bill, Intro 970, would prohibit the use of under-fired char broilers in mobile food vending units throughout the city. According to recent testimony by the Department of Health, one food vendor grilling meat for a day emits the same amount of particulate pollution as a diesel truck driving 3,500 miles – the distance from New York City to Denver and back.


“The under-fired char broilers used by street vendors are responsible for a significant amount of particulate matter in our air. Not only are the grillers breathing this in, but it also impacts nearby residents, businesses and others who must endure the clouds of smoke blowing in their windows and hanging over the street. Making these vendors more environmentally safe will reduce particulate matter and significantly improve the air quality of our city.”


The legislation would not restrict flattop grills, such as the griddles used in Halal trucks.