De Blasio to extend policy restricting number of street fairs in NYC next year

Posted On Mon, December 4, 2017 By

Posted On Mon, December 4, 2017 By In Policy

A typical street fair in NYC, photo courtesy of Mark Carter on Flickr

Mayor Bill de Blasio will impose a moratorium on permits issued for street fairs and festivals in 2018, restricting the number of new vendors allowed to set up shop. Last fall, the de Blasio administration pushed a plan that would reserve more permits for local businesses in hopes of diversifying the types of goods sold. Failing to convince elected officials and community board members of its goal, the proposal was later withdrawn. Despite this previous effort to overhaul street fairs, the mayor has decided to freeze the number of permits allowed for neighborhood street fairs next year, according to the New York Post.

While the moratorium first began after the terror attacks on Sept. 11 and then continued under Mayor Michael Bloomberg, under de Blasio, the number of large street fairs has dropped five percent. In 2014, 201 festivals were held and dropped to 191 in 2017, according to city records. The city says limiting the number of street fairs will curb overtime costs for police.

“Events like these require additional police officers, which increases overtime costs to the city,” the city’s Street Activity Permit Office said in a statement to the Post. “These events also divert police officers from core crime-fighting, public-safety and counter-terrorism duties.”

Although there will be a limited number of permits in 2018, festival sponsors who received a permit last year will be grandfathered in. Critics of the moratorium say it fails to provide opportunities for new merchants, including immigrant vendors, to participate.

[Via NY Post]

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