Kingsbridge business owners say lack of enforcement due to pandemic has led to illegal vendors, dumping
Businesses owners in the Kingsbridge section of the Bronx are speaking out about what they are calling a lack of enforcement on their streets.
They say illegal vendors, dumping and graffiti are taking over, and hurting them financially.
"It's extremely frustrating, and we're trying to maintain this area for people that live here and work here," says Andrew Williams, Kingsbridge Businesses Improvement District president.
Business owners say illegal dumping and furniture was left behind by street vendors. They say they've had enough of the eyesores on their streets.
"It will hurt the entire neighborhood," says Peter Blier, property owner of Foodtown.
Merchants say the problems began during the pandemic, when Mayor Bill de Blasio announced in June the NYPD will no longer enforce rules for illegal vendors, all in an effort to reallocate funds.
"You can't just stop one thing and not replace it with something. So we have no enforcement replacement," says Kingsbridge Businesses Improvement District Executive Director Katherine Broihier. "We've always had a great rapport with our local precinct. Now their hands are tied, so our hands are tied."
Blier says he's now competing with street vendors that don't pay taxes or rent, selling the exact same products down the street for half the price.
"There will be a guy in the backseat of the truck peeling, doing exactly what I'm doing here, except we do this in a kitchen that's completely safe and governed by the health department," Blier says.
Businesses on Broadway, like Foodtown, say they're worried they'll be stuck cleaning up the mess that the vendors leave behind.
"Now we have to go and clean up after the people who are not held to the same standards that we are, otherwise, we get a ticket," Blier says.
News 12 reached out to de Blasio's office to find out if and when illegal vendor enforcement by the NYPD will resume, and who is responsible for it now, but has not heard back.