Well, if downtown Assemblywoman Deborah Glick has her way, they will go the way of the squeegee men.
Ms. Glick writes to Manhattan Parks Commissioner William Castro to remind his agency that such practices violate Parks Dept. rules, and also, well, annoying.
Manhattan Borough Commissioner
24 West 61st Street, 5th Floor
New York, NY 10023
Dear Commissioner Castro,
As you know, I am a strong supporter of public parks. I believe they are an integral part of what makes this City great. I only wish that the City had more park land and money dedicated to maintaining the spaces for the common good. My district office is located on Broadway, just South of Union Square Park, so I have had a front row seat to the transformation of this space over a number of years.
While the park has become much more user friendly, I have noticed a recent increase in the amount of illegal use of the park that impinges upon public enjoyment of the space. Specifically, I am talking about the people who use the park property to solicit customers to pre-purchase commercial services. They tend to stand near the entrance of the park, often in pairs, and often starting the conversation by asking a passer-by “are you from New York?” They proceed by describing and then pushing to sell a package of services, such as a discount price for a wash, cut and blow dry, at a salon.
My understanding from Consumer Affairs is that any sale of a good or service in public would require a vending permit from the City. And, with the exception of artists and the Green Market, the sale of goods is never allowed within a City Park. In addition to the fact that this sale is illegal, I am concerned with the negative impact it has on those trying to enjoy the park.
I ask that you raise awareness of this issue with Park Enforcement Patrol, who are present in the park when this activity is occurring, so they will be able to address this issue. Thank you for your attention to this matter.
Deborah J. Glick
CC: Commissioner Adriene Benepe
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