Last year, the Los Angeles City Council approved a Sidewalk Vending Program that allows sidewalk vendors throughout the city. While sidewalk vending makes sense in some locations, the Westchester Town Center BID is adamantly opposed to sidewalk vending in the airport area for a variety of reasons.
"Thousands of drivers and visitors move through the airport area every day, about 84 million per year" said BID Executive Director Don Duckworth, who added that the BID is hoping to establish a No Vending Zone throughout the area.
Support and approval of the LAX No Vending Zone would avoid exacerbating traffic congestion and decrease the risk of accidents for vehicular, bicycle, and pedestrian travelers attributed to both an increase in traffic and distracted driving. Among the issues are the facts that:
An LAX No Vending Zone would also assist as an anti-terrorism mitigation measure and will serve to foster as an additional piece of security for the 84 million passengers who journey through LAX. Based on a report authored by security consultant Nicole Mehringer, eliminating street vending in the LAX Zone would help prevent the ease in which potential terrorists can disguise themselves as legitimate street vendors.
- The increased likelihood of vehicles stopping and/ or double parking to patronize a street vendor, exposes dangerous road conditions and the increased potential for accidents,
- The addition of street vending along major airport-area corridors will negatively contribute to a population already plagued with distracted driving,
- Allowing street vending along these major corridors introduces a temptation for drivers to stop abruptly or attempt unsafe maneuvers to patronize a street vendor, who unlike existing businesses in the area, cannot be easily identified and held accountable,
- Response times to calls for service are a continuing concern for law enforcement, fire personnel, and the public. The increased traffic congestion associated with street vending along these major thoroughfares, creates significant concerns due to distractions or unsafe driving, that could further delay the arrival of first responders,
- Allowing street vending along these densely populated streets creates increased danger to pedestrians, who are already at a high risk in Los Angeles. Concerns arise if street vending is allowed because of the temptation for vendors or customers to enter into traffic.
Duckworth said the BID will continue to pursue a No Vending Zone, bringing in a variety of local organizations to join a coalition to push the issue at City Hall.