Street vendors wait for clarity to potential Broadway ban

Published: Jul. 1, 2022 at 6:44 PM CDT
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - Approaching a big holiday weekend on Broadway, street vendors are left wondering if this weekend will be one of their last.

Two weeks ago, Mayor John Cooper asked the city to ban street vendors from parts of downtown, calling them a ‘blight to pedestrians.’

That didn’t sit well with Tina Schmutterer, who sells tasseled denim jackets at 5th and Broadway weekly.

“I fear what people are hearing is the negative, but we’re not that,” Schmutterer said. “If you take a look at us, I dress the part; we’re very professional. We don’t hound people; we don’t pressure sale.”

Schmutterer says she’s followed all the rules, paying $100 for a permit and setting up 8 feet from the nearest building. For that reason, she’s not worried about her business’s future, unlike many of her vending neighbors.

“[The city] sent me the regulations. I read them, re-read them, and then highlighted them so I would do everything correctly,” Schmutterer said.

She believes the street vendors aren’t creating sidewalk clutter.

Her proposal to the mayor is to extend the zone for street vendors, not shrink it.

Cooper is requesting a prohibition of street vending between Union Street and Korean Veterans Boulevard, spanning from the Cumberland River to Eighth Avenue. He’s also requesting enhanced penalties for noncompliance.

The city’s Traffic and Parking Commission is expected to take up the issue at their next meeting scheduled for July 11.

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