Nashville street vendors running out of time due to new restrictions

Published: Jul. 12, 2022 at 7:17 PM CDT
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - In less than seven days, street vendors will be banned from setting up shop along lower Broadway and many other popular areas of downtown Nashville.

The Metro Traffic and Parking Committee voted to impose sidewalk vending restrictions during a Monday afternoon meeting, citing safety concerns.

Mayor John Cooper first proposed the banning of street vendors downtown last month. They will now be prohibited between Union Street and Korean Veterans Boulevard up to 8th Avenue.

Street vendors usually pack Broadway on weekends, but Alexis Henry said she showed up on a Tuesday afternoon to sell her products before getting kicked out.

“It is our seven-day countdown,” Henry said while working the table for Greenhouse Dispensary. “We are going to be out here hustling and trying to get as many sales as possible in that timeframe.”

Alexis said the area they will no longer be allowed to set up is prime real estate that many vendors fight over. She usually shows up early on Saturday morning to get a good location, but vendors now have to go back to the drawing board to find a new place.

“I am hoping that we are going to gamble with different spots and see what we can do with different spots throughout the city,” Henry said. “It’s slightly disappointing. I think we are just all waiting and hoping that where things will finally get to a point where people will realize how good this can be and what it can do for the city.”

Vendors said they are working on proposals to set up along the Cumberland River or find another way to continue selling their products. Still, Metro Council said these vendors create a danger and put pedestrians at risk.

With the threat of eviction looming, Henry has a message for other street vendors with whom she usually shares the sidewalk.

“This is the last week, so if you are out here and this is what you have been doing, I would get out here this week and hustle,” Henry said.

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