Spring 2003, p.5

Reclaiming the Streets
New Rules in Force for Vending Boxes

In August 2002, the City Council passed new legislation allowing the DOT to regulate the placement, installation and maintenance of vending boxes on city sidewalks. (The boxes are officially called "newspaper boxes," but the bulk of them are used for advertising brochures.) The boxes have multiplied like bacteria on many of the city's most crowded sidewalks. The City's new law took effect on February 24, 2003 and box users were given a 60-day grace period. As of April 25, 2003 the DOT will begin enforcing these tough new rules:

  • The name, address, phone and e-mail of the owner must be readily visible on each box

Box cannot be placed within:

  • Five feet of the corner area
  • Crosswalk area
  • The area of a bus stop
  • Two feet beyond from the curb
  • 15 feet of subway or railway entrances

Cheers to the DOT for passing tough new rules restricting the vending boxes that clog sidewalks and block crosswalks. Report illegal vending boxes by calling 311 or download a complaint form at www.nyc.gov/html/dot/pdf/newsrackcmplform.pdf.

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