Franklin Residents Speak Out on Street Vendor Proposal
by Emily Luxen
FRANKLIN,, Tenn.---Franklin residents have sounded off on a city proposal that would restrict where street vendors are allowed to conduct business.
The proposal would restrict vendors, like those who sell the homeless newspaper The Contributor, to stay off city streets and only conduct business on sidewalks.
Residents lined up at a public hearing Tuesday to speak out on the proposal. Opinions were mixed.
"I just hate to see the city of Franklin send the wrong message," said one resident. "It would seem to me that residents in this city would have compassion for folks who are attempting to get back in the workforce."
"It is so distracting to have people in the middle of the road," said another resident. "I just don't think it is safe for anyone."
City officials argued the measure isn't directed only to The Contributor. It would apply to any nonprofit organization that collects money or sells items in streets. They said the change would reduce possible accidents at busy intersections.
"It's really driven by concern for the safety for motorists and people transacting business in streets," said City Administrator Eric Stuckey. "We aren't saying you can't do it. We're just saying you can't do it in the street."
Franklin's proposal comes after a similar change in Brentwood. The city won a court ruling allowing an ordinance to prohibit street vendors, but The Contributor's attorneys appealed that ruling. The case is now pending before the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati.
Franklin city leaders will vote on the issue at their February 12th meeting.