Vendors banned from busiest areas in downtown Nashville

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Posted at 10:37 PM, Jul 17, 2022

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Pretty soon, sidewalks on Broadway and the surrounding areas will look very different.

On July 11th, Metro's Traffic and Parking Commission voted to ban vendors from many main streets.

Last month, Mayor Cooper wrote a letter asking the Traffic and Parking Commission to ban vendors from some of the busiest sidewalks in the city. During their last meeting, the commission voted 4 to 2 to do so.

It's a measure some vendors said doesn't seem fair.

"We've been trying to employ as many people as we can to help out small business and jobs and bring a positive impact to the economy here in downtown, and it's a direct hit, and we feel blatantly attacked," John Newman, owner of the Greenhouse TN, said.

The Mayor said vendors disrupt the traffic flow and pose safety risks, which is why restrictions are needed.

Newman said small business owners won't give up without a fight.

"The Mayor, his basis on this ban doesn't make sense. As you can see, we have perfect right of passage way for any pedestrian. We're in our section that we can have as a permanent vendor, and we've paid all of our dues and insurance, so we're going to attack this any way we can," he said.

As for tourists, some said they'd like to see the vendors stick around because they're convenient and affordable.

"Some of these places are super crowded and you can't get in, or they're really noisy. I like the little corner things," tourist Paige Griffin said.

Demetrius Stewart came to Nashville to celebrate her birthday and said purchasing items from vendors has helped her save money.

"We're already spending a lot of money with finding somewhere to stay, with all our extracurricular activities, going to the bars, partying all night. So, why not give us something a little less expensive, but we're still helping other people out, small businesses?" Stewart said.