San Francisco Mission St. vending ban extended for 6 more months

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Tuesday, February 6, 2024
SF Mission St. vending ban extended for 6 more months
San Francisco is extending their ban on street vending on Mission Street for six more months to address crime.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- San Francisco is extending their ban on street vendors on Mission Street for six more months. This ban comes after at least 60 days of efforts to discourage illegal operations on that corridor as part of their initial 90-day ban.

"Six more months - I don't know what I would do," said Manuel Soltero, Mission Street vendor.

Soltero is one of at least 100 street vendors legally permitted to sell on Mission Street. When we met him last week, he was counting down the days for the ban to expire. Monday, he was heartbroken.

"I feel bad because that is how I pay all my bills and my rent," said Soltero and added, "In the street, we sell a little more."

RELATED: San Francisco Mission vendors making '$10 a day' due to 90-day street vending ban

The impact on vendors is clear. Inside the "Tiangue," a location rented by the city for 40 vendors to sell - there were only two.

Both vendors were disappointed they can't go back outside on Mission Street by the end of this month.

"Some days I sell $10, another day $20," said Ana Nunez de Martinez, Mission vendor.

In late November, the city prohibited street vending so they could work on pushing out unpermitted vendors who were blocking sidewalks and participating in illicit activities.

Two months into the ban, the city said their efforts worked; 56% of businesses surveyed on Mission Street said the street was safer. On Monday, the mayor took the ban a step further.

VIDEO: SF Mission St. vendors blame 90-day ban for contributing to them ending up homeless, living in van

The 90-day street vending ban is still in effect in San Francisco and now multiple street vendors are reporting housing insecurity.

"In light of how many challenges we've had around safety, is to keep this going as we try to work through Sacramento to get some changes to the policy to address fencing. We want to be able to support mom and pop vendors and that is what we have always done but we want to make sure that it's done safely," said Mayor London Breed, San Francisco and added, "This is necessary in order to be able to address a lot of the crime and in some cases the violence that occurs as well as retail theft in San Francisco."

Elizabeth Aguilar manager at La Corneta Taqueria likes the change, but is conflicted.

"We have seen a positive change. Streets are clean now," said Aguilar and added, "For the people who had permits, I don't think it's okay for them. Everyone including us need the chance to work."

The Public Works director said they are set to continue enforcement seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. but she acknowledged that after they leave unpermitted vendors continue to take over some sidewalks.

"It allows us to reset the conditions. We have seen vast improvement when we are out there but the minute we are off. If we have a shift change or change equipment whatever it may be - we see people taking advantage of that and moving right back in. I want to emphasize those are folks who are fencing illegally they are not the legal vendors," said Carla Short, director of Public Works.

RELATED: SF businesses say Mission St. is 'safer,' but vendors are struggling during 90-day vending ban

In the meantime, street vendors like Manuel have received $1,000 in financial aid from the city's office of Economic and Workforce Development, but he says all he wants is to do is go out and sell again

"They were saying 90 days. Now it's 180 days and then? I don't know," said Soltero.

San Francisco's Public Works department is considering to extend inspector hours during the six-month ban.

"We are looking at the potential for some night shifts," said Short.

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