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Street Vendors Now Allowed To Operate In Los Angeles

A street vendor selling pretzels

Los Angeles residents and visitors can now legally buy bacon-wrapped hot dogs, tacos and other street cuisines from vendors that operate on sidewalks. 

The Los Angeles City Council Wednesday unanimously approved new rules and regulations to allow street cart vendors to formally operate in the city.

“With [Wednesday’s] vote, we’re going to help thousands of micro-entrepreneurs come out of the shadows and become part of LA’s formal economy,” Los Angeles City Councilman for District 9 Curren Price said during the city council hearing. Curren co-authored the bill with Councilman Jose Huizar.

There are more than 50,000 street vendors that operate in the city, according to the LA Street Vendor Campaign, an organization that has advocated for the legalization of street vending since 2012.

In areas of Hollywood, Koreatown and others parts of downtown Los Angeles and tourist areas, it is common to see many street vendors lining the sidewalks grilling bacon-wrapped hot dogs, selling fruits and bottled water and hawking other merchandise.

Most of the street vendors are immigrants and 80% are women, the Street Vendor Campaign said.

Under the new rules, vendors would need to apply for a permit with the city.

The vendors have to be three feet away from one another, keep a clean area, not impede pedestrian traffic or ADA access and abide by other safety and health regulations. Unpermitted street carts will receive a citation and fine after Jan. 1, 2020.

There are also restrictions.

Part of the decision the council made included a no-vending zone within 500 feet of the Walk of Fame on Hollywood Boulevard, Universal Studios, Dodger Stadium and other concerts and sports venues.