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Nashville Transportation Commission Places Further Restrictions On Allowable Street Vendor Locations

Image Credit: Music City Hot Dog / Facebook

The Tennessee Conservative Staff –

Street vendors will now be prohibited from setting up shop in even more of the Nashville downtown area.

On Monday, the Metro Nashville Transportation and Parking Commission approved a map that extended the area of prohibited streets, making an additional 15 blocks unavailable to street vendors. The exclusion comes after owners of local brick-and-mortar shops complained that the sidewalks in front of their businesses were too small for vendors to set up.

One local hotel says street vendors interfere with parking, while another restaurant owner told Fox17 News that there are so many people gathered on the sidewalk in front of his business that people do not even realize that it is a restaurant.

The updated map excludes the street between Union Street and Peabody Street, alongside the John Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge, and the street from Ninth Avenue to the Cumberland River.

According to Downtown Council member Jacob Kupin, the commission is not trying to “get rid of vendors in the downtown core,” but instead is looking for a short-term fix while they address the possibility of plans for the future.

Kupin says he added his contact information to the notice of Monday’s meeting, hoping that vendors would contact him regarding the proposed change to the restricted area. He said he has only heard from one woman so far.

During the period of public comment, there were no remarks made by street vendors.

Street vending was first restricted from a large portion of the downtown area in July 2022. 

In February 2023, an ordinance was signed by former Mayor John Cooper, prohibiting vendors from setting up on public sidewalks in the district and allowing Nashville Department of Transportation enforcement officers to hand out citations if vendors failed to comply.

While some vendors have failed to comply with regulations, others have operated under the required guidelines and have been issued permits to conduct business.

As the Tennessee Conservative noted in its 2022 article on the vendor ban, many vendors count on the income brought in by these small businesses.  

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