NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — On the heels of one of downtown Nashville’s biggest festivals, Mayor John Cooper is turning his attention to addressing what some brick-and-mortar store owners call an “issue” on Nashville’s streets.
Mayor Cooper sent a letter to the Metro Traffic and Parking Commission Monday, calling for the prohibition of sidewalk vendors in downtown Nashville.
In part, Mayor Cooper said, “Vending has gone from being a marginal convenience to passersby to a substantial blight for both pedestrians and brick-and-mortar businesses.”
The mayor is proposing prohibiting sidewalk vending between Union Street and Korean Veterans Boulevard and from 8th Avenue to the Cumberland River, effectively covering the most popular tourism area in the metro area.
This comes following the CMA Music Festival in downtown Nashville, which drew tens of thousands of patrons for the four-day celebration of country music.
In his letter, Mayor Cooper cites the space being taken up by vendors as an issue for pedestrians.
“Sidewalk vendors use public right-of-way to operate their private businesses,” Mayor Cooper wrote. “Our city’s public right-of-way is a precious resource; our downtown sidewalks are used by tens of thousands of people every day. The proliferation of sidewalk vending stands has clogged up our sidewalks, impeding movement of pedestrians.”
While taking aim at the downtown area in this proposal, the mayor also went on to highlight finding a strategy for dealing with this issue in other parts of the Metro Nashville area, including Midtown, the Gulch, 12th South, Wedgewood-Houston, East Nashville and Germantown.
You can read the full letter from the mayor below: