Civic leaders are stepping up their efforts to fight food carts that recently appeared in Glen Oaks and Bellerose by circulating petitions against the vendors.
“We’re against it because of many reasons ... so we decided to start a petition,” said Mike Auguliaro, a member of the Bellerose−based Queens Colony Civic Association.
State Sen. Frank Padavan (R−Bellerose) has also stepped in, sending a letter to city Health Commission Thomas Frieden that said neighborhood businesses and civic leaders were opposed to the push carts.
The carts serve a simple menu of halal food and are owned by a man who asked to be identified only as Mike.
During an interview last month, Mike said he was legally allowed to operate the two carts, which sit by the Glen Oaks Shopping Center on Union Turnpike and at Little Neck Parkway and Hillside Avenue in Bellerose.
The senator said the Bellerose intersection was “not a good location for a food vendor,” citing a fatal accident that occurred at Little Neck and Hillside over the summer, when a 9−year−old boy was killed as he attempted to ride his bicycle across the intersection.
Swaranjit Singh, a Bellerose real estate broker and member of Community Board 13, also said he was against the carts.
“I feel the quality of life is very poor,” Singh said. “We should respect our businesses. Our businesses have been hurt.”
“The stores are paying a lot of rent and it’s not fair,” he said, claiming the carts are changing the character of the community’s suburban feel. “Next thing you know, they’ll have carts selling clothes on the streets like they do in the Bronx.”
Augugliaro said Queens Colony gave its block captains petitions to circulate around the neighborhood when they deliver the civic’s newsletters.
A similar cart at Northern and Bell boulevards in Bayside was also cited in Padavan’s Oct. 28 letter to Frieden.
“I am requesting a review of this matter with the goal of having these food vendors relocated to a more appropriate area,” the senator wrote.
Reach reporter Howard Koplowitz by e−mail at email@example.com or by phone at 718−229−0300, Ext. 173.
©2008 Community News Group
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