MISTER SOFTEE IN MAYOR BLOOMBERG’S SIGHTS

Mayor Bloomberg wants to take the streets back for the people – even though the people love food trucks!

On John Gambling’s radio show on WOR-AM, Mayor Bloomberg addressed street fairs clogging the avenues, art vendors in the park, and food trucks idling on the streets.  “The little stand is now getting to be these enormous trucks with generators,” the mayor said.  “We are moving stores into the street. And they sit there and they park and they take up parking places and they block traffic.”

Hizzoner’s rant came after host John Gambling asked about new rules that will for the first time limit the number of vendors selling paintings, photos and other First Amendment-protected material in crowded city parks.  Bloomberg defended the restrictions, which are due to take effect July 19th. “You have so many vendors that they infringe on people’s ability to go down the walkway and to have a quiet place to reflect and that kind of thing,” he said.  “Everybody else has rights too.”

The mayor also backed efforts to limit the street fairs that clog up the city all summer long.  That one we can understand.  There are very few street fairs that stand out.  Nearly all street fairs these days have the same food, crafts and household items.

Nothing got the mayor’s goat quite like Mr. Softee, however.  When Fran from Queens called the show to complain about the ice cream man blaring his maddening jingle on her corner until 10pm, Bloomberg rolled up his sleeves and asked for details to track down the rogue truck.  “We’re going to go after and explain the law to this Mr. Softee,” he vowed.  “Fran, it can be annoying and it shouldn’t happen. It is the law and we should do a better job, so just stay on and we’ll get your name and phone number and I’ll see if we can do something about it.” [NY Daily News]