Local News

Downtown Raleigh Vendors Battle For Prime Turf

Posted May 6, 2004

— A turf war is taking place in downtown Raleigh.

Hot dog and ice cream vendors who set up across from the Legislative building and nearby museums do not want newcomers encroaching on their spot.

"It's just not right," vendor Buck Buchanan said. " If you built a business somewhere and someone shows up earlier than you, it's just not right."

One argument has already led to an assault and some vendors have been pushed out.

"Whoever gives up first doesn't get it," vendor Alexis Neilson said.

Workers at the Museum of Natural Sciences have watched the drama unfold.

"It's actually getting vicious," Andrea Judd said. "The arguing amongst each other -- 'This is my spot.' 'I've been here before.' It's just not pleasant."

The only area with designated spots for vendors is on the Fayetteville Street Mall. Every other public sidewalk in downtown Raleigh is fair game.

"As long as they are on the sidewalk and not blocking the flow of traffic, they can set up on any sidewalk," license supervisor Audrey Mise said.

Vendors plan to speak before the city council at its next meeting. They want the council to change the ordinance to designate spots.

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