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Taking It to the Streets

Street vendors want the right to operate outside of Nationals Park the way they did at RFK. (Nikki Kahn)

What's baseball without the hot dog? Like a hot dog with no bun, according to Council member Mary M. Cheh (D-Ward 3).

She said she will introduce legislation today that would authorize the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs to permit street vending around the new Nationals Park.

Vendors, selling hot dogs and souvenirs, were allowed to line up on the sidewalk in front of RFK, but officials at DCRA told Cheh and Council member Jim Graham (D-Ward 1) at a last month that city law prohibits such activity at the new ballpark. Cheh said one of the problems is "the size of the sidewalk."

However, DCRA can make exceptions if the council authorizes the agency to do so.

"It only seems fair that the vending community should have the same opportunities at the new ballpark as they did at the old ballpark," she said in a statement.

In an interview, she said vendors are "clamoring" to sell their goods in front of the stadium. She said she was approached by protesting vendors over the weekend in front of the ballpark, where the flagged down her car.

"They want to vend," Cheh said.

By Nikita R Stewart  |  April 1, 2008; 7:00 AM ET
Categories:  City Life , D.C. Council , Nationals  
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