April 17, 2014 By Christian Murray
The food vendors at 40th Street have been removed.
Earlier this week, the police arrived and notified them that their time was up and that they needed to go elsewhere.
Joe Conley, chairman of Community Board 2, said the vendors were violating the law by operating out of that location. He said they were too close to the subway stairwells, putting riders at risk in case they needed to make an emergency exit from the subway platform.
This was the primary reason cited for removing the vendors at 46th Street at the end of last year.
Conley, who last month called for the vendors’ removal at 40th Street, appeared somewhat empathic about the vendors’ plight. “I realize it is about income and making money… but at the same time it has got out of hand and it is about the law,” Conley said.
He said that the 40th Street vendors were also operating where an art installation is located, a space which will be used as part of the plaza program.
Sheref Abdelshafy, who had operated his food cart under the 40th Street No. 7 train station for 10 years, was removed as well as the operator of the Halal cart.
When Abelshafy discovered that the community board wanted him gone last month, he said it was unfair.
“I’ve been here 10 years selling bagels and coffee and I have never had any problems with anyone,” he said at the time.