Altadena store owners ask LA county to crack down on vendors blocking sidewalks

Carlos Granda Image
Wednesday, September 27, 2023
Altadena businesses ask LA County to crack down on sidewalk vendors
When the sun goes down in Altadena the vendors pop up - on the sidewalks.

ALTADENA, Calif. (KABC) -- When the sun goes down in Altadena the vendors pop up. Businesses say that's a problem.

"We're held to a certain standard and there is no standard for these people to operate," says Tadesse Mehari, who has been operating a 7-Eleven for 30 years.

He says vendors use parking spaces in his lot and then sell on the sidewalk.

"We try to stop them, but we can't watch them every minute," Mehari says.

Some businesses say the vendors on these blocks have such extensive kitchen equipment and other setups that it's causing safety hazards and issues for people trying to get by.

These businesses reached out to the board supervisors asking for something to be done.

"They're upset because you have people in wheelchairs, mothers with strollers, that are unable to use the sidewalks. It is impacting their ability to get to and from where they're going to, especially to school," says County Supervisor Kathryn Barger who represents the area.

Some people say the vendors aren't just selling food but also car parts and household items and it does make it difficult to walk around.

"I have to walk around on the street to get back on the sidewalk to walk down the street," says Jashawna West who lives in Altadena. She doesn't think they should be on the sidewalk.

"They sit there and eat in the parking lot and it's just not right. They have no license. No nothing to operate," adds Mehari.

Barger says the issue of regulating vendors is something the board will need to take up later. For now the concern is making sure the sidewalks are safe.

"This issue today is really more about right-of-way, and making sure that our sidewalks are kept clear so that people, especially people with disabilities, have the ability to use the sidewalk," says Barger.