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War Wages Between Produce Market, Fruit Carts On Upper West Side

Joe Han, owner of Han's Family Market on 93rd and Broadway, pointing to what he says are violations on a fruit vendor's stand a block away (credit: John Montone/1010 WINS)

Joe Han, owner of Han’s Family Market on 93rd and Broadway, pointing to what he says are violations on a fruit vendor’s stand a block away (credit: John Montone/1010 WINS)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A pushcart war is being waged on Broadway and 93rd streets in Manhattan.

Produce market owner Joe Han says two fruit carts within a block of his store, Han’s Family Market, have expanded well beyond what the city allows.

1010 WINS John Montone reports: Produce Market Owner Says Fruit Carts Illegal 

“He puts plywood on top of that to make it double the size, which is completely illegal, and then he puts milk crates in front of their stand with fruits on it,” Han told 1010 WINS’ John Montone.

Ali, who owns one of the carts says yes, he has some bananas at the bargain price of five for $1.

“They are jealous. They sell bananas for 50 cents or $1 each. No one is going to buy $1 each for bananas,” said Ali.

Ali paid the city $100 to set up shop here. Han pays $16,000 a month in rent.

The New York City Health Department says increased access to fruits and vegetables is a great thing and that competition can lead to more choices and better prices for consumers.

But Han feels it’s not fair. “I can’t compete with him, they have no overhead,” Han said.

So what are the rules regarding street vendors? The health department says street vendors cannot be within 20 feet of an entrance to a building.

The health code says “No mobile food unit shall occupy more than 10 linear feet, parallel to the curb, on any sidewalk.”

Han says the carts on his street have illegally expanded and has called 311 and the city to complain but says he has seen no results.

So the acrimony over the apples and the tangle over the mangos rages on.

Are street vendors out of control or are you glad they’re around? Sound off in our comments section.