Mexican Street Vendors: What’s Behind Your Purchase
Mexican Street Vendors in Times of Covid-19At the peak of the pandemic, street vendors ensured that low-income essential workers could access affordable meals and products. The fresh-air circulation made it so that these vendors complied with sanitary guidelines more than indoor restaurants did. However, as much as the pandemic helped street vendors in some ways, it also harmed them in others. With Covid restrictions, many office workers began working remotely, dramatically cutting their commutes and limiting their mobility. This then resulted in a large drop in the number of regular customers. Unfortunately, local authorities have used Covid-19 regulations as an incentive to displace street vendors from their usual locations. This then makes it harder for returning customers to find them.
Street Vendors in Mobility & Urban PlanningDespite their great role in cities throughout Mexico, certain people and decision-makers do not approve of street vendors. They believe that they do not fit with their idea of a sophisticated urban aesthetic. In Mexico City, street vendors are not considered in conversations about street design. This leaves them without an official right to the city, putting them in a vulnerable position. Many local decision-makers view them as a physical obstacle. They claim that street vendors create a barrier to access and mobility as they are usually in high-pedestrian areas. On the other hand, many Mexicans view street vendors as an integral part of their culture. In reality, they offer people a convenient and affordable way to access all types of goods throughout the day. These vendors even add another layer of public safety as many feel that they are more eyes on the street. You may also like: Best Taco Spots in Puerto Vallarta In response, the Institute for Transportation & Development Policy proposes taking several measures to help street vendors, civilians, and tourists coexist. These include:
- Providing safety for all users
- Equitably reallocating public space
- Including all street users in the design process
- Considering street safety viability in street redesign and public space reorganization