The Reykjavík City Council has decided to allow licensed street vendors to operate along Austurstræti street, located in the downtown area. Last week DV reported on a controversial new regulation banning street vendors in both Austurstræti and on Lækjartorg square. All street trade was meant to be moved to narrowly defined areas at Ingólfstorg, Bernhöftstorfa and at a parking lot near the harbor. Police interfered when traders attempted to set up their booths in Austurstræti.
“The street vendors would rather be there and we decided to listen to them,” said Pétur Ólafsson, the mayor’s assistant, in an interview with RÚV. “It is a long-term project to create a functional street selling community and that’s based, among other things, on discussion between street vendors and the merchants of Laugavegur. The problem with Austurstræti is that there isn’t much room for expansion. When looking to the future that must be taken into consideration if we are going to build up this trade,” he added.