Merchants: Vendors are using up parking spots

Parkchester business owners say street vendors are taking over the limited parking spaces available for customers and causing their shops to lose money.
There are six metered spaces that line Hugh J. Grant Circle, which merchants say are the only spaces available between 31 Hugh Grant Circle and 1915 Westchester Ave. According to business owners, at least four of the spaces are usually occupied by street vendors, causing customers to bypass their stores due to the lack of parking.
"We're losing business," Steve, a business owner who chose not to give his last name, says. "If we don't have people to park and come and buy flowers, how are we going to survive?"
Street vendors, like Abdel Maiid, say they are entitled to use the spaces, which they pay for, just like anyone else. Maiid says his truck is frequented by residents who live in the area and he believes the vendors are well-liked.