On Tuesday, city council will begin debating a new bill to make the dining sheds permanent.
"It's important we save our small businesses, our restaurants," said bill sponsor Marjorie Velazquez, "What's worse to public safety is an empty storefront."
In a city where there is stiff competition for every square inch, there are now 12 thousand such structures, and not everyone is happy about all the real estate going into restaurants.
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"There are people who live on blocks who haven't had their streets cleaned in two years," said one protester.
Dozens protested in the Village on Saturday, citing an increase in garbage, rats and people sleeping in the sheds, saying it is time for New York City to regain its sidewalks and streets.
Both sides plan to testify at City Hall this week.
Mayor Eric Adams is in favor of making the sheds permanent.
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