Legislation was submitted to Rochester’s City Council this week that would allow food trucks to operate downtown. (Read it here.) Food truck operators say the new rules are too restrictive and don’t provide space for enough trucks. But it’s a start.
Cities and suburbs all over the country are grappling with how to treat mobile food vendors. Rochester’s food trucks formed an alliance to advance their interests.
Food trucks have some benefits for cities. They attract people to parks. They generate more foot traffic. The provide additional food options and sometimes they are the only convenient food option. They can attract patrons to neighboring businesses, such as bars, coffee shops and retail stores. Most importantly, people like food trucks and want them near their workplaces.
Much of the debate surrounding food trucks involves complaints from brick and mortar restaurants, which have many times the amount of money invested in their businesses. Many regulations bar food trucks from pulling up near permanent establishments. Food trucks counter that restaurants should be able to withstand competition and the trucks operate on a much smaller scale. There should be a compromise somewhere in the debate.
It will be interesting to watch Rochester’s experiment with food trucks this summer.
Links of the Day:
– An Erie County village is tired of cars and wants to take back its Main Street.
– Syracuse schools debate how to discipline problem students. This is a number one complaint of Rochester teachers, too.
– Only a tiny percentage of missing children have been abducted by strangers. The number of missing kids has gone down.
– A Boston Globe columnist takes politicians to task for not having the courage to bury Tamerlan Tsarnaev.