PROVO, UT – Laws already on the books make it so mobile food vendors can’t park on Center Street and University Avenue. However, Provo restaurant owners would like food trucks to keep their distance and stay in other less-competitive locations.
That doesn’t mean the public feels the same way. At least 68 percent of respondents surveyed by the city say they like having the trucks available. The food trucks believe when it comes to special events like the Rooftop Concert series, there should be a spot for them.
At Tuesday’s Municipal Council work session, council members discussed these topics and possible changes to a city ordinance that would regulate food trucks, where they could park and other safety factors.
Amendments to the code could enlarge the radius area in which a food truck can park from the front door of a brick-and-mortar restaurant from 100 feet to a suggested 200 feet. With 56 restaurants in downtown, those circles could put them right out of the downtown business hub.
On March 4, the council asked city staff to find out what residents think. A total of 807 responded to a city online survey and through the city newsletter. Sixty-six percent said they visit a mobile food business at least once a month, while 68 percent said they would like to see more trucks. That same percentage would be more likely to visit downtown if there were more trucks there. Seventy-one percent said they would like to see the trucks at city parks.
While it was a very positive result from the food trucks’ point of view, Dean Judd, a board member of the Downtown Restaurant Association, said he thought the survey was one-sided.
“Food trucks are mobile for a reason,” Judd said. “They are designed to go where restaurants are. They should target other locations. Residents don’t know what owners go through to stay open. They shouldn’t be allowed in downtown Provo.
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