NEW YORK, NY – Sorry NYC mobile food vendors. If you were planning to use the candidate’s thoughts on food trucks as part of your voting platform for your decision your choices appear to be bad and worse.
NYC is about to elect a new mayor and the topic of food truck regulation has been brought up by both candidates, Bill de Blassio (D) and Joe Lhota (R). Unfortunately both have recently made comments picked up by the VillageVoice that appear to show that neither are siding with vendors:
While Bill de Blasio celebrated his primary win with a party featuring LCD Soundsystem on the playlist and, as the Bedford + Bowery blog described it, “a Smorgasbord-esque assortment of gourmet food trucks,” he has also called for more regulation of the mini-industry. In May 2012, the Brooklyn Dailyreported that he sides with brick-and-mortar restaurants that see food trucks enjoying unfair advantages because, for example, they don’t need to post inspection grades in their windows. “The fact is right now that the weight of regulation falls on our traditional businesses,” he said.
Joe Lhota, meanwhile, says food trucks clog roads, and he calls for more parking regulations. “They send you a Tweet and let you know what corner they’ll be at. It’s part of their business model,” Lhota said in May. “They’re parked all over the streets, on every corner of the city, and they cause congestion.”
So it seems, you have to choose between candidates who think that the food truck industry is something the city needs to protect restaurants from and another who thinks food trucks on the street are far worse for the public than the numerous delivery vehicles that traverse New York’s already busy streets.
Neither of them seem to be a Mayor that will embrace food trucks for anything more than a political whipping boy. The sad thing is that what happens in New York will be seen and mimicked across the country in cities that may be looking at the big apple for guidance on how they should handle the growth of the mobile food industry in their communities.
If you were to put together a food truck platform for the perfect elected local official, what would it contain?