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ARLINGTON, VA - Some food truck vendors are moving out of Arlington County after what they say has been a spike in police enforcement of laws that make running their businesses extremely difficult.

doug the food dude

In recent weeks, police have issued a number of citations to food truck vendors who are parked on the side of the road and serving food for longer than the county’s 60-minute limit.

Though the rule is not new, Leland Atkinson, who operates the Sinplicity Ice Cream food truck, said he’s never seen police enforce a time limit on food trucks in the year he’s been in business.

Immediately after he received a loitering ticket while serving in Rosslyn, Atkinson said, “It became very obvious that there was no way we could beat this,” and he decided to operate in only the District.

Doug Maheu, who operates the Doug the Food Dude food truck, said he thinks the increased enforcement has to do with complaints from restaurants.

“I’m guessing they may be trying to squash their competition,” he said.

Find the entire article by Taylor Holland at The Washington Examiner <here>

 

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Atlanta Police arrived at this week’s Food Truck Wednesday in Virginia Highland and issued citations to five different trucks for the lack of proper permits.

Atlanta food truck event

Bettie Cagle, who organizes of the weekly food truck gathering, stepped away from the park for a few minutes, returning around 8:15 p.m. to find two police officers in the park checking permits for each of the vendors. The permits in question – the City of Atlanta business licenses that requires a vendor must have a license for each specific address they operate from – appear to be the same ones that led to the temporary closing of the Atlanta Food Truck Park this May.

“It is not a health or safety issue. These guys are fully permitted and follow all of the health regulation codes,” said Cagle, “but when you are at an event and the police come and shut it down, there is a lot of speculation, which makes me nervous for the trucks.”

The officers that arrived on the scene explained that they were responding to a complaint, but, at the time, did not explain the nature of the complaint or who filed it. However, I spoke with Officer John Chafee of the Public Affairs unit of the APD, who explained that “Our License and Permits Unit was responding to an anonymous complaint regarding food trucks operating in the Virginia Highlands area.”

Find the entire article byJon Watson at ajc.com <here>

 

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Food vendors say they’ve been barred from West 52nd and West 51st streets between Sixth and Seventh avenues.

MIDTOWN, NYC — Food truck drivers say police have banished them from two Midtown blocks that have long been among the city’s most popular lunchtime destinations.

Drivers say police began informing them about two weeks ago they were no longer welcome on West 52nd Street and West 51st, between Sixth and Seventh Avenues, because of escalating complaints from nearby building owners. The blocks had previously been on the rotation schedules of many of the city’s most popular food trucks, whose legions have been growing at a rapid pace.

“They were saying it’s off-limits now,” said a distressed Oleg Voss, 29, of the popular two-year-old Schnitzel and Things truck, which has long spent its Thursday afternoons on West 52nd Street.

“They said everybody can’t vend from a metered location,” he said.

Edin Bektesevik, 25, of the Balkan Cevap Truck, said he’d been booted from his regular location on West 51st Street, between Sixth and Seventh Avenues, twice by police in recent weeks, even though he’d never had any trouble there before.

“It looks like somebody complained,” he said, parked a block away, on West 52nd street, where he was the only truck left on the once-busy block on a recent afternoon.

He and others said being forced to move after establishing a following in a particular location is a huge blow to business, especially since being booted typically means having to close for the day.

“It’s not fair,” said Bektesevik, complaining that local restaurants are unfairly targeting food trucks because they see them as competition.

“We’re just trying to make a buck,” he said. “For us this is [about] surviving.”

Less than an hour later, the truck’s twitter feed announced it had been booted from that spot, too.

“Unfortunately police closed us down :-(. Stay tune for further info,” It read.

According to a source at the Midtown North Precinct, police have received complaints from local business owners about the trucks. The source said police have responded with enforcement action, but have not “stepped up” enforcement in recent weeks.

The source said he was also unaware of drivers being told they were no longer welcome on the blocks.

But hungry Midtown lunchers said something had changed.

“What’s the deal?” asked West Village resident Jordan Nodel, 31, who works in the neighborhood and typically grabs lunch from local trucks about twice a week.

“This area used to be a great location for trucks to make a weekly stop and lately there’s been an noticeable absence.”

“Obviously people love food trucks. They’re delivering better food than the generic midtown lunch delis, and during the summer, it’s great to be outside.”

One problem, vendors say, is a February decision by a Manhattan Supreme Court judge against Paty’s Tacos on the Upper East Side that food trucks are subject to a city law that prohibits merchandise from being sold from metered parking spots.

The ruling set a precedent that police now appear to be enforcing, said food truck expert Perry Resnick, who runs the popular New York Street Food blog and recently launched a Midtown street food tour.

“They’re obviously concerned,” said Resnick, who said police have been booting food trucks from Hudson Street Downtown.

“There’s definitely been more of a crackdown,” he said

Find the entire article <here>

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