Do Food Trucks Harm Eateries?

City Council Hearing On Regulations

The City Council Committees on Health and Transportation held a joint hearing last Wednesday, Apr. 17, to discuss oversight of mobile food trucks, as well as a bill which would designate specific locations where the trucks could vend. According to City Council Member Peter Vallone Jr., Elizabeth Weinstein of the Mayor’s Office of Operations, Daniel Kass of the Department of Health and Kate Slevin of the De- partment of Transportation testified that the city cannot take into account competition with brick and mortar restaurants when determining regulations for mobile food trucks due to a court ruling from the 1940s.

Vallone, who ran a small business for over a decade, is concerned about the effect food trucks can have on restaurants, which pay much higher taxes and rent and are subjected to more rigorous and costly health inspections.

“The lack of rules and enforcement has led to the Wild West Side, the Wild East Side and the outer bor- oughs being left to fend for themselves,” said Vallone. “We shouldn’t let some Depression-era ruling be the basis by which we establish policy for a very modern problem-that ruling needs to be challenged in the higher courts.”