Occasionally, we are asked why the NYC Food Truck Association (NYCFTA) exists. After all, NYC street vending is as old as NYC itself and street vendors seem to have gotten on fine, right?
While it’s true street vendors have always been a part of the city’s landscape, the nature of street vending has evolved tremendously over the years and, unfortunately, the antiquated rules which have been on the books since the turn of the century have not evolved with it.
For this reason, NYC Food Trucks applaud NYC Council Member Dan Garodnick for moving forward, and they look forward to meaningful conversations surrounding the many interests at stake here. Mr. Garodnick’s proposed legislation is a great start to the discussion but there are many details to work out. NYC Food Trucks would like to come up with something that serves all the stakeholders of NYC streets including food trucks, restaurants, and, most importantly, New Yorkers.
In general, part of what makes NYC vending so dynamic and responsive to the needs of New Yorkers is that it is a flexible, principles-based system. Allocating specific spots for trucks would be a substantial departure from the history and tradition of NYC street vending.
Additionally, while allocating specific food truck vending locations has worked well in some municipalities like Boston, it has gone extremely poorly in places like Chicago and Washington DC. There are many unanswered questions about where these parking spots would be situated, the political process by which spots might be added or removed, how these spots would be allocated to vendors, and how these regulations would be enforced.
The NYCFTA prides itself on working with the public, local government, and community organizations to ensure that we are operating as good citizens. NYCFTA joined forces with Mayor Bloomberg’s Office and several NY-based companies in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, have seen great mutual success with our semimonthly Prospect Park Food Truck Rallies, enjoy a burgeoning relationship with Battery Park City food truck lot host Brookfield Place NY, and have raised funds for several area non-profits to benefit some of the least fortunate in our community. NYCFTA regularly ha representatives from the NY Police Department, Fire Department of NY, and NY Department of Health join our quarterly meetings to ensure openness with city officials and are currently working on two projects with classes from NYU.
NYC Food Trucks are grateful every day to serve their neighbors in the city they love and their goal is to ensure that they are able to continue to do so without the daily threat of being shut down thanks to outdated laws. Please consider signing NYC Food Trucks petition and sharing this post via Facebook and Twitter using #KeepOnTruckin if you believe that NYC food trucks stimulate culinary innovation, offer a valuable service to New Yorkers, help energize the streets, and are an important part of the social fabric of the city. NYC Food Trucks appreciate all your support and, as we like to say around here,
KEEP ON TRUCKIN’, NYC!