We heard from a colleague in Washington DC about a new wave of enforcement against food trucks being planned for today. And just like in New York, their weapon of choice is an old law that was not meant for the new breed of food trucks.
Food Truck Fiesta reports that DC officials have been visiting food trucks over the past week and telling them that beginning on Jan 13, 2012, they will be ticketing food trucks that don’t have a line formed in front of them.
DC food trucks are operating under decades-old ice cream truck regulations that says a truck with no line for 15 minutes must move to a new spot. That’s fine for serving frozen treats, but since it takes food trucks up to an hour of prep time before serving one customer, that seems pretty unfair.
According to Food Truck Fiesta, District Mayor Vincent Gray has new unpublished regulations sitting on his desk that would bring DC’s laws up to date with the current times. But, he is refusing to move forward with updating the food truck regulations, probably because he doesn’t want to ruffle the feathers of the restaurant association.
If you recall, New York police have been able to get food trucks to move and/or ticket them under a 1950’s era law that says you cannot sell merchandise from a metered parking spot.
UPDATE from Food Truck Fiesta: Mayor Vince Gray tweeted him directly to say that “No new enforcement actions are planned. New regs are moving forward according to law and will be published in the Jan. 20 edition of the D.C. Register.
If only our elected officials in New York would follow their lead. That’s where the NYC Food Truck Association needs to get our voices heard – “We’re mad as hell, and not going to take it anymore!” (Sorry, I just watched Network two nights ago.)