When you’re in a new city with no idea where to eat, there’s always been a sure thing: food trucks. In Northern Philadelphia that might not be the case for much longer. Only four of these trucks have been allowed to remain in the 10th District near the corner of Bustleton and Cottman Avenues because complaints about “safety concerns” led to a new city council bill. Who made the complaints? You guessed it: brick and mortar restaurants.
Also known as: the competition.
The 10th District isn’t alone in this anti-food truck endeavor. The 6th District has had a similar ban in place since all the way back in 1998. The remaining food trucks in the 10th have until October 1 to remove their trucks.
The safety concerns alleged that stopping traffic around the food trucks could be dangerous for both pedestrians and vehicles alike.
Not surprisingly, those who own both brick and mortar restaurants and food trucks don’t share those safety concerns. Matt Rossi owns Nick’s Roast Beef in addition to eight food trucks, and also happens to be the president of the Philly Mobile Food Association.
Rossi commented, “There is always concern. Every little bit of competition, every dollar taken out of your pocket is a dollar you’re not making. We can work this out. We can work through this. That’s been one of my jobs as the president of the association. These guys are members, I’m looking out for them.”
In other words, proponents of the new Philadelphia city council bill may have won a battle, but they’ve got a long way to go before they win the war.
Rossi wants to introduce legislation that will allocate specific zones inside each district where vendors are allowed to park and conduct their business without having to worry about the consequences of complaints, tickets, etc.
For now, the current ban will likely be enforced by Licenses and Inspections, so Rossi and the other food truck owners will have little choice but to comply.
None of the new laws stopped over 40 mobile vendors from parking in Harrisburg for Philadelphia’s annual July 4th Food Truck Festival, though. Citizens who’d had their fill enjoyed fireworks and a drink or two from City Island.