Michael Wooten | WGRZ.com
BUFFALO, N.Y. — City council members will meet with restaurant owners and food truck operators today to hear both sides in the debate over mobile vendors in Buffalo.
Today’s meeting should help as they draft the legislation.
The meeting is scheduled for 10 a.m. in City Hall room 1417. Food truck owners have been circulating an online petition that they will deliver at the meeting. As of early this morning, organizers were close to their 4,000-signature goal.
Wednesday night, 2 On Your Side’s Michael spoke with officials in Portland, Oregon and Seattle, Washington. Both cities have effectively regulated food trucks, their leaders say.
In Seattle, food trucks are free to roam the city, even parking along streets. However, they must stay at least 50 feet away from any food establishment, including restaurants, convenience stores and grocery stores. The food trucks must also pay the city to park, around $1,000 per year.
Gary Johnson with the Seattle Department of Planning and Development said, although their new rules are new, there is no evidence that the mobile food business has hurt established restaurants.
“So you would say to Buffalo that brick and mortar restaurants and street vendors can co-exist?” 2 On Your Side asked. “Absolutely,” Johnson responded. “(We’re) not choosing between the two. (We’re) trying to be thoughtful and strike the right balance so that they can both thrive.”
In Portland, deemed by many as a top mobile food destination in the world, also has regulations in place. In that city, trucks usually park together in pods in parking lots. They are not permitted to park along the street. Still, city leaders said business is booming.