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Food Truck Vendors Wary Of Pilot Program
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Many food truck vendors in Columbus say a new pilot program meant to help the mobile vendors falls short and will do little to benefit the industry.
As he sets up his food truck appropriately named Pattywagon, Zach James says heâ€™s skeptical about the city program that, for the first time, allows food trucks to park on public streets. He doesnâ€™t like the size limit of 25 feet, which disqualifies him and many others. Heâ€™s also skeptical about the city limiting the number of street-front parking spots for trucks.
â€œAnd thereâ€™s going to be a lot of inter-industry fighting as a result of this, where youâ€™ll see spot poaching,” James says.
“Youâ€™ll see people parking cars there the night before just to allocate that spot for themselves for the rest of the day.â€
The spot are open to more than just food trucks: hot dog carts, trailers, ice cream trucks, even regular cars can use them. Thatâ€™s a problem for Neil Hertenstein, owner of the gourmet burger truck Hungry Monkey.
â€œRight now for it to be carts, trailers and trucks, thereâ€™s like 700 people. So, at the end of the day, itâ€™s not enough, but itâ€™s a start,” Hertenstein says.
700 vendors compared to 16 designated parking areas. The pilot program runs June 1 through the end of the year, when the city says it will revisit the rules.