NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — It’s no secret that food trucks have become a beloved staple of New York City culture, but with a recent court ruling making daily operations a battle for many street vendors, the industry may be seeing its demise.
But they’re not going down without a fight.
A court ruling in February said it was illegal to sell food from a food truck at a metered parking spot in the five boroughs.
Save NYC Food Trucks is an initiative to educate consumers about some of the regulatory challenges food trucks are facing and to give New York City food truck-goers an opportunity to voice support for the meals on wheels.
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“What has been so challenging for food trucks is that in the enforcement of this rule, the city isn’t merely issuing fines, but threatening to tow trucks,” said David Weber, president of the New York City Food Truck Association. “Food truck owners cannot afford to be towed because if they are towed all their perishable inventory on board will be lost and they won’t be able to operate their business until they can recover their truck.”
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The grassroots campaign has garnered a significant amount of support on Twitter and Facebook – with a quarter million fans between the social media networks – but those behind the operation are also taking their cause to the streets.
“We are starting to collect petitions from our patrons in person,” said Weber. “We are asking the Mayor’s office to help us find a way to incorporate food trucks legally back into the streetscape.”
The group argues that food trucks not only provide jobs, but stimulate culinary innovations, draw tourists and contribute revenue to the city.
“As we move toward winter, many trucks are considering closing permanently or moving to cities with more favorable regulatory environments,” said Weber.