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Food Truck Vendors Pushed Off 47th Street In Midtown

Ban Motivated By Complaints About Illegal Parking; Customers Furious

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The law has caught up to some Midtown food truck vendors, and it means some New Yorkers will not be able to get their favorite cheap lunches anymore.

As CBS 2 Investigative Reporter Tamara Leitner reported Tuesday, illegal parking is the motivation behind the bans.

Vendor Sonia Rodriguez has plenty of regulars, but is worried about business now that she says she has been kicked out of her parking spot.

“They came Friday and they told us if we don’t move, they would shut us down,” said Rodriguez, who operates the Burger Supreme Food Truck.

Vendors have been parking illegally in the area for many years, but not anymore. The city has begun enforcing restrictions that are on the books.

“We were told to move all the trucks out of the area permanently — no more food trucks on 47th Street,” said Faisal Hosein of the food truck Seoul Food.

The ban affects a one-block area along East 47th Street between Park and Madison avenues, where delivery drivers complain they have a hard time navigating the congested street.

“This truck is known on that street to the point where people are asking us, ‘Why are you shutting down? Where are you going to be?’” Hosein said.

People who work in the area have long relied on the illegally parked food trucks for a quick, inexpensive bite.

“For variety I would go to the food trucks,” said Arthur Sachs. “But it was surprising — they were there in the morning, and then all of a sudden they totally disappeared.”

“I only get a half hour lunch, so it’s the quickest and easiest,” said Midtown businessman Matt Zundell.

“It’s kind of sad, because there’s not a lot of options now.” Added Midtown businesswoman Ashley Introne.

“The city Department of Health and Mental Hygiene issues food truck permits, but the city does not allow vendors to sell anything from metered parking spots.

“We get a ticket every day, like $65,” said Quilce Rosado of the La Perla food truck. “We got to pay for it.”

The food truck vendors told CBS 2 us they lnow they are not supposed to be selling food from the metered spots, but do it anyway.

“That’s part of doing business right now – just accepting the ticket,” said James Rafferty of the Green Radish food truck.

CBS 2 checked with the city agencies. They said they have received multiple complaints from legitimate delivery trucks unable to get into the area, because of the food trucks illegally parked.

The entire block is taken up by Morgan Stanley, but there is no word on who complained.

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