Better Plan for Food Vendors

Written by admin on . Posted in Opinion and Column.


To the Editor:

Instead of enacting legislation that would force undue hardships for hundreds of honest and hard-working food truck employees (“Food Bill Is Hard to Swallow,” June 17), Council members Jessica Lappin and Dan Garodnick should enforce existing parking violations and enact a more market-oriented solution for allocating parking space.

According to the New York Post, New York City had $700 million worth of unpaid parking tickets. Even if we collected 20 percent of those, that would mean $140 million more for senior programs, schools, student MetroCards and businesses impacted by Second Avenue subway construction.

As far as allocating parking space, I think the city should designate the areas most frequented by food trucks as smart spaces. These spaces are smart in the sense that the city could price them at different rates for different vehicles at different hours of the day. At times when parking space is in high demand by passenger cars, the city could charge a fee that was too expensive for food trucks to conduct business, but not so expensive for passenger cars. At times of peak business activity, the city could charge fees that were more reasonable for food trucks. Reservations and payments would be made via a GPS-enabled mobile device outfitted on the truck. Food trucks would only be allowed to reserve one spot at a time, and could only reserve a spot a half-hour before it became open. This plan should be revenue neutral. In other words, parking fees collected by the city should be used to lower existing taxes and permitting fees that are already paid by food trucks.

Jared Stone
Upper East Side

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