City Council members Jessica Lappin (from the UES) and Karen Koslowitz (from Queens) have introduced a new bill that would, according to Midtown Lunch, "give the Department of Health authority to suspend any vending permit issued to a truck with two parking tickets (i.e. feeding the meter or idling) in a 12 month period, and revoke the permit of a truck that receives three parking tickets in a 12 month period." The Council members say their constituents are fed up with food trucks idling all day and occupying precious parking spots, but food truck owners insist the bill would put them out of business.
The bill [read it here] concerns only food trucks (not food carts), and Lappin tells the ML, "The piece of it that gets under my skin is the feeding of the meter. These are public streets and nobody has the right to use them exclusively. People were willing to look the other way, until it was being abused. It’s against the law but clearly the penalty [parking tickets] is not severe enough to make people obey the law."
The owner of the Wafels & Dinges truck claims he gets an average of 3 parking tickets a month (despite "a relentless effort to avoid them"), and he'd be unable to operate if this bill becomes law: "Revoking [a permit] at 3 per year sounds like a Stalinist sabotage of the industry." There will be a public hearing on the sabatoge next Wednesday, June 16th at 10 a.m., and the Street Vendors Project is urging everyone who likes food from idling trucks to sign a petition. Last year the Bloomberg administration increased the fines for idling near schools, and the City Council later voted to raise the fine for idling cars outside of school zones from $5 to $250.