The Examiner and DCist reported on Friday that Mayor Vincent Gray has announced intentions to revise D.C.’s street vending rules. Of note, his proposal would clarify guidelines for food trucks, whose popularity and ubiquity make them primed for regulation.
Gray’s proposal would allow food trucks to remain in legal parking spaces so long as the truck’s driver observes time limits and, of course, pays the meter. This rule does not include dessert vendors, who would be required to keep moving if they go 10 minutes without customers (this caveat is intended to prevent ice cream trucks from exploiting the new food truck rules).
Representatives of the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington (RAMW) gave Gray’s proposals a lukewarm reception, re-iterating that the city’s approval process for food trucks is too quick and easy compared to the requirements for establishing a new restaurant. This disparity creates unfair competition for established restaurants, the RAMW claims.
In a statement, the Mayor said the new rules would be a triumph for D.C.’s consumers and potential business owners. The D.C. Council will ultimately have to approve the proposed changes.
“Street vending, food trucks and farmers’ markets are important components in increasing the District’s quality of life for residents, workers and visitors, and my new regulations are designed to strike a careful balance between encouraging business innovation and respecting our laws as well as brick-and-mortar businesses that have long played according to the rules,” said Mayor Gray. “These proposed regulations eliminate outdated requirements, make it easier for the smallest of entrepreneurs to set up a business here and expand the food options available to consumers.”