Well, let 125 licensed food trucks roam and set up shop as long as they are at least 50 metres from a restaurant, unless parked on private property or in a parking lot, 30 metres from a school, 25 metres from a sidewalk vendor and don’t exceed a maximum of two food trucks per pay-and-display city block (where they can’t stay for more than three hours).
I get that there needs to be rules and of course all food trucks should be licensed and regularly inspected but this whole thing seems unnecessarily complicated. Why only 125 licenses? This is a huge city, I feel like we could handle more. And 50 metres away from a restaurant? I guess there won’t be any food trucks in my neighbourhood anytime soon.
I’m happy that the rules have changed but I’m not thrilled with how it came to be. I cannot believe that it basically took two days worth of debate to sort out new food truck rules, rules that have been previously discussed for years. Seriously, how did it take until 2014 to figure all of this out? Why wasn’t this topic figured out like, oh five years ago? It’s not like food trucks are something new and exciting. Hell, they’re practically passé at this point.
I love Toronto, I do, but it has a lot of issues and one of them is its tendency to avoid issues and then, when it finally does start to discuss them, get bogged down in studies, sub-committees and red tape (for other examples see tearing down the Gardiner, the waterfront and pretty much every major transit project).
Why does this happen? I blame a city councillor that’s mostly afraid to rock the boat. This means topics get avoided and solutions are often wishy-washy and weak. No one wants to take a stand and so nothing gets done.
This stagnation of city councillor is one of the reasons why we have Rob Ford. While I don’t like most of his views he does have them and he’s not afraid to fight for his pet issues. People like that and the fact that Ford takes a stand gives him easy campaigning material.
Ford was one of the many councilors who supported loosening Toronto’s food truck rules, a move that means that Robbie and I agree on at least one thing. Does that make me feel a bit yucky? No, not at all because opening up the city’s food truck rules was undeniably the right thing to do and the fact that Rob Ford even realizes that just confirms my belief that these rules should have been changed a long time ago.