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EXCLUSIVE: ACPD Launches Coordinated Operations Against Food Trucks

by ARLnow.com | September 7, 2012 at 2:05 pm | 8,414 views | 119 Comments

Around lunchtime on Friday, Aug. 24, five Arlington County police officers, including three undercover officers in plainclothes, were assigned to enforce mobile vending regulations along the county’s Metro corridors. By the time lunchgoers had returned to their offices, police had issued seven court summonses to four different food trucks for a variety of violations.

The operation was one of two such coordinated enforcement actions against food trucks this summer — operations that have become necessary due to repeated violations, according to police.

As the number of food trucks in Arlington continues to rise, complaints against improperly licensed or illegally parked food trucks have risen — with many of those complaints coming from the brick and mortar restaurants that compete with food trucks for customers. In response, Arlington County Police say they came up with a plan of action earlier this year that included a vendor education campaign.

“[Police] determined that based on the number of complaints, we needed to at least assess the situation,” Arlington County Police second district commander Capt. Andy Penn told ARLnow.com. “We looked to see what was going on and noted that there were some violations were occurring. [We] then got together and decided that the best approach is going to be an educational campaign, certainly in the beginning, just trying to make sure people are informed and seek compliance.”

Penn said police met with vendors, inspected vending licenses, and handed out a small booklet listing relevant county ordinances. They also distributed a one-page handout of the most commonly-violated mobile food vending rules, including requirements for each vendor and employee to be licensed and — the perhaps most controversial rule — that food trucks can only remain parked in one spot for 60 minutes at a time. Finally, officers issued warnings when vendors were not in compliance, Penn said.

With the warnings distributed and the violations continuing, police began enforcement, issuing summonses that require the vendors to appear in court, in person, and pay a fine.

“The goal was not to give anybody a summons until they’ve been warned at least one time, if not more,” Penn said. “To my knowledge, the people charged have been previously warned.”

On July 25, a coordinated “district team” of officers observed how long food trucks were parked in various areas and issued summonses to three vendors, all for parking more than 60 minutes, Penn said. On Aug. 24, five officers — including two uniformed officers and three plainclothes officers — issued seven summonses to four different vendors.

The plainclothes officers were only detailed to the district team on Aug. 24 for a “limited amount of time,” Penn noted, and were in plainclothes “for a different issue.”

“The initial intent for the plainclothes had nothing to do with vendors,” he said. “They just happened to be in plainclothes that day.”

Food truck operators, meanwhile, have been voicing their discontent, calling the rules — in place since 2010 — “unfair,” and suggesting the fines and required court appearances are heavy-handed.

“Law enforcement has stepped up efforts in major areas like Crystal Drive, N. Lynn Street and N, Stuart Street in Ballston to enforce the rule,” Bada Bing food truck owner Nicholas Terzella told ARLnow.com via email on Aug. 24. “Police have been staking trucks out. When I was parked in Crystal City a few weeks ago, an Arlington County police officer sat across from Chic fil A for over an hour. In this time, multiple cars pulled up to 2200 Crystal Drive and double parked (this happens daily). None of these cars are EVER ticketed. The officer sat there for 1.5 hours and ticketed us.”

“This is the first time in my 2 years of business that I have ever received a ticket,” he continued. “I admit, parking in those particular locations is AWFUL!! That’s why we can’t just leave after the 60 minutes and just grab another spot. This rule ends our lunch service early and makes staying in Arlington impossible. We have to change it now or Arlington will soon be a food truck wasteland.”

Trucks owners have been taking their case to the County Board and to Arlington Economic Development, and Terzella said there’s discussion that the 60 minute rule might be changed next year.

In the meantime, he said that the Bada Bing, Seoul Food and Sinplicity trucks have collectively received at least four summonses, while the Lemongrass and Willie’s Po Boy trucks have been forced to move. He said the fine and court fee for the summonses is $106, but the fact that many truck owners have to take their truck off the street for a day in order to appear in court is even more damaging.

“Food truck owners and food trucks are a reflection of our great country,” said Terzella, a former high end restaurant chef. “Different cuisines, different styles different backgrounds… all doing what we have to do in a struggling economy. Small businesses like food trucks are whats going to help pull the economy out of this mess. Why are we being penalized for running our business the only way possible?”

“Restaurants are asking for protection,” he added. “All trucks want is our freedom!”

File photo (top), photo via Twitter (middle)

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  • novasteve

    With all the homicides, sexual assaults, property crimes, I’m so glad to know the priorities the ACPD has. I feel very safe now.

    • Joe

      yeah… all those homicides in Arlington

      • novasteve

        So you think that some truck parking violations are more important than the 5 homicides we’ve had this year?

        • Not Me

          I don’t see where Joe says that? Do you?

          • Quoth the Raven

            Actually, yes – Joe is implicitly saying that there aren’t many homicides in Arlington.

          • Not Me

            Well yes, because going after traffic/parking violations ‘implicitly’ diminishes ACPD’s ability to prevent homicides.

            Leap much?

          • novasteve

            So ACPD shouldn’t have priorities? They’re protecting us from Food trucks? Perhaps if they start flipping over on people this might be a higher priority.

          • SMDC

            I’m with novasteve (something not often said in the comment section of this blog!!) — I have yet to hear of a a “homicide prevention task force” or a “stop men for assaulting women/men/children on trails/sidewalks/in whole foods” task force, despite the uptick in such crimes. There is no “get people to clean up dog crap” task force or “stop homeless fromm peeing/begging at the metro” task force.

            These are all issues we could use attention… instead they are targeting innovative small business that customers enjoy….

          • drax

            1. Just because you haven’t heard of something doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.

            2. 24+ months with no homicides, yeah, we don’t have a homicide task force. We just have cops working on the homicides since then.

            This whole “why don’t they solve more serious crimes” is calling dumbing deviancy down. By this lame, moral relativity excuse, every crime except murder could be justified, along with not investigating them.

          • SMDC

            drax, where have you been? You clearly read this forum and have read about the homicides this year…

        • Swag

          Different cops work on different things.

          But of course you already knew that.

        • bman

          are they dumping bodies in DC again?

      • Courthouse Diva

        this year is the first year in two that Arlington has had any homocides

  • JamesE

    Good to know they are focusing on real crime, get these food trucks off the street, someone think about the children!

    • Trolly Troll

      Don’t worry food trucks, the 5-0 will be busy ticketing parked trolley blockers in the future. That’s where the real revenue is.

  • CW

    Good thing there are no unsolved murders, rapes, car thefts, stabbings, or break-ins in the County…

    • Regis

      I don’t think the beat patrols are in charge of investigations.

      Also, don’t break the law, morans.

      • smdc

        I’m not convinced that CW is related to Moran? Or were you calling people morons? Ironic, if so.

        Beat patrols do PREVENT serious crimes, unless they are writing tickets and forming task forces against FOOD TRUCKS.

        • yes again

          These are not “beat patrols.” The Arlington PO does not do “beat patrols” unless that means going to and from school and 7-11 parking lots. That’s the big problem, that the police hide until they are called. I have a good feeling that this has been in the works for a few weeks and this morning everyone got their marching orders as to when and when to enforce this stupid ordinance.

          • CW

            ^^This one.

          • guessing

            I think these were actually Beet Patrols….checking for unlicensed serving of beets

          • John K

            Only those fertilized by back-yard hens are allowed in Arlington. Be warned!

      • ballsteve

        You mean “morons?”

    • JamesE

      I feel safer already.

  • http://blacknell.net/dynamic/ MB

    Instead of complaining about ACPD enforcing the law, I suggest taking Willie’s Po Boy advice and letting the County Board know that you’d like to see the rules changed.

    • Jeff

      Exactly. The PD is merely enforcing a law that is on the books. They’re even giving out info to the truck operators on how to get legal. They’re doing their jobs.

      If you want to change the regulations, contact the board.

    • SMDC

      There are plenty of laws on the books that are not enforced… This should be one of them. For instance, premarital sex, not necessarily legal in VA.

      • JamesE

        Jason Voorhees does not approve

      • Arlington, Northside

        Free the Bing!

      • http://blacknell.net/dynamic/ MB

        Except the law against food trucks staying in place and the law against Making Baby Jesus Cry are quite different. The first provides a number of benefits (protection of established business, traffic circulation, etc.) and has an active constituency that supports it. The second, well, who gives a !(#$?

        Me, I’d be in favor of changing the law*, but I don’t think ACPD is being unreasonable.

        *I’d want to make sure there’s some tax parity between carts and permanent restaurants.

        • SMDC

          *Many people in Virginia probably care about premarital sex laws.

        • Josh S

          “Protection of established business?” This is a policy choice?

      • yes again

        Pre-marital sex is only illegal in Virginia if its outside the family.

        • craig

          ha

      • Max

        I thought that changed with Lawrence v. Texas

        • Jane-Dallas

          Only for heterosexuals.

  • Greg

    “Food Truck Wastelaaand, Foood Truck Wastelaaaand, yeeeaah!”

    • Pete Townsend

      Out here in the fields
      I fight for my meals
      I get my back into my living
      I don’t need to fight
      To prove I’m right
      I don’t need to be forgiven

      Don’t cry
      Don’t raise your eye
      It’s only food truck wasteland

  • b-money

    I see the points made by both sides and hold no strong opinions in either direction.

    • t-swizzle

      I disagree.

      • Adam

        I agree with both of you.

        • Ralph T.

          That’s horrible! HOW CAN YOU SAY THAT?!

  • Well

    If you set up a brick and mortar store and have to pay high rent and then saw a food truck drive right up outside your door, paying no rent and putting a fraction of the money into their business you’d be pissed too. I love food trucks but I also see the brick and mortar business point of view. There has to be some kind of compromise.

    • JoshInBallston

      If a brick-and-mortar with a full kitchen and seating can’t compete with a truck cooking with a portable grill, then the brick-and-mortar has no business being in business in the first place. If they cannot attract customers with better food at slightly higher prices to offset their costs, then they have lost in the free markert fair and square.

      • Well

        That’s a ridiculous comment. Food trucks can put out quality food and don’t just have a portable Weber grill inside. They have a full kitchen in most of those things. Most office workers don’t go in a brick and mortar place to eat lunch to eat anyway, they take their lunch back to the office to eat it. It comes down to the cost of renting the space versus the cost of riding up in a parking spot and paying for the meter. The cost of the meter is far less than the rent these businesses are paying.
        So in your view it will come down to businesses abandoning the brick and mortar model for the food truck or food bus or food semi-truck model.
        What should happen is that the food trucks should pay the low end of whatever the average rent is for the area they are frequenting. It could be a tax that could go to Arlington County to do things like build softball fields for $1.3 million or for more police officers to enforce things other than real crimes.

        • Ballstonian

          The food truck can only earn an income while they are in that spot (2 hrs for meters). The B&M can operate the rest of the day.

          But I’m sure you’ll say that lunch is the busiest time of the day for for these B&Ms – which is true. However, if they cannot earn enough throughout the rest of they day to compensate for the high fixed cost, then they are paying too much rent for their space. They then need to either negotiate for lower rent from their landlords or the landlord will lease to another tenant who can pay that rent, thus putting the property to its most efficient use.

          Btw, the food semi-truck model you proposed would be great. I’d love to see Badabing open a B&M (in Ballston!) while also serving other areas with the truck. I may be wrong, but isn’t this how District Taco started?

          • JamesE

            DT started as a straight up food truck. Also restaurants wouldn’t have to worry if their food didn’t suck. If you go to Ballston during lunch Mike’s Cafe (great sandwiches) is always slammed even with the 15 food trucks outside. Instead of worrying about a food truck outdoors for 1-2 hours, restaurants should be worrying about their terrible food.

          • bman

            what rent are they paying for taking up space on a sidewalk or street?

            probably driving in from fairfax, and not paying arlington taxes.

          • Josh S

            So what? Their customers have to stand in the rain (not likely) and in the hot sun so as to place their order and wait for their food. Are the food trucks slammed in the dead of winter? Not likely.

            Just because it is different doesn’t mean it is unfair.

        • Well what

          Your comment is even more ridiculous. The cost of a meter is one thing, but the food trucks in Arlington and DC require a substantial capital investment. They have high costs just like brick and mortar restaurants, they just happen to have more creative menus that attract more customers. It really comes down to the brick and mortar restaurants not being able to compete for sales and then using food trucks as scapegoats for their own lack of customers.

          • Regis

            Citations that show their menus are more creative and they attract more customers.

            Also numbers showing the sales disparity between restaurants and roach coaches.

            TIA

          • Well

            $8,000+ a month in rent, manager/employee costs, electricity/water bill costs, trash removal costs (I’ll bet you most food trucks pull up to a brick and mortar dumpster and throw their daily trash in it), etc. vs. $25,000 (I’ve seen some sell for far less) one time food truck cost. Let me see, I don’t think those costs are as high as brick and mortar.
            The brick and mortar have to charge higher prices to pay for all these things, the food truck can sell food at a much cheaper price point.

          • CW

            I am so angry! I am a buggy whip maker, my wife is a switchboard operator, my father is a wheelwright/blacksmith. I demand protectionism! Save the jobs! Down with competition! Down with innovation! Rabble!

          • Erik

            +1 these times are achangin’

          • SMDC

            And where can I operate an elevator! I would like a law that says ALL elevators must be operated by a paid human!

          • drax

            Careful, CW, someone’s going to want your old-fashioned, outdated-technology bicycle to get the hell out off the road.

          • Ben

            Most food trucks rent kitchen space to do prep work before the day begins.

            Not to mention they have to pay salaries, ingredients (no huge volume discounts for them), permits, sales tax etc.

            Cosi is one of the big complainer in the Ballston area – and no wonder. Why go there? Their food is average at best and they have locations all over DC.

          • DCCHughes

            Actually I believe all food trucks rent (or maybe own) kitchen space. They are required to have a fixed “commissary” to operate at all in Arlington.

        • Me

          “That’s a ridiculous comment. Food trucks can put out quality food and don’t just have a portable Weber grill inside. They have a full kitchen in most of those things.” So what JoshInBallston said still remains accurate, if they can’t attract customers with better food at slightly higher prices, they they have lost in the free market.

          “Most office workers don’t go in a brick and mortar place to eat lunch to eat anyway, they take their lunch back to the office to eat it.” No one forced them to choose that location, again, see my above response regarding what JoshInBallston said.

          “It comes down to the cost of renting the space versus the cost of riding up in a parking spot and paying for the meter. The cost of the meter is far less than the rent these businesses are paying.” Again, no one forced them to choose that location. The woe is me for choosing to be at this location and paying so much rent is a terrible excuse.

          “So in your view it will come down to businesses abandoning the brick and mortar model for the food truck or food bus or food semi-truck model.” Your point being? They want to stay in business right? Compete. Hell, Chic-Fil-A has a truck now and Burger King delivers!

          “What should happen is that the food trucks should pay the low end of whatever the average rent is for the area they are frequenting. It could be a tax that could go to Arlington County to do things like build softball fields for $1.3 million or for more police officers to enforce things other than real crimes.” This is an interesting suggestion, but I definitely disagree on the amount. Food trucks go for just the lunch menu, if they enforce a tax, if you will, then it should be proportionate to the amount of time they actually spend there. Brick and mortar have a set location 24-7, even if they aren’t open, that area is reserved. Trucks don’t have that, so even if they are there Sunday-Saturday, they may only spend 2 hours a day at one location. So maybe take the lowest rent in the area, and pay the equivalent of 3 hours a day worth.

          • Well

            “So what JoshInBallston said still remains accurate, if they can’t attract customers with better food at slightly higher prices, they they have lost in the free market.”

            You are missing the point entirely. In your view the only way to compete is for the brick and mortar establishment to buy a food truck and park it next to the one trying to take its business. Again, I am for food trucks, but they are using the loop hole of not having to pay rent in a desirable location but being able to distribute and work out of that location.

            “No one forced them to choose that location, again, see my above response regarding what JoshInBallston said.”

            Again, see my above response.

            “Again, no one forced them to choose that location. The woe is me for choosing to be at this location and paying so much rent is a terrible excuse.”

            Again you don’t see the point. The food truck gets a desirable, high traffic area without having to pay the high costs for being in that area. And again, in your view the only way to compete with this is for the brick and mortar to open its own food truck.

            “Your point being? They want to stay in business right? Compete. Hell, Chic-Fil-A has a truck now and Burger King delivers!”

            Well there’s your solution I guess. I guess we are destined to live in a world of no restaurants and all food trucks.

            “This is an interesting suggestion, but I definitely disagree on the amount. Food trucks go for just the lunch menu, if they enforce a tax, if you will, then it should be proportionate to the amount of time they actually spend there. Brick and mortar have a set location 24-7, even if they aren’t open, that area is reserved. Trucks don’t have that, so even if they are there Sunday-Saturday, they may only spend 2 hours a day at one location. So maybe take the lowest rent in the area, and pay the equivalent of 3 hours a day worth.”

            This is reasonable, but again, they get the benefit of a prime location without having to pay for it.

            I guess this is the never ending debate.

          • CW

            The only thing worse than block quotes in the forums is quotes in the comments. At least the block quotes have indentation.

          • darsasx

            “The food truck gets a desirable, high traffic area without having to pay the high costs for being in that area.”

            Have you priced a decent food truck that isn’t just a Weber-on-wheels? It’s not a drop in the bucket – especially for someone who is just seeing if they can make food that sells before they risk every penny they have into a B&M place.

            I would think that a reasonable compromise would be to issue a permit for a set period (maybe a year or two) – if they want to keep the truck operational, they have to open up their own B&M place – there are plenty of places that fail, so B&M opportunities abound. Some setup like that would also allow the owners to have a vehicle (pun only slightly intended) to try new menu offerings to more people.

          • T

            You could call it the “Landlord Protection Act of 2013″. But why stop at food trucks? Why not require that anyone conducting any kind of business in Arlington find some landlord to make payments to? The law could also require that anyone walking past a building make a payment to the landlord. Better yet, the law could create a land bank — landlords would receive subsidy payments for taking their buildings off the market or for not building anything.

    • Shocking

      I guess it would be okay if, instead of a food truck, another brick and mortar opened up right next door to your store? It’s simply competition, whether mobile or not. If brick and mortar stores feel threatened by the presence of a food truck, perhaps they should work harder to retain their customers.

      I enjoy having the new food options, and like the passion and creative nature of many of the food trucks. District Taco, Pupatella and El Chilango are brick and mortar establishments now, realizing a dream that otherwise would have had high barriers to entry if not for the ability to grow as a food truck business.

      • Well

        You people are a lost cause, you don’t see the point. Enjoy your weekend.

        • Me

          A lost cause because we don’t agree with your opinion? Riiiight. The argument of them not having to pay rent to be in a prime traffic area is the equivalent of a child crying and yelling “it’s not fair!”. Josh S. in a later post below makes a good point. It’s a different business model. If their business model fails because of how THEY chose to run their business, it’s on them to either leave the game or adapt in some way, shape or form. A lot of B&M restaurants don’t take advantage of the FREE marketing available literally at their fingertips through social networks. Facebook and Twitter accounts won’t really cost them anything. You know who DOES use it? That’s right, food trucks.

    • NoVapologist

      I agree. I hope the police start cracking down on this whole inter web commerce thing as well.

    • drax

      I”d be pissed too – that I was dumb enough to open a store instead of a truck.

    • Josh S

      Why?

      What about places like Dominos, that only deliver? That’s a different business model, with a different cost structure, etc. Should we protect sit-down pizza restaurants from them?

      Also, can anyone point to a restaurant that has actually gone out of business because of a food truck?

      In addition, when did a restaurant ever get a parking ticket?

  • smdc

    This is disgusting. So happy to be moving my tax dollars to a different city soon… one that embraces new business models.

    Seriously, so disappointed by this anti-small-business move.

    • guessing

      I would also like to embrace models

      • SMDC

        You’re in luck– just go to NY for fashion week… there are probably food trucks nearby!

  • Adam

    Glad to hear that the police are cracking down on the food truck menace.

  • dallynd

    Between the zoning commission and moves like this, it’s a wonder any small business comes to Arlington. Guess we only want behemoth corporate business.

    • bman

      they actually pay taxes

  • smdc

    I guess it explains all the chain restaurants….

  • JamesE

    Why don’t they crack down on the loiters around Ballston? They are there a lot longer than 60 minutes.

    • Regis

      Why don’t they try and find my bike that got stolen from Williamsburg in 1979?

      • Cathy Lee

        That’s not all you’re missing.

  • Chris M.

    This is why I could never be a cop. I respect them and most of the things they have to do. However, I just could never blindly enforce some of the arbitrary and, in this case, crony laws that politicians pass. Honestly, I feel bad for the officers sometime.

    • CW

      Very good point. Most of my personal negative sentiments towards ACPD are aimed at the policy-level decision makers who, say, choose to direct resources towards hassling food trucks rather than preventing crime, NOT the individual officers just doing their jobs.

      Except for the ones who disobey all traffic laws, never signal, turn on their lights just long enough to run red lights, and text while driving. They kinda suck.

      • Tabs

        +1

      • bman

        well these dumb things weren’t an issue until the last few years

        therefore, it’s time to crack down

  • Taylor

    “Arlington will soon be a food truck wasteland.”

    …exactly what the overpriced restaurant owners want. Must be nice to have the police on your side to lauch an “operation” against your competition.

    I wonder how much campaign contributions to County Board members can buy your own personal police sting?

  • South Side Chris

    I didn’t choose the food truck for lunch life, the food truck for lunch life chose me.

    • craig

      haha

  • JnA

    This is how the Chamber of Commerce-dominated County Board rewards small business entrepreneurs. Next County Board meeting is Saturday, September 15th. Public comments start at 8:30 AM, sharp.

  • yorktown

    “You’re being very un-Dude.”

  • Roscoe P. Coltrain

    Catch those scofflaws! They all hang out with the Duke Boys!

  • Tim

    We have to change it now or Arlington will soon be a food truck wasteland

    A food truck wasteland. How ever would we survive without billions of food trucks?

    • http://blacknell.net/dynamic/ MB

      You know, like it was two years ago.

  • Westover Leftover

    Arlington County makes the rules
    Who gives more money to the County Board Members?
    Money Rules

    • Regis

      With all the horse trading between developers and the county to get these buildings built, it’s no surprise.

      The BIDs are generally the organizational bodies bringing complaints to the county about the trucks. Follow the money; who supports the BIDs? The developers and building owners in those areas. The BIDs are nothing more than a marketing and PR extension of the real estate stakeholders, those evil developers bringing so much awesome new development to Arlington.

  • Jessie

    Unbelievable. These food trucks are one of the benefits of living and working in Arlington, and the board should see that. I’m absolutely emailing them, for what it’s worth.

    • craig

      post what you send, so i can copy and paste it into my email to them.

    • Arlingtonian

      Food trucks are worse than the pox. Their customers clog sidewalks, making it difficult to reach Metro stations. The customers drop litter all over the place.

      The trucks draw customers away from sidewalk restaurants, which the County Board hopes to attract when approving site plans for high-rise buildings. The trucks take up valuable parking spaces near Metro stations and retail establishments.

      Get rid of them!

      • Dishing Out

        I disagree. The food trucks in Crystal City are on 23rd Street and Crystal Drive. Metro is on 18th St. and near Clark Street. That would be a very long line. Besides, Crystal City BID has designated Food Truck Thursdays now and that location is definitely not anywhere in front of brick and mortar restaurant, Metro, or any street and road traffic.

        • bman

          try some place real, like Rosslyn player

  • JamesE

    They should just close off Stuart between Fairfax and Wilson, make it buses and food truck only, have a designated food truck area like Portland and Austin do.

  • Jessie

    Also, thanks to ArlNow for not only reporting this but also for posting that image with the County Board’s contact info on it.

  • Dezlboy

    Food trucks block trolleys.

  • Hank

    I would rather patronize a real restaurant in a LEED certified green building than some 4-wheel behemoth truck that burns gasoline and propane and low grade jet fuel all day polluting the roads and contributing to the urban heat island effect.

    • Scott

      …is this the same urban heat island effect that is caused by your inflated ego? Maybe we should all bike to work and use magazines to beat off. NAAHHHHT! Get with the times, dude. Move to San Diego if you want to complain about gas use. We don’t care here. It’s called commuting. Save the whales (so we can make oil out of them)!

      • drax

        Methinks you doth protest too much. Feeling guilty?

    • Dishing Out

      There are food trucks out there that have solar panels and use solar power.

  • arlgirl
  • Chris

    Ugh, now I have to go to the food trucks every day I’m in town next week to help make up for their losses.

  • Lisa

    I work near Courthouse where we are lucky to get one truck a day. On days with no trucks (Mondays and Fridays), I am more likely to bring my lunch vs Subway/Quiznos/Jerry’s/Cosi.

  • Carol_R

    The reality is in my opinion that office workers are not going to pay more than a certain amount for lunch and most don’t have time to eat in at a restaurant. Most of the B&M restaurants are overpriced and the food mediocre. Those that aren’t are doing fine with the food truck competition.

    The food trucks serve a need and create more business since I expect most of those who purchase from them would not be eating in B&M restaurants anyway but would just bring their lunches to work.

  • MariaC

    Where are the truck people going to the bathroom and washing their hands?

    • Dishing Out

      Most food trucks that I see serve the lunch crowd office workers during the work week unless it’s Truckeroo or they’re trucks that serve on Saturdays too. The office workers order their food and then take their order back to the office to eat.

  • Jason S.

    The food truck operators need to get it together and pay attention. If you see a guy with aviator glasses, his polo tucked into his shirt, and a fake beard, that’s a cop.

  • Oz

    In Crystal City, the BID organizes Food Truck Thursdays and provides a specific area for all the trucks to park (originally 18th & Crystal, now 23rd & Clark clusterf*ck.) I just don’t get why the cops are targeting the trucks when they (the trucks) were specifically invited and special area set up for them. If the law is 1 hour for trucks, then the BIDs are shooting themselves in the foot. I agree citizens need to make their thoughts and ideas heard to the board. Why not have 2 or 3 hour truck allowance in specifically designated areas, perhaps with a cap of how many trucks due to space constraints (I think CCBID has a cap.) Trucks reserve their space with the BID (or county), mitigating rogues from just showing up and squatting.

    And to the person who complained about litter – I haven’t seen it in CC.

    • Dishing Out

      +100

      • Oz

        awww…. thanks! Crystal Citians, Unite! :)

  • South Arl

    Most of you commenting on this issue are morons, The police have a job to do and are just enforcing the laws that already exist. Just because Arlington has had several homicides this year doesn’t mean everyone else gets a free pass when they break the law. I’m sure there are detectives working the homicide cases, and after the initial call the “beat cops” go back to their duties as officers. Some one in this post said that ACPD officers hide until they are called, but in the same sentence complained that they are out writing citations to food trucks for violating the law. MAKES A LOT OF SENSE. ACPD is out their doing their job, and the trucks know the rules and if they break them they get a citation easy as that.

    • bman

      you appear to be jealous of north arlington.

  • jb11

    Once again, Arlington County chooses to waste taxpayers’ money. If the police have nothing better to do than harrass small business owners by enforcing nonsensical rules passed in deference to a special interest, than perhaps there should be fewer police. And if the County Board has nothing better to do than make such rules, than we may be better off without it.

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