Raleigh’s City Council voted 6-2 on Tuesday to end many restrictions on food trucks downtown. The move should be welcomed by entrepreneurs, free market advocates, and those interested in trying the trucks’ often delicious fare. The City Council did attach some regulations with the new law, however. From the News & Observer:
The regulations will allow food truck operators to set up on private property in Raleigh as long as they are at least 100 feet from the main entrance or outdoor dining area of any restaurant, 50 feet from any food vending cart and 150 feet from the property line of any single-family home or duplex.
They can operate from 6 a.m. to 3 a.m. daily unless they are near a single-family home, which will limit hours to 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.
The regulations will take effect Oct. 1.
While these regulations are somewhat onerous, they are nothing compared to limitations previously discussed, and the City Council thankfully did not listen to those who advocated a medallion system similar to the awful regulatory scheme that controls the number of New York taxi cab drivers.
While downtown restaurant owners are understandably annoyed that the City Council has approved their new competitors, it is important to remember that laws are supposed to be passed for the benefit of all, not just those currently occupying the market. Barriers to entry like the city’s old restrictions limit choice for consumers and artificially inflate prices for the benefit of narrow interests.
Raleigh-area residents can forward to enjoying expanded access to a variety of fast, mobile food options, ranging from cheap and deliciously greasy to organic and gourmet.