They’re zoned out of existence:
Instead, the city sets lots of rules about where food trucks are notallowed — then lets the truck owners duke it out over the scraps.
You have to be 20 feet away from subway stations and building entrances. Two hundred feet from schools (call it the ice-cream truck provision). And the NYPD just started giving out tickets for selling food from metered parking spots.
“Following all the regulatory constraints that are currently enforced at this moment, there really is not any place for a food truck to park,” says David Weber. He’s the other owner of the Rickshaw Dumpling, and he just wrote the Food Truck Handbook.
And, unsurprisingly, the merchants turn to an informal code to deal with allocations of scarce property rights:
Food vendors avert a full out war through an informal code of conduct. You respect the guy who got there first. If you’re a jerk, the other guy can make your day miserable. A hot dog cart, say, can block your truck window and keep you from doing any business at all.
“We’ve gone to spots before,” Lao says, “where the falafel guys and the shish kebab guys will come up and say, ‘What’s your menu? Do you sell chicken? … You can’t sell chicken on this block. I’m the chicken guy on 52nd St.
H/T The only fool who actually listens to, and reads NPR.