Elen sila lumenn omentielvo!

Friday, September 30, 2011

Decision by committee

Actually, that's wrong, come to think of it -- in Buffalo, we don't make decisions by committee. We have committees listen to people talk about the issue, and then the committee makes another committee to make the decision! Ye Gods.

For those not in Buffalo, there's been controversy 'round these parts about...food trucks. Not big trucks delivering food to stores and restaurants, but literally "restaurants on wheels". These are trucks outfitted with food prep equipment in the back, and they basically drive to a spot, hang out their shingle for a few hours, and serve food to customers. Several food trucks have taken to the streets of the City of Buffalo, much to the pleasure of folks who work downtown, and yet much to the displeasure of actual restaurants downtown, who have been lobbying the city government ferociously to "regulate" the trucks. Of course, the restaurants' notion of "regulation" would basically make doing business downtown nigh impossible for the food trucks, who really need to have access to downtown customers if they're going to be viable enterprises.

Alan Bedenko has been doing yeoman duty on these issues, which provide a fascinating microcosm on the various problems with Buffalo: how hard we make it for businesses to take root here, how insular we can be, how our tendency to "circle the wagons" has almost led us to a state of permanent wagon-circling. Here's hoping this can be a step away from all of Buffalo's past tendencies to keep its pistol firmly aimed at its own foot.

1 comment:

Roger Owen Green said...

The food trucks in Albany ARE regulated; they are also stationaery. They are located around the state capitol, and it seems to have worked out amicably. The patrons like it, the restaurants - and there are none in that particular stretch - the massive state ed building is across the street - don't seem to mind - and the trucks are OK with it.
Haven't read the article the the Buffalo issues, but I'm betting that this is a solvable problem.