Tuesday, June 18, 2013
The Creative Portland Corp. did the right thing Wednesday and recommended lifting the city's ban on food trucks. The City Council should follow that recommendation and open the door to a new kind of small business.
These kitchens on wheels have become popular in other foodie metropolitan areas and Creative Portland Corp. wants the city to allow them in Portland.
Courtesy Andy Graham/Creative Portland Corp.
Food trucks selling sandwiches and coffee have long been seen in other cities around construction sites and other places where there are no permanent businesses to supply a meal.
More recently, entrepreneurs have seen the trucks as a low-cost way to get into the restaurant business, providing interesting cuisine to places where the people are.
Portland, with its highly developed restaurant culture and busy street life, seems to be an ideal place to let chefs try out their new ideas.
The prospect of lifting the ban has raised concerns from some in the food business, who point out that they pay property taxes and contribute to the local economy by creating jobs. They see the trucks as competition with an unfair advantage.
This needn't be a problem. A food truck is not a restaurant, and customers looking to sit down and be served a meal are not likely to confuse them.
These trucks are more likely to serve as a creative alternative to more conventional fast food, and should be welcomed by a city that prides itself on being an interesting place to live, work and visit.