Taco Truck Turmoil

Taco trucks are already treated as second class citizens. These vagrants of the food world are constantly being told to "move along, pal (or amigo, as the case may be)." But things might be about to get tougher for the noble, mobile purveyor of taco tastiness in L.A.:

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors is considering a new law that could leave the owners of taco and catering trucks facing jail time if they park in the same spot too long.

Currently, the food trucks that overstay the 30-minute limit in unincorporated Los Angeles County are subject only to a fine. But, as the San Gabriel Valley Tribune notes, the ordinance proposed by Supervisor Gloria Molina makes the violation a misdemeanor, which can carry jail time.

As long as there is money to be made, the taquerias will find a loophole. I've been known to give directions (like those mentioned in the original article) using food trucks as landmarks, and expect to be able to continue to do so, even if laws against the trucks become more robust nationwide. Tacos always find a way.

Via Baylen Linnekin

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • Eliot Spitzer||

    How much for a pink taco?

  • Guy Montag||

    In Crystal City/Arlington, VA, they have a Taco trailer, usually parked on the sidewalk on 12th St. S and Clarke. If Arlington County can solve this problem (apparently it involves using a trailer towed by a truck, like a hot-dog stand) I am sure the folks in LA can solve it too.

  • ||

    Does anyone think LoneWacko is going to post about this?

  • Episiarch||

    How much for a pink taco?

    Cinco grand.

  • ed||

    Hmmm...tough one. Truck. Motor. Wheels...move it 2 feet every 30 minutes. Force board of supervisors to provide a legal definition of "same spot". Rejoice in thwarting gringo.

  • Taktix®||

    My alma mater, the University of Pittsburgh, used to have several "chuck wagons" that had been around for years upon years.

    Chancellor Nordenberg, who has been replacing local eateries with the likes of Baha Fresh, etc., pulled the same crap as described in this article and made the chuck wagons leave.

    No more cheap chinese, no more Sree's indian lunchbox, no more $4 pad thai that tastes better than any restaurant I've ever been to.

    Now the students are stuck with sub-par tacos, shitty chain pizza and grief...

  • Taktix®||

    How much for a pink taco?

    Cinco grand cien.

    There, fixed...

  • Rick H.||

    Highland Park's La Estrella truck (pictured) serves awesome food. I like their fixed stand on Figueroa as well.

    Molina is a piece of shit.

  • Taktix®||

    No! Esta cinco mil!

    La ley de Joe golpea otra vez!

  • Episiarch||

    It sure did. Note I did not say "Cinco grande".

  • ||

    Lately, there has been a brouhaha in my town of Santa Cruz CA, over a "Cheap Hauling" company's fleet of trucks, which occupy semi-permanent parking spaces all over the county and are considered as eyesores. The latest response from our fearless leaders is to pass more restrictive parking laws that will apply to all commercial fleets. Have there been similar "long-term parking crises" in other areas of the country, besides Santa Cruz and L.A.? I ask, because I have noted trends and fads in legislation in the past couple of decades: one or two localities get the ball rolling and soon there is an avalanche of city, county, or statewide legislation to deal with some topic-de-jour. I have to assume that a lot of these legislation avalanches are centrally-planned and coordinated by activist groups, and I am wondering if the parking laws being considered in my town and L.A. are only two instances out of many in a larger avalanche of national scope. So if anyone out there knows of similar goings-on in their own towns or regions, post here so we can compare notes.

  • ||

    In the above, I said, "The latest response from our fearless leaders is to pass more restrictive parking laws..." But in fact, we are at the moment only CONSIDERING passing such laws. Prospects for passage seem good, however.

  • ||

    I had the most awesome fish tacos on the beach in Cabo, right after kayaking out to the Arch and back. Good times. And good tacos.

    What's the deal with the silence on Charlton Heston, anyway? He's quoted almost daily around here. I'm offended. Damned dirty apes.

  • ||

    Holy Moses.

  • ||

    Does anyone think LoneWacko is going to post about this?



    I'd bet money that lonewacko has a secret love for Mexican food.

  • Episiarch||

    They're merely preparing Heston's corpse as Solyent Green. When it's ready we can all have some in tribute.

  • ||

    I prefer the foodcarts in New York: Hot dogs cooked in what I assume is urine, and mystery-meat shawarma.

  • ||

    Let my tacos go!

  • Ska||

    As long as you don't insult Mahmoun's shawarma...

  • ||

    IN Oakland there was talk of banning people from parking their RVs on the street, on the grounds that people sometimes live in them. Considering the homicide rate around here (including two recent murders of taco truck patrons, only one of which was gang-related) you'd think they have better things to do.

    The city council also took a stand against unlicensed sales of roses on Valentine's Day. Or they wanted to. Apparently the OPD wasn't behind it. I can't drag up anything on the RV issue, but here is excellent local columnist Chip Johnson on the unlicensed flower vending:

    On the heels of the city's eighth homicide in four days, Edgerly's office announced that the city, in response to complaints from local florists, would enforce a zero-tolerance policy on illegal street vendors on Valentine's Day.

    Police officers and city employees would be assigned to foot patrols and issue citations to any street vendor without a permit, she said. Some police officers shook their heads, while others just laughed. Leaders in the business community were speechless.

    As for me, I'm surprised that the city would approve such a bold plan to take back the streets.

    Bringing the hammer down on street vendors, many of them illegal immigrants trying to scratch out an honest living, while armed gunmen control the night is an insult to citizens and total ineptitude from our city officials. It's not what city residents want to hear.

  • ||

    Did I miss the cccoverage of all of the salmonella poisonings trace to these nefarious "taco trucks"?

    Or was it that emergency vehicles were impeded by these blights on the urban landscape, causing massive loss of lives in a fire?

    Or are they cutting into a politically connected group's business?

  • Chas||

    "As long as you don't insult Mahmoun's shawarma..."

    In Lowertown Manhattan? Is it still there?

  • LarryA||

    Armed gunmen v. vendors selling roses.

    Which would you rather track down and arrest?

    in response to complaints from local florists/Leaders in the business community were speechless.

    Be careful what you ask for.

  • Douglas Gray||

    Busting a taco truck in Hollywood is a lot easier for the cops than patrolling South Bureau (The murder capital of the L.A. Area)

    One of the trucks in the Hollywood area was recently featured on a food blog as having one of the best burritos in town.

    What needs to be done is to lure a City Council member to the truck near the 30 minute limit, then make a citizen's arrest, and include the Council member as an accessory to the crime.

  • ||

    Are you sure this isn't a plot by the local areparia underground?

  • thoreau||

    I really want to learn more about this, but nobody has given me anything to click on.

    :)

  • Travis||

    The city of Des Moines where I live recently passed a ordinance that makes mobile vendors pay for a permit every month it was around $150 if I remember right. Plus they are not allowed to stay in one spot for more then 1 month even if they have permission from the property owner to use that land. This was all passed because some rich elitist pricks who didn't live anywhere close to where these vendors operated but drove through the area every once in a while didn't like the view. They tried to sell the ordinance as protecting public health saying the mobile vendors were health hazards. It turned out after the local paper looked into it the mobile vendors had fewer health code violations then normal restaurants.

  • Click \'n\' Learn||

    Here's more on Gloria Molina, and if you do a find for her name here you'll find an unverified rumor. And, here's more recent information on the SVREP group with which she has/had some involvement.

    I realize these support-the-not-so-free-market-at-any-cost posts are easy to do, but if Katherine Mangu-Ward and the rest would like to do some real reporting occasionally, they should note that I have a handy search function on each of my pages.

  • ||

    In Crystal City/Arlington, VA, they have a Taco trailer, usually parked on the sidewalk on 12th St. S and Clarke. If Arlington County can solve this problem [...] I am sure the folks in LA can solve it too.

    Run that one for me again... WHY is it a problem? Since when is a productive endeavor a problem?

  • ||

    Lately, there has been a brouhaha in my town of Santa Cruz CA, over a "Cheap Hauling" company's fleet of trucks

    No kidding - you mean the People's Republic of Santa Cruz? I've seen those trucks, and yes they could be considered "eye sores" by some, but for me they are a beautiful reminder that some people still work for a living in S.C. providing an affordable, desirable service, in contrast with the parasitical UCSC students and the myriads of homeless that stroll up and down Downtown.

  • Mike Laursen||

    Here's more on Gloria Molina, and if you do a find for her name here you'll find an unverified rumor. And, here's more recent information on the SVREP group with which she has/had some involvement.

    Whatever. Boring news about some lame-ass disagreement at some boring meeting, boring news about an unverified rumor, and boring news about some dorkwad conference. What we really want to know is if you like MexicanFood.

  • megs||

    I can't even imagine a similar situation here in Ottawa with the fry trucks. They're also operated by minorities and immigrants (though probably not illegal, since Canada seems to like importing people), some of them park downtown where driving is awful and they don't help the situation, and they're not pretty. But they're a goddamn institution and Canadians need poutine! There would be riots in the streets. Also, I'm in love with the one in front of a certain Canadian Tire.

  • ||

    MMMMMMMM....roach coach food.

    Driving truck, chasin produce loads from Salinas, Castroville, San Juan Bautiste and Watsonville to bring back to Florida, the main food source for me was mexican food from the roach coaches parked near the coolers where I got loaded. Cheap, easy and damn good food. And never got sick.


    hint: the korean guy in Santa Fe Springs doesn't do mexican food very well.

  • ||

    You'll get my trailer arepas when you pry them from my cold dead hands.

    Which, given what they are cooked in, could be any day now.

  • sathi2000||

    Thanks, Kwix. I don't think I've ever before won a thread in my life. But back on topic, who gets freckle removal? I dislike self-hating people, even self-hating gingers.
    http://www.mirei.com

  • ||

    I feel strongly about information and love learning more on this. If possible, as you gain expertise, It is extremely helpful for me.
    San Antonio Roofing Contractor

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online

  • Progressive Puritans: From e-cigs to sex classifieds, the once transgressive left wants to criminalize fun.
  • Port Authoritarians: Chris Christie’s Bridgegate scandal
  • The Menace of Secret Government: Obama’s proposed intelligence reforms don’t safeguard civil liberties

SUBSCRIBE

advertisement