Food for ThoughtBy Austin Otis
February 25, 2019
It’s worth mentioning; that there will most likely be local businesses strongly opposed to food truck expansion due to competition amongst locally established restaurants. We saw this issue come to fruition in the case of Uber trying to operate within the community, then seeing pushback from local taxi companies. Thankfully, voters eventually approved its operations, which helped expand transportation options. We shouldn’t disregard local’s concerns about food trucks such as reduced parking spaces during the summer months, or businesses focusing too much on tourism while side stepping locals. These are legitimate arguments, which could be easily addressed in a new city ordinance that bounds food trucks within specific operating hours and areas. It should be noted that current local restaurants already make the majority of their revenue off tourism, overwhelmingly cater to tourists during the seasonal months, and would be significantly hindered if tourist customers were limited.
If or when the City of Ketchikan pursues a change in its ordinances against mobile food in favor of accommodating them, the local government could set which days and hours food trucks operate in order to strike the best deal for the community. Local residents that are wary of food truck frenzy should be able to voice their concerns about a new uncharted industry that could potentially impact the downtown area. However, many locals welcome a food truck industry that allows us to show off our unique local cuisine and would give residents another avenue to create locally based businesses.
Received February 21s, 2019 - Published February 25, 2019
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