Sunday, May 29, 2011

You now have the right to eat Roach Coach food in San Antonio

The Institute For Justice has triumphed over evil

Practiced since ancient times, street vending is more popular than ever. The Economist magazine predicted that in 2011 “some of the best food Americans eat may come from a food truck.” Vendors are the darlings of many food critics, and they even have their own reality show on the Food Network.

But El Paso, Texas, has recently made it illegal for mobile food vendors to operate within 1,000-feet of any restaurant, convenience store, or grocer. The city even prohibits vendors from parking to await customers, which forces vendors to constantly drive around town until a customer successfully flags them down–and then be on the move again as soon as the customer walks away.

Thus, while people across the country embrace mobile vendors for the vitality and creativity they bring to a local restaurant scene, El Paso has decided to threaten vendors with thousands of dollars in fines and effectively run them out of town. El Paso’s No-Vending Zone scheme is in place for one reason: to protect brick-and-mortar restaurants from honest competition. But economic protectionism is not a valid use of government power.

Someday soon, I'm going to throw out a Bon Apetit/Gourmet magazine parody post that ranks all of the Fort Worth Roach Coaches, since I'm somewhat of a fan of the concept. 
The people who operate them have to endure lots of crap from government pygmies. 
Go here if you've got time to read some old rants about other municipalities trying to shut down street vendors.  Or licensing tamale ladies. 


CenTexTim said...

"You now have the right to eat Roach Coach food in San Antonio"

San Antonio? or El Paso?

The Whited Sepulchre said...

Whoops !!!
Ok, El Paso, San Antonio.
Someplace south of Waco.