Assignment2 - Matt Burke PPD 417 Assignment#2 The Rise of...

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Matt Burke PPD 417 November 23, 2009 Assignment #2 The Rise of Mobile Food Trucks Introduction Taco Trucks and food and street vendors a have always been a part of the Los Angeles landscape. They add character and color to the city and also provide an important service – cheap, affordable and often times delicious food to all types of people. One unique characteristic of taco trucks is the clientele that are often seen ordering from them. From construction workers to bankers to the homeless to students taco trucks truly serve all walks of life. Businesses, cities and people have lamented mobile food vendors charging them for taking away business, causing blight, being unhealthy and trashing their streets causing certain ordinances and regulations to be passed over the last century to both help and prevent mobile food vendors. The ordinances have had a cyclical pattern that started with limiting the use of mobile vendors to then regulating them then back to limiting and now ordinances that offer more freedom to vendors with an increase in fees, permits, tickets and limited entry. Methodology This assignment was different than the other assignments because I am reporting on a something that is mobile. There are no Sanborn maps to record what has happened at a single location. The whole concept behind taco trucks and mobile food vendors is their mobility. In part this leads to their success, where brick and mortar restaurants are
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confined to one place, mobile vendors can move to where the business is. So when I did my research for this project I focused on newspaper articles. I search mainly in the Historical Los Angeles Times in ProQuest looking for ordinances and regulations for mobile food vendors, taco trucks, and pushcarts in Los Angeles. My initial query resulted in 437 articles, which I sifted through to find the most relevant articles. I focused on finding articles that were focused on ordinances and regulations that were being passed, had passed, or were being overturned. I also made my search from 1900 to the present. Most of the major vending ordinances that came through Los Angeles began in the late 1970s and early 80s and have continued to the present day. There were very little laws, statuettes, or ordinances written about in the Los Angeles Times regarding food vendors until then, so my research is limited in that respect. I did find some noteworthy articles in the early 1900s that I will discuss, but from then until the city started really cracking down on mobile food vendors the articles become very far apart. I was very limited on tracking the number of mobile food vendors in the city of Los Angeles. Numbers varied over the years and are very hard to estimate. One article said there were only “2,500 licensed foodservice vehicles in operation as well as untold numbers of unlicensed mobile food vendors” (Jennings 2008). While another article reported the county had 14,000 registered catering trucks (Nguyen 2008). Also without
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This note was uploaded on 10/25/2010 for the course PPD 417 taught by Professor Hise during the Spring '08 term at USC.

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Assignment2 - Matt Burke PPD 417 Assignment#2 The Rise of...

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