Food Truck No-Fly Zone
For those with long memories, Burrito Justice pretty much got started because of the city’s rather ridiculous 1500 foot no-fly zone for taco trucks around high schools. But our friendly food trucks are being attacked again.
While we are sympathetic to the argument that food trucks are undercutting school lunch programs, the evidence and logic are thinner than a tortilla:
- High school kids, presuming they can leave campus at all, can still go to convenience stores and restaurants that are often closer than taco trucks.
- The students did not seem to be going to the taco trucks anyway.
But a new threat is on the horizon, more specifically from that not particularly useful part of Sacramento known as the State Legislature – a bill is in the works banning food trucks around ALL schools, elementary through high schools.
- light red circles show the existing SF exclusion zone around high schools
- dark red circles show the proposed state expansion of the exclusion zone around primary schools
- blue dots show location of food trucks
The aggregate area of all exclusion zones is 62 square miles, greater than the size of the our 7×7 city!
- Note the circles on this map are 1650′ to account for the size of the schools themselves (assuming 300′x300′).
- The legislation is vague, and it’s not clear if private schools may or may not be included — here’s a map showing both.
- We’re looking to see what other data layers might be interesting (restaurants and convenience stores?)
We’re constantly editing the map, but this link will take you to the latest interactive version.
- see also this map of the impact on Orange County.
- Paolo Lucchesi looks at the impact of AB-1678, and interviews Assemblyman Bill Monning who tries to paint this as a war against “trucks parked up against curbs” of schools.
AB-1678 is a well meaning but poorly thought out law. None of us want trans-fat laden food trucks serving school kids. But 1500′ is complete overkill, especially in densely populated urban areas. There are ways to protect school lunch programs without punishing adults or killing off our vibrant food trucks. As a parent, I’m more upset at all the crapsicle push carts that aggregate outside elementary schools than the thought of a high school senior absconding with al pastor.
IANAL, but why not a more reasonable exclusion zone, similar to the 600′ for liquor stores, along with a ban on selling food to minors during the day?
Supervisor Scott Wiener comments:
I am seriously considering legislation to reduce San Francisco’s current 1,500 foot requirement for middle and high schools. There’s no reason for the distance to be more than a city block (approximately 500 feet on average). I also question why middle schools were included in the original legislation, given that San Francisco public middle schools are all closed campuses, which I confirmed with district staff.
Here’s a map showing the impact of a 500′ radius (actually 650′, assuming the same 300′x300′ school size):
And of course, here’s an animated GIF showing the difference between this reasonable proposal and the other unreasonable one:
Let the maelstrom pour forth in the comments.