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Task Force Assembled to Study Food Trucks Parking in Venice

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A food truck on Abbot Kinney during First Fridays on July 2 (Photo by polaroid-girl via the LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr)

A food truck on Abbot Kinney during First Fridays on July 2 (Photo by polaroid-girl via the LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr)
First Fridays in Venice draws crowds, and so do the food trucks that park along the vibrant strip of Abbot Kinney to take part in the monthly festivities. However, there has been concern growing about the impact the mobile businesses have on the neighborhood, reports The Argonaut, and now the Neighborhood Council has formed a task force to explore the issue.

Parking and trash are the primary negative impacts stemming from the trucks, say local business owners and residents. Per the newly-formed task force, "complaints have included taking up valuable parking spaces, posing a traffic safety hazard by impeding traffic flow and creating a litter problem."

This month, two members of the task force "conducted a survey on how people feel about Abbot Kinney food truck operations at the most recent First Friday, July 2 and plan to incorporate the survey results and other research when making recommendations to the neighborhood council." They're also looking at how other cities and neighborhoods are handling the food truck trend and its affect on the area.

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Some in Venice are happy to have the trucks because they serve good food and draw new people to the neighborhood, but even those same enthusiasts feel differently when they are looking for a place to park. The Neighborhood Council's task force is also working with "City Councilman Bill Rosendahl’s office, the city Department of Transportation and Parking Enforcement, the City Planning Commission and the Venice council’s land use and planning committee regarding the issue locally."

"Food brings people together and food trucks are no exception," says Venice resident Matt Geller, head of the Southern California Mobile Food Vendors Association. Geller wants his organization to be part of the solution, and he "hopes to work with local communities to alleviate some of the problems associated with the food truck industry. One step it has taken is providing workers to help empty the trash bins and clean the street following the First Friday events."