Montgomery Avenue was empty of food trucks from Friday to Sunday after Temple began the process of painting lines on the street where a new vending district will be enforced.
The vending district was introduced last year by City Council President Darrell Clarke—whose district covers Main Campus—to create structure for food trucks and carts on Main Campus. A city ordinance was passed in September by Mayor Nutter and was set to take effect this spring.
Positions of trucks have been determined through seniority and 13th Street will be cleared, said Special Assistant to the President Bill Bergman. Bergman added there will not be many changes on campus and the vending district will provide a “more orderly approach” to vending on Main Campus.
Drexel University’s vending district did not influence Temple’s, Bergman said. He added the University of Pennsylvania’s vending district was brought up during deliberations but the vending district was formed to fit the concerns of vendors.
“[Vendors] could be in a different location,” Bergman said. “It will be business as usual but in a more orderly fashion.”
“People in Temple have a long history with vendors and want to continue to see them on the street,” he added.
The district will accommodate 50 spots for vendors, with 36 for food trucks and 14 for carts on campus. The city’s department of Licenses and Inspections will enforce the district.
Some vendors said they were aware of the bill but were not sure of the next steps and how it will be enforced.
“There isn’t much information we’ve been told yet,” said Lilly Dzemaili, owner of Richie’s Lunchbox, located on Norris Street. ““All I know now is they’re painting the lines for the trucks.”
“It’s an inconvenience [moving the trucks],” she added. “At first [Temple] asked us to move our trucks on Thursday, but we were going to lose business. They let us move Friday, but I know that’s an inconvenience to the people who are open on Saturday.”
Howard Foreman, owner of Caribbean Feast—located on Montgomery Avenue—cart owner said he was unsure when the district would start being enforced. He added he was still waiting for information on if his cart was going to be changed from a generator-operated truck to a power cord.
Dzemaili believes seniority is a fair way to determine who gets each spot.
“[Permanent spots] will be helpful because I think they’re going to keep the amount of trucks that are on campus that have been here for the longest time,” she said. “Competition is good—but Temple doesn’t want trucks all over the university.”
“Everyone’s in one area—like you’re going shopping at a shopping center so there’s more businesses on one block,” she added. “Nothing’s really definite, so we are a little bit worried what kind of changes are going to take place.”
Bergman said he was optimistic about the district.
“I believe it will be at the end of the day a much better operation,” he said.
Gillian McGoldrick can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @gill_mcgoldrick.