Crony Capitalism in Saint Louis?

Stl Food Truck Map

See this map? Imagine if you, as a Saint Louisan wanted to get food from delicious food trucks for lunch. Reason informs us:

The text is a little hard to read, so let me help you out. Vendors can’t park in the red parts. Or the blue parts. Or the yellow parts. Also, stay away from hydrants and bus stops.

The Post Dispatch also notes:

City officials emailed a map Thursday to about 20 food-truck owners and operators that details the large portions of downtown that are off-limits for them to park.

The updated map draws a 200-foot no-parking-zone around every brick-and-mortar restaurant in the Downtown Vending District, which runs roughly from 18th Street east to Interstate 70/55 and from Cole Street south to Chouteau Avenue.

The trucks also are not allowed within 200 feet of other types of street vendors or within several blocks of Busch Stadium, America’s Center and the Edward Jones Dome. A previous version of the map included suggested areas where food trucks could park; the new version does not.

In short, Saint Louis has been bought by restaurants who don’t want you to have the choice of food trucks. That’s how I see it. Businesses cozying up with government to stifle competition is crony capitalism, and it is wrong.

SLU Alumni and famed restaurateur, Chris Sommers tells the Post Dispatch:

“Like any new industry or trend, as soon as everyone jumps in, the regulations follow, which often makes sense. In this case, I think the city is over-regulating,” Pi Pizzeria owner Chris Sommers said. “They do need to protect existing businesses, but the 200-foot rule plus the silly Cardinals and Convention Zones are too much.”

Of course, I agree with him that the regulations go too far, but disagree that it’s the role of any government to “protect existing businesses.” Sommers’s politics are a tad different than mine, though.

Sommers’s Pi Pizzeria (which is in DC) also operates food trucks both in Saint Louis and in Washington, D.C. — so for him, he has potentially conflicting interests. 

WHAT DO YOU THINK? Vote and sound off in the comments…

[poll id=”19″]

UPDATE: Thanks to the Show Me Institute  for the link. Check out their story: Papa John’s and The Case of the Over-Regulated Food Trucks

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  1. Pingback: Papa John’s and The Case of the Over-Regulated Food Trucks « The Greenroom

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