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Taco truck forced to move from UES

December 16, 2010 12:33:53 PM PST
Paty's Taco Truck is a new addition along Broadway in Morningside Heights.

The owner, Alberto Loera, says he was forced to move from his old spot along Lexington Avenue on the Upper East Side.

"The police just was showing up everyday, everyday giving us summons, giving us tickets. Telling us that, you know, we needed to move," Loera said.

Loera says the harassment finally culminated in his arrest and the impoundment of his truck.

That's when he thought it best to move on.

Eyewitness News asked Loera if business was as good in Morningside Heights as it was on the Upper East Side.

"No, not at all. It's totally like dead, you know, people don't know us here," Loera said.

Many who live near 86th Street and Lexington Avenue freely admit they don't want the trucks in their neighborhood, saying they violate parking rules, take up much needed space and compete with brick and mortar businesses in an already congested area.

Upper East Sider Teri Slater suggests there are areas that are a much better fit for the truck vendors.

"Places like you have at lunchtime, thousands of people on the street. Those are the places the city should look at to make available space for food trucks, financial district, midtown, tourist areas," Slater said.

One city councilmember has even proposed legislation that would revoke a food truck's license after three parking violations.

"When somebody prints out a menu that says we are here 12 hours a day, seven days a week, at the same spot and they are not paying for that real estate, I think that rubs people the wrong way," said Jessica Lapin, city councilmember.

The owners of Paty's Taco Truck say there should be room for everyone, no matter the neighborhood.

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