At least having a discussion about allowing food trucks in downtown Decatur is a great idea.
Food trucks are prohibited from parking in specific zones that make up most of the downtown area.
We understand that downtown restaurants don't want their competition doubled by mobile kitchens who can swoop in, nab customers, then race to the next place to nab customers.
Food trucks, meanwhile, are trucks. They're mobile. They represent a new and growing part of our economy and culture. They're subjected to the same rules and regulations and inspections as a traditional bricks and mortar building. They should be able to practice their craft as they're able and where they can, as the law allows.
Understandably, business owners can grow testy and suspicious of one another, especially when survival is at stake. Owners of restaurant businesses – whether in a building or a vehicle – require daily miracles just to keep their doors open. For that, they deserve our respect, our admiration and, most important of all, our ears.
As the city ponders changing the ordinance, that gives those in favor of and opposed to downtown food trucks opportunities to make their cases. The eventual decision will not be a slam dunk, and it probably won't be an easy truce to negotiate.
But let's hear the positives and negatives of the possibility. That's the only way we can make a decision that's as fair and reasonable as possible.