Under pressure to make changes at Downtown's popular Art Walk after a car jumped a curb and killed a baby last month, Councilmembers Jan Perry and Jose Huizar convened a task force to look at making the event, now attracting around 30,000 people each Walk, safer. The councilmembers announced a short-term solution today: banning food trucks and street vendors from parking lots and streets in the prime Art Walk area between Spring and Main and Third and Seventh. The intention is to spread out the footprint, so the sidewalks are less densely packed and not spilling over with people. Blogdowntown commenters--as well as those on the Art Walk's Facebook page--question the decision (on blogdowntown, one commenter asks, "So an individual/private car driver kills a baby by pressing gas instead of the brake...and somehow the blame is on the food truck vendors? The blame is on the sidewalks?"). According to a release from Huizar and Perry, "Street Services inspectors will attend to keep sidewalks clear of unpermitted items such as DJ equipment, craft vendors, carts, etc." We're waiting on a call for Perry's office to hear more about the vendor decision. Meanwhile, the trucks will have to move fast to get permitting if they hope to set up near Art Walk's perimeter tomorrow night (the relevant departments will be helping to expedite the process). The Huizar/Perry task force will continue to look for more solutions to increase safety--some want the streets closed to vehicular traffic during the event. Image by R.E.
· Food Truck, Vendors Out of Art Walk Core [blogdowntown]