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Bill giving lunch wagons more operational time on the street advances


A bill allowing food trucks and other vendors to operate along city roads and highways for up to three hours advanced from the City Council Transportation Committee this afternoon.

The measure was introduced on behalf of food truck vendors who say police officers have been slapping citations and issuing warnings against them, disrupting their operations especially in downtown Honolulu neighborhoods.

Honolulu police Maj. Sean Naito, Honolulu patrol district commander, said while the Police Department neither supports nor opposes the bill, it does have concerns about enforceability. 

A number of food truck vendors said the current law is being enforced by only a few police officers in certain parts of downtown. An attorney for one of the vendors said in the case of a food vendor she represents, there was no citizen complaint that prompted the citation.

The Hawaii Restaurant Association submitted testimony suggesting there be a provision barring food trucks from doing business within a certain distance from "brick and mortar," or standing, restaurants.

City Transportation Services Director Wayne Yoshioka suggested Council members look more deeply into the issue and perhaps consider establishing a permitting process that spells out when and where food trucks can do business.

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