Opinion

The cart before the council

The Bite food truck has been in Nelson for several years and more might be coming. The City of Nelson needs to ensure they are ready for it. - Megan Cole photo
The Bite food truck has been in Nelson for several years and more might be coming. The City of Nelson needs to ensure they are ready for it.
— image credit: Megan Cole photo

Nelson’s downtown is our greatest (human built) asset. It’s what sets us apart from other rural burgs and provides the charm to our lakeside setting.

It’s no surprise when issues impacting the core of our community arise, the dialogue is passionate. From patios to buskers to sandwich boards, policy and vision for the downtown is where our leaders earn their keep.

You will find the second part of reporter Megan Cole’s look at the rise of food trucks here. It’s a good read and you should check it out on Page 12.

Cole took on this story because of her combined interests in food and politics. This assignment was perfect for her.

In larger communities the food truck craze has taken hold and it has spurred much debate in the offices of decision makers in places like Portland and Vancouver. Though food trucks have not become a regular feature of our landscape, it seems inevitable. We wanted to know how the city and community leaders plan to deal with it.

In today’s story councillor Donna Macdonald tells us the issue is on the radar at City Hall, but not something that has caused much of a stir to date. That could all change in the coming years.

It sounds like council is currently taking on the food truck issue under the task of putting together the Downtown and Waterfront Sustainable Master Plan. We hope they take food trucks seriously.

Food trucks can add new spice to a community’s core. By offering a diversity of dishes, the consumer is well served and visitors to our area have even more dining options. The biggest danger in getting too excited about food trucks is the risk of making life more difficult for brick-and-mortar restaurant owners. Those who have planted deep roots in the community and have been contributing to our all-season vibrancy for a long time.

Food trucks are a growing part of North American culture and it doesn’t look like they are driving off anytime soon. Community leaders and business owners need to find solutions that work for everybody. Rather than reacting, it’s time for creative thinking.

 

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