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Food Truck Influx Adds to Staten Island's Traffic Woes, Drivers Say

By Nicholas Rizzi | February 26, 2013 9:28am

STATEN ISLAND — An influx of food carts on Staten Island is clogging the borough's already congested streets, motorists said.

Dozens of food trucks have appeared on street corners and in parking lots, locals said. The problem is particularly bad at large mini malls with many restaurants — favored spots for vendors vying for customers.

Drivers said pulling in and out of the lots has become harder, exacerbated by cars double-parked as drivers wait for food.

“They sprouted up all over Staten Island,” said Tony Cosentino, a member of Community Board 1, about the carts.

“They create problems in all the parking lots. They kind of exacerbate the situation.”

There are currently 36 food truck permits issued for the borough, more than double the 14 that were approved in 2011, according to the Health Department.

Ken Tirado, a board member, said the corner of Victory Boulevard and Clove Road — an intersection that's already notorious for bad traffic — has gotten even worse. A halal vendor who recently set up shop nearby places cones in the street in front of his cart, Tirado said.

“That is an example of one of these street vendors totally hurting traffic flow and causing big problems,” he said.

The cart was not there last week, and owners and workers at other food trucks refused to comment to DNAinfo.com New York.

Tirado said he and the other board members aren’t against the trucks because of the food they make, but would rather see them only at fairs or in parks.

“It is true that a lot of the legitimate food trucks, the ones that present a unique ethnic food, are welcome to a lot of fairs,” he said.

“But these street vendors are just sort of setting up shop, taking metered parking spaces away from other businesses.”