Friday, April 07, 2006

Banning A Piece Of Americana In South Florida

With warm weather rapidly approaching, it took a lot of nerve to ban ice cream trucks in one South Florida city:
Ice cream vendors gathered outside Miami Gardens City Hall on Wednesday to protest an ordinance that bans ice cream trucks.

Initially, ice cream trucks were allowed 500 feet from parks and schools. Last May, the City Council passed an ordinance banning them altogether.

"They have revoked the licenses of these ice cream vendors. We've been in this area for a lot of years, more than 25 years, selling ice cream to the families and the kids in this area. We've always worked with a very high standard," ice cream supplier Peter Diaz said.

"I have kids to take care of, a mortgage to pay, and this is my job. This is my living," said another vendor.

Christopher Steers, of the city of Miami Gardens, gave some reasons for the ban.

"There was a lot of trash around the surrounding areas. The last report that I got from the school principal is that the number of kids that congregate -- someone skips the line, a fight breaks out. It causes kids to run into the street," Steers said.

"We work really hard and these are working hard men and women that need their career," Diaz said.

The protesters, who live and work in Miami Gardens, claim that they are being ticketed just for driving their trucks in the area, NBC 6's Amara Sohn reported.

"We're not in the business of trying to discourage business. We're not in the business of trying to discourage our residents. But we do have to make our rules and enforce our rules," Steers said.

The protesters said they are either not working or are driving as far as Hialeah or Opa-locka to sell their ice cream.

City representatives said they are encouraging the protesters to bring their concerns to the next City Council meeting, although they cannot guarantee any revision of the ordinance.
Heh. Banning ice cream trucks just in time for the kids' summer vacation. What's next? Will the City Council be banning hot dogs, apple pie, and Chevrolets?
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