Just how safe is it to grab a tasty taco from a truck?

No matter how tasty those tacos with carne asada appear in the taco trucks along El Camino Real, the city highly advises against quick dashes across the street to patronize the vendors.

Mobile food vendors — typically serving Mexican cuisine and dubbed “taco trucks” or the cruder “roach coach” — are standard fare along the busy thoroughfare.

El Camino Real spells big business for the vendors and high foot-traffic from hungry office workers or passers-by. However, the city is concerned that the trucks are creating safety problems.

San Bruno police Chief Neil Telford said he has seen a number of close calls on El Camino directly related to cars abruptly zooming across lanes toward the vendors. Telford also said callers regularly complain about similar near-accidents.

Though there have been no accidents, to Telford’s knowledge, directly related to the mobile vendors, El Camino is no stranger to collisions. The roadway, which has a speed limit of 35 miles per hour, saw 188 vehicle accidents between July 1, 2005, and June 30, 2006, eight of which involved parked cars, according to the San Bruno Police Department.

Parking has become another issue related to taco trucks. The 24-foot-long vehicles not only obstruct views of oncoming traffic; they are taking up valuable space when they park for more than the allotted two hours.

These concerns were presented to vehicle vendors at a meeting approximately three weeks ago, Telford said. The city originally proposed a 30-minute parking window for vendors, a proposal unpopular with the vendors.

A proposal being voted on by the City Council later this month would allow mobile food vendors, like all other vehicles on El Camino, to park for two hours before moving from their spots. Even if vendors find their way to a four-hour spot they would still be relegated to the two-hour limit. They would also be prohibited from returning to a spot within 500 feet of their original location within three hours, City Attorney Pamela Thompson said.

Mobile vendors working on Thursday declined to comment. At a taqueria truck on El Camino, just south of the Interstate 280 and Interstate 380 onramps, nearby office worker Jon Grending said two hours seemed like a fair amount of time.

“They shouldn’t be causing accidents or impeding safety,” Grending said. “But they should be able to sell their food, especially since they’re so popular around here.”

tramroop@examiner.com

Bay Area NewsLocal

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

U.S. President-elect Joe Biden and Jill Biden arrive at Biden's inauguration on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol on January 20, 2021, in Washington, DC.  (Win McNamee/Getty Images/TNS)
Joe Biden issues call for ‘unity’ amidst extreme partisan rancor

‘I will be a president for all Americans,’ he says in inauguration speech

From left, Doug Emhoff, U.S. Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, Jill Biden and President-elect Joe Biden wave as they arrive on the East Front of the U.S. Capitol for the inauguration on Jan. 20, 2021 in Washington, DC. During today’s inauguration ceremony Joe Biden becomes the 46th president of the United States. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images/TNS)
Joe Biden inaugurated as 46th president as Trump era comes to an end

Todd Spangler Detroit Free Press Taking over the reins of government at… Continue reading

San Francisco City Hall is lit in gold and amber to remember victims as part of a national Memorial to Lives Lost to COVID-19 on Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2021. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
San Francisco joins national COVID memorial ceremony

San Francisco took part Tuesday in the first national Memorial to Lives… Continue reading

(Allen J. Schaben/Los Angeles Times/TNS)
With executive orders, Biden to reverse Trump policies on environment, immigration

Evan Halper Los Angeles Times President-elect Joe Biden will move swiftly to… Continue reading

Private vehicles were banned from much of Market Street in January 2020, causing bike ridership on the street to increase by 25 percent and transit efficiency by as much as 12 percent. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
SFMTA board approves new Better Market Street legislation

Advocates say traffic safety improvements don’t go far enough to make up for lost bikeway

Most Read