Food vendor trucks move to Margaret Morrison Street

Regular patrons of the food "trucks" on Tech Street will have to adjust their routine this fall. The six mobile food vendors that once lined Tech Street beside Posner Hall have been relocated to Margaret Morrison Street, across from the sororities.

Sarit Tasit, a vendor from the Thai Kitchen truck, said he heard rumors about the trucks' relocation a few months ago. Tasit also mentioned that representatives from both Carnegie Mellon and the City of Pittsburgh approached the vendors in early July to inform them of a future move.

According to Tasit, that was the last he heard about relocation until the vendors received a notice from the City of Pittsburgh Department of Public Works on August 24. The notice read simply: "As of August 17, 2005, new spots were designated. Please move to your new location on Margaret Morrison Street immediately."

The vendors remained in their Tech Street locations until August 26, when they received a second notice saying, "Permitted location: Move by 3PM today to new location (Margaret Morrison) or citation will be written." All six vendors complied.
"We had no choice, no chance," said Tasit.

"They should have sent a letter to let us know the problem and give us more time to move," agreed Vrai Tasit, also a vendor with Thai Kitchen. "First, it's too far. And when the snow comes in the winter? Forget it. We'll be dead in the winter."

However, Associate Vice President Michael Murphy cites several objectives in relocating the food vendors. "The primary concerns with the old location were the proximity to the entrances to two major academic buildings and the congested nature of the Tech-Margaret Morrison intersection," Murphy stated in an e-mail to The Tartan.

According to Murphy, the new location also increases proximity to residential and recreational areas and the UC, and it allowed the university to place picnic tables under the trees in front of the trucks for seating. "The adjacency to Highlander, especially when it expands later this fall with fitness and other dining, will make this a nice hub."

Although Housing and Dining Services had no involvement in the decision, Director of Housing and Dining Services Tim Michael noted, "We know that an issue with the trucks was the use of Ginger's Deli in Posner for seating after buying a truck meal. The number of seats in Ginger's is small and the truck patrons often took seats needed for Ginger's regular customers."

Michael also mentioned the expanded dining area in Resnik that is to open in the spring that will provide ample seating for truck patrons.

"One of the things I like about CMU is that they always listen to students' opinions, and I feel in this instance there was just a lack of communication," said Katie Wallat, a senior Science and Humanities Scholar in biology and truck patron. "Students weren't able to give opinions."