DENVER — For the past five years, Mohammad Alissa has owned and operated a food truck on Larimer Street in LoDo. Citing the long hours and extremely physical work, he said it has always been a tough way to make a living, but that it just got a lot tougher.
"The police and the city, they don't want us to be working," Alissa said.
In response to a significant increase of violence in LoDo this year, and in an effort to reduce the number of people gathering, especially when the bars let out on Friday and Saturday nights, the city is now banning food trucks between 19th and 20th on Blake Street, 19th and 21st on Market Street, and 20th and 21st on Larimer Street; essentially, the busiest streets in LoDo.
"It affects us big time, this is our life, our income," Alissa said.
The move comes about two weeks after Denver police officers shot a man who allegedly pulled a gun on them on Larimer Street. Six innocent bystanders were also shot. Alissa said his truck was parked just a few feet away and heard the shots when they were fired.
Alissa acknowledged that violent crime has become a significant problem this year in LoDo, but said the food trucks have not created the problem, and moving them will not solve it.
"If some bad guy has a gun and goes to the area, we are not responsible for the gun. We are just selling gyros, tacos, pizza," Alissa said.
For now, the LoDo food truck ban is being called temporary. The city said they plan on taking it week by week and see what effect, if any, it has on crime in LoDo.
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