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Papillion City Council talks about ways to improve safety downtown

Posted at 10:45 PM, Mar 03, 2020

PAPILLION, Neb. (KMTV) — Tuesday night, the city of Papillion looked at a proposal that could affect food trucks in the downtown area.

Traffic picks up quite a bit between 1st and 2nd streets during the day, especially on weekends. Now, in an effort to create a more pedestrian-friendly downtown, the city could force food trucks away from the area.

"They generate tax dollars for the city and they offer a variety of food options to our residents," said the owner of Twisted Vine Wine Bar.

But city council members said some business owners have concerns.

"As we grow, you know, and as more businesses come in, we want pedestrians to feel safe down there," said Jason Gaines, chairman of the Public Safety Committee.

Gaines added they want the area to be safe.

"The food trucks are obviously considerably larger than a regular vehicle so they tend to block line of sight for people that are crossing the street, they also stick out into traffic a little bit,” said Gaines.

The food trucks park in front of Twisted Vine once a week.

During Tuesday night's city council meeting, council members addressed concerns.

"One of the complaints among others was the saving of parking spaces,” said one council member. “They didn't seem to like that because that's taking away a potential customer from them right in front of their business."

The owners of Twisted Vine said they use their own cars to save two spots for the food trucks, but they proposed moving the trucks to the ally.

"We did purchase the building that is directly to our south which also has a lot of parking to the back, and our goal is to... as we can, start to create that destination so we could have more of an impact there." said the owner of Twisted Vine.

The owners said they want to work with the city on a plan that benefits everyone.

Council members will again discuss this issue and vote at a later city council meeting.