The strength of the region's food truck trend could be measured this way: It didn't cool during the almost three years that St. Petersburg officials chewed on whether to allow the mobile kitchens downtown.
The City Council this week finally acted on a suggestion first made by then-City Council member Leslie Curran in 2011, relaxing city rules to allow food trucks in some downtown areas, on both private property and the public right of way.
The changes will create an annual permit, spell out where the trucks can and can't go in the downtown center, and permit them on private property up to two days a week with owners' permission in areas where restaurants and bars are allowed. The changes also establish some sensible rules regarding insurance, restrooms and waste collection.
A majority of the council declined to establish separation requirements from brick-and-mortar restaurants proposed by council member James Kennedy, which were too strict. There is no evidence that food trucks will hurt those restaurants' operations. Instead, food trucks should grow downtown's flourishing reputation for diversity in cuisines and dining environments.
So now, finally, can we please eat?