Washington, DC Food Trucks Fear New Rules Could Ruin Business

6:15 PM, Nov 9, 2012   |    comments
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WASHINGTON, D.C. (WUSA) -  In the last few years, D.C.'s food trucks have exploded. There are hundreds now, serving everything from Korean tacos to mac 'n cheese.

But now some of those truck owners are complaining that new regulations proposed by the city could drive them right out of business.

The city says the issue is that sidewalks and streets are public space. At lunch hour on a Food Truck Friday at Farragut Square, it can be tough to negotiate your way through all the people in line.

The city's proposal would ban food trucks from any downtown sidewalk with less than ten feet of unobstructed sidewalk.  

The Food Truck Association went out and measured the sidewalks at the ten most popular spots -- and just two passed muster. "We found eight out of ten of the most popular food truck spots, where customers want us to be, would not be legal under the proposed regulations," says Mike Lenard of the association. 

Right now, food trucks can park in any legal spot. And the city thinks they're past due for some regulations But John Lisle of the DC Transportation Department also says the city has been talking with food truck owners to try and work something out. "It has nothing to do with trying to limit their ability to do business in the city. We're just responsible for the transportation network and assuring it can be used safely and efficiently."

The food truck association says if you drive all the trucks away from the most popular spots -- where they're making money, paying taxes, employing hundreds and feeding thousands -- you'll drive a lot of the trucks right out of business. 
People have until Tuesday to tell the city what they think of the new proposed rules.

Written and Reported by Bruce Leshan
9News Now & wusa9.com
Twitter: @BruceLeshan

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