Mayor Emanuel wants parking stands for Chicago food trucks

October 4, 2012

(Flickr/Andrew Huff)

Chicago food trucks may be getting their own parking spaces.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel is proposing food-truck parking stands in 23 high-traffic locations throughout the city. He says the plan will provide more parking and more places to operate in busy areas.

“They will also help to safeguard communities from added congestion and public safety issues, while creating economic opportunity throughout the city,” Emanuel said in a statement.

A current city ordinance prohibits trucks from parking within 200 feet of a restaurant, but they could do so within these zones.

The locations for the proposed zones are scattered mostly throughout the North Side, with some locations in the Loop and West Side. There are no locations on the South Side.

Amy Le is co-founder of the Illinois Food Truck Association and owner of North Side food truck DucknRoll.

“I think they did a really great job at picking spots that are going to be highly coveted parking spots because of the foot traffic.  [But] I think the South Siders are going to be a little disappointed,” she said.

Le went on to say the city needs to consider regulations to prevent overcrowding.

Jay Sebastian, owner of Bridgeport Pasty, agrees.  He’s concerned there will be “food truck wars” at popular locations.

“With probably five good spots, sweet spots, right in the Loop, where are the other 40 trucks going to go?” Sebastian asked.

Pete Scales of the Chicago Department of Transportation said the parking stands would be available 24-7 on a first-come, first-served basis, but each truck is limited to two hours per location.

The proposed ordinance goes to the city council next for a vote.