Chicago tightens up on food trucks
23 July, 2012
The US city of Chicago has frustrated food trucks’ ambitions, says the Chicago Tribune - a reminder of the street food movement’s dependence on local authorities.
The Mayor of Chicago, Rahm Emmanuel, had raised hopes that food trucks would be given freer reign in the city, but has disappointed operators with revisions to original proposals that enforce restrictions on their work. Trucks will need GPS tracking and face fines of up to $2,000 for violations. They cannot operate in vacant lots, and must have a 200 feet buffer zone between themselves and restaurants.
The Mayor’s proposals would still allow for cooking on trucks, which is currently prohibited, and would set up special zones for them. Its office said the proposals were a “fair, practical and workable compromise to help this innovative industry grow.”
But operators and trade groups have protested at the restrictions, particularly the requirement to have GPS tracking. Beth Kroger, director of the Institute for Justice Clinic on Entrepreneurship, said: “The city has presented this ordinance as a boost for Chicago’s food truck scene, but it has not responded to any requests that the food truck owners have made since the ordinance was introduced.”
For the full story, see Chicago food trucks: Proposed ordinance tweaked a day before hearing.