Flickr/yooperann

In a city with politics in its life's blood, Mayor Rahm Emanuel's proposal gleams with compromise.

Chicago food truck owners have faced a lot of obstacles over the past few years, including angry restaurant owners, cops handing out tickets and city regulations that limited them to food that was prepared ahead of time.

Now, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and two alderman are teaming up to clear some of those hurdles.

On Wednesday, the trio plans to introduce a new ordinance that will let owners cook on their trucks. If the ordinance clears committee hearings, the full city council will vote on it in July.

The deal took months to prepare, requiring negotiations between restaurant and truck owners and politicians. Chicago, which has fewer than 50 food trucks, is miles behind San Francisco and Los Angeles, where hundreds of trucks are on the streets.

Under the new proposal, truck owners would be able to cook food to order, park at designated food truck stands across the city, operate around the clock, and stay in a location for up to two hours. Trucks would have to undergo regular health department inspections, and at lease one employee on site would have to have sanitation training.

In a city with politics in its life's blood, the ordinance gleams with compromise. The food truck stands, similar to food truck courts in places like Ann Arbor, Michigan, are a nod to brick-and-mortar restaurant owners and will keep trucks from taking up precious neighborhood parking spaces. The locations would be set up in wards across the city, allowing local aldermen to be involved in the selection process.

Meanwhile, each truck will have to have a GPS device, so they can be tracked by the city (allowing police to track down trucks that stray from designated areas). But that also will let customers know where trucks can be found, according to the mayor’s announcement.

Top image: Flickr user yooperann, via creative commons

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. A person tapes an eviction notice to the door of an apartment.
    Equity

    Why Landlords File for Eviction (Hint: It’s Usually Not to Evict)

    Most of the time, a new study finds, landlords file for eviction because it tilts the power dynamic in their favor—not because they want to eject their tenants.

  2. A photo of a Google employee on a bicycle.
    Equity

    How Far Will Google’s Billion-Dollar Bay Area Housing Plan Go?

    The single largest commitment by a private employer to address the Bay Area’s acute affordable housing crisis is unique in its focus on land redevelopment.

  3. Equity

    Berlin Will Freeze Rents for Five Years

    Local lawmakers agreed to one of Europe’s most radical rental laws, but it sets the stage for a battle with Germany’s national government.

  4. Environment

    Paris Wants to Grow ‘Urban Forests’ at Famous Landmarks

    The city plans to fill some small but treasured sites with trees—a climate strategy that may also change the way Paris frames its architectural heritage.

  5. A photo of a new apartment building under construction in Boston.
    Equity

    In Massachusetts, a ‘Paper Wall’ of Zoning Is Blocking New Housing

    Despite the area’s progressive politics, NIMBY-minded residents in and around Boston are skilled in keeping multi-family housing at bay.

×