WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

After Four Years Of Fighting, D.C. Council Approves New Rules For Food Trucks

Play associated audio
Under the new rules, 180 designated spots for food trucks in downtown D.C. will be doled out by lottery.
Under the new rules, 180 designated spots for food trucks in downtown D.C. will be doled out by lottery.

Fans of D.C.'s budding food truck scene can breathe easy. After four years of wrangling over proposed rules, the D.C. Council has approved a new regulatory framework for the mobile food vendors.

D.C.'s food trucks—150 and counting—have quickly become a staple diet for many who work in the downtown area. And what may have started as a fad—savory cuisine served out of the side of truck—is now a big business.

But the city's laws for mobile food vendors were crafted 40 years ago and dealt largely with ice cream trucks parked around the National Mall.

The new regulations—hashed out by lawmakers after lobbying from food trucks, brick-and-mortar restaurants and city regulators—are seen by some as a fair compromise.

"Folks will continue to have choices, they're going to have competition for their hard-earned dollars and food trucks will continue to operate and our employees will have their jobs and our businesses will grow," said Che Ruddell-Tabisola, a food truck operator and one of the leaders of the Food Truck Association of Metropolitan Washington.

The key provision: a lottery system for 180 designated food truck parking spots in downtown D.C.

One of the thorniest issues in the regulations debate involved parking fines. The new law includes heavy fines—up to $2,000—for food trucks caught stealing each others designated spots. And much smaller fines—$50 dollars—for run-of-the-mill parking violations taking place outside the food truck zone in downtown D.C.

The law will go into effect unless its vetoed by Mayor Vincent Gray. The mayor's office says it's currently studying the amendments and needs time to carefully review the changes.


Not My Job: We Quiz The Duplass Brothers On Sibling Rivalry

Mark and Jay Duplass take a break from writing, directing, acting and producing to play a game called "Hating you is like hating myself."

Florida Says Its Fruits, Vegetables Are Safe From Invasive Fruit Fly

Since September, Florida has been fighting an infestation of the Oriental fruit fly, an invasive pest that threatened more than 400 crops. The state declared the insect eradicated as of Saturday.

For Nevada Democrats, A Lot Will Depend On Latino Voters

How instrumental is Nevada's Latino community in next week's race there between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders? NPR's Linda Wertheimer asks Nevada state senator Ruben Kihuen.

Colonialism Comment Puts Facebook Under Scrutiny

A Facebook board member lambasted a decision by regulators in India, the social network's second-largest market. He thereby sparked new scrutiny of Facebook's intentions in that country.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.