Food truck ordinance – Throttling the food truck businesses

The proposed new ordinance being introduced by Mayor Rahm Emanuel allows the food operators and owners to offer a wide variety of food by preparing and cooking it on board and also extending the sales time to twenty four hours. But on the other hand, this ordinance continues with the existing rules and also introduces new restrictions. These rules include the increased penalties and fines that may range from $1000 to $2000 in case the food truck being caught dealing with food items within 200 feet from a restaurant. The other new rule is the requirement of GPS tracking devices to be installed in the food trucks.

The irony of the new regulation is that the 200 foot proposed buffer zone which the food trucks must observe or adhere to around restaurants includes the convenience stores and coffee shops. In that sense, the legal parking spots in the city in the downtown Loop area are nearly non-existent.  There are also proposals for food truck –“Stands”— that are designated parking spots that help in easing the burden of the two hundred foot rule.

The ordinance further requires that a minimum of five trucks stand in six community areas and in totality there will be sixty spots throughout the city. But the ten designated spots in the Loop area of the city are not enough or suffice for more than fifty five trucks. Moreover, there are another two hundred new trucks that are entering the market that will clamor for these in demand hot spots during the downtown lunch rush.

In order to enforce the 200 foot rule the government requires the GPS to be installed in the trucks that will allow the city to monitor and track the food truck business. The GPS will let the developers use the data to build applications letting the consumers to access the location of their desired truck at any time.

But there are also some objections to the installation of GPS rule as their installation is quite expensive for the truck owners and come at the expense of tax payers’ money and the city will need to assign personal to review and monitor the data being collected.  The truck owners already use the GPS related devices and tools in order to alert customers about their locations.  Thus, it is the responsibility of the government to enact rules and regulations that protect the health and safety of the patrons and encourage the growth of its business community.

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