Nov 30, 2013
Kim Rivers

New Food Truck Regulations Begin Monday

04222013_foodtrucks.jpg
Photo by Ted Eytan

Beginning Monday, food trucks in D.C. will be subject to new regulations that will place them in assigned spots around the city.

At eight popular locations around the city, 95 spaces will be reserved from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. for trucks that are participating in the lottery system. Food trucks that don’t participate in the program “have to stay at least 200 feet away from these designated locations, and must park legally for time allowed for the location and must pay parking meter fees,” according to the District Department of Transportation.

Here are the assigned spaces:

  • Farragut Square – (17 parking spaces) 900 block of 17th Street NW
  • Franklin Square- (12 parking spaces) 900 block of 13th Street NW
  • George Washington University- (3 parking spaces) 2100 block of H Street NW
  • L’Enfant Plaza- (18 parking spaces) 200 block of 7th Street SW and 600 Block of Maryland Avenue SW
  • Capitol Riverfront- (8 parking spaces) 1200 block of New Jersey Avenue SE
  • Metro Center- (13 parking spaces) 600 and 700 block of 12th Street NW
  • Union Station- (14 parking spaces) Unit block of Massachusetts Avenue NW
  • Virginia Avenue/State Department- (10 parking spaces) 2000 block of Virginia Avenue NW
  • A list of assigned spaces can be seen here, but the trucks are sadly not named. DCRA spokesperson says they are working on having the list updated with trade names by early next week.

    At least one food truck has quit the business because of the hotly contested regulations. As Young and Hungry reported, Cirque Cuisine shut down, citing the lottery system that placed them in two locations where they didn’t have a following.

    The Food Truck Association of Metropolitan Washington led the charge against some of the regulations, including an original regulations proposed rule that would have required trucks to position themselves in spots with at least 10 feet of unobstructed sidewalk. In the end, that was amended to six feet.

    Doug Povich, chairman of the Food Truck Association and Red Hook Lobster Pound co-owner, said the process with DCRA thus far has gone relatively “smoothly”: “The real test comes this Monday when assigned trucks will be showing up for the first time at MRV locations.”

    “Our biggest concern has been that trucks will arrive and unauthorized vehicles will be parked there, preventing the vendors who have paid for these spaces and have informed customers where they will be from vending. If the spaces aren’t available, the entire system will break down,” he said in an email.

    Reserved parking signs will be placed temporarily in food truck spots. Povich said ticketing and towing of illegally parked vehicles will be key: “We’ve reached out to DDOT to make sure they’re aware of our concern. They haven’t committed to making tow trucks available but we’re hopeful that they will given the importance of getting the new system off on the right foot.” He also said he hopes the city will show “some restraint” when enforcing the 200-feet-away rule, especially until signs are posted.

    “Ultimately, we think the new regulations, if implemented correctly, will be a tremendous benefit to the City, food truck vendors and customers.”

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