Food truck proposed regulations could limit where trucks can operate

There could soon be fewer food trucks in some of the most popular parts of the District and the food truck operators and their customers are crying foul.

Mayor Vincent Gray has proposed a food truck lottery for curbside parking spots.

New proposed regulations on food trucks could make some areas in D.C. off-limits to some truck operators. And it could be bad news for those seeking variety for the lunch crush.

The latest regulation proposals are the product of a “sidewalk survey” conducted by the Food Truck Association of Metropolitan Washington, The Washington Post reported.

The association worked to determine which parking spots would be legal for food trucks to park. Its findings revealed that the majority of vendors would not be able to park alongside sidewalks, unless they have secured a spot through a lottery system.

The new regulations would also prevent some trucks from parking within 500 feet of specialty vending areas. Trucks that violate these rules could face fines between $1,000 and $2,000, the Post reported.

The food trucks take a meter space, which means money to the city. But it also ruffles the feathers of brick-and-mortar restaurants, which may be losing business.

The mayor's lottery would fan the trucks out to 23 mobile roadway vending zones or MRV. Truck owners would pay $150 to play.

"Those winners are the winners for the entire those high demand ...high profit areas," says Doug Povich, a food truck owner. "So the losers are out of luck. They can't vend in those high areas for an entire month."

Food truck operators created a map of likely spaces to be allotted. The Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington says in a written statement that the map "does little to advance the debate and blatantly misrepresents what has been communicated in the newly proposed vending regulations."

The city council votes in June on the proposal. Some food truck operators say a 'yes' vote would put them out of business.