PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — You could soon see food trucks in places where they’re not allowed under current law in the City of Pittsburgh.
That’s if the City Council approves a new bill.
Stephanie Morales, who operates a food truck called Las Chicas, says the current City of Pittsburgh laws governing food trucks are outdated.
“Pittsburgh is behind in that,” she says. “The rest of the country is far ahead of us and we need to catch up with those.”
So a public hearing at city council chambers brought all sides to the table.
Councilman Dan Gilman has proposed a bill that would change the law in two major ways.
“Right now you have to move every thirty minutes,” says Gilman. “That was written for ice cream trucks in parks. I changed that to four hours and second, right now you’re forbidden from parking at a meter and I am allowing you to park at a meter assuming you of course pay that meter and follow all the other parking regulations,” Gilman said.
But some restaurant owners who worry about competition in front of their establishments have concerns. And Jeremy Waldrup, who heads the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership, says some of the proposed changes could create problems all their own.
“Simply allowing food trucks to operate in one of our 500 metered spaces throughout downtown without any understanding of streets and sidewalk congestion and how streets function is a recipe for chaos,” Waldrup says, “and will create opportunities for impassable streets, frustrated pedestrians and businesses, and business food truck operators.”
And some businesses in congested areas wonder about generators, fumes and exhaust.
“It’s one thing when you can be in a space for half an hour,” says Georgia Petropoulos of the Oakland Business Improvement District. “It’s another thing when you may be able to be up there for four hours. That could impact the public as well as an adjacent storefront
Gilman believes either current law or revisions he’s proposed can solve all of those issues.
So at this point, Gilman is ready to put the bill up for a preliminary vote of council tomorrow.