Designated food-truck parking-spots coming to Lakeview

Flirty Cupcakes truck. Photo: Tony Merevick.

The Chicago City Council announced the locations of 23 food-truck parking spots as part of a new ordinance Wednesday, and if passed, five of them are coming to the Lakeview area — two of which are steps away from the Boystown LGBT community enclave.

The reason for designated zones for food-trucks in Lakeview instead of allowing trucks to utilize legal parking spaces along streets is due to its high concentration of restaurants and food establishments.

The proposed Lakeview locations are 817 W. Belmont Ave., 2934 N. Broadway, 3627 N. Southport Ave. and then to the West, 3420 N. Lincoln Ave. and 3241 N. Lincoln Ave., according to a Chicago Tribune report. Each of the new 40-foot zones would allow two trucks to park from for almost an entire day, except from 2 a.m. to 5 a.m.

Three of the locations appear to fall in the city’s 44th Ward, led by Ald. Tom Tunney. Tunney’s office worked with the Chicago Department of Transportation, the area’s chambers of commerce and local restaurants to gather recommendations for food-truck spots, according to 44th Ward Deputy Ald. Bennett Lawson.

Preventing crowded sidewalks, creating vehicle traffic issues and overwhelming brick-and-mortar food establishments were three major points of consideration in the recommendation process, Lawson said. One of the requirements set in the ordinance is that a food truck zone cannot be within 200 feet of a brick-and-mortar restaurant.

“We tried to find locations that were in a decent proximity to walking hotpsots and yet not clustered by too many restaurant locations,” Lawson said, noting that he hasn’t seen many food-trucks in the ward so far. “We haven’t had a whole lot out here so far and it’s one of the things that’s an exciting trend in the industry. We’ll see how well it works here.”

The 817 W. Belmont Ave. location — wedged between the Clark Street and Halsted Street corridors in Boystown — would likely see the most traffic, he agreed. “That’s a huge intersection in our community, so we will see.”

If a particular food-truck spot is problematic, though, the alderman’s office can make adjustments at any time.

“We don’t see any issues with the ones in our area,” Lawson said. “We’re working through things, if we find that a location doesn’t work, we can always modify it. We will see.”

See the Chicago Tribune report for the full list of food-truck parking-spots.

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