On-Street Food Truck FAQs

In December 2015, City Council directed staff to research and analyze expansion of the Food Truck Program to extend to on-street locations. Staff developed three potential locations for consideration and feedback. Here are answers to some of the questions that are relevant to the on-street food truck program.

Page updated on Mar 16, 2016 at 3:46 PM

Questions:

  1. Is this a scientific survey? How will the feedback be used?
  2. What criteria does the City use to evaluate the potential on-street food truck locations?
  3. What happens after City staff present their research findings on the potential on-street food truck locations to City Council?
  4. What precautions are being enforced to ensure the safety of pedestrians and operators while the food truck is in operation?
  5. When will the on-street food truck program begin?
  6. During what times will food trucks be allowed to operate in the on-street locations?
  7. Will more on-street food truck locations be added in the future?
  8. How can one participate in the on-street food truck program?
  9. Will food truck operators have to feed the parking meters while vending?
  10. What happens if I bring my food truck to one of the three locations and other food trucks have already occupied all of the spaces?
  11. How will parking spaces be restricted for food trucks?

Answers:

  1. Is this a scientific survey? How will the feedback be used?
    The on-street food truck poll is an informal poll to collect feedback from the community.  It is not and will not be treated as a random sample scientific survey. Just as the City solicits input at an in-person meeting, this AlexEngage poll is a way for the City to get input, in this case, in an online environment.  The feedback from this poll will be used along with other input, including analysis regarding the proposed locations, to inform the final recommendations that will be presented to City Council. Poll responses are available for the community to review in real time on the AlexEngage site and will also be included as an attachment verbatim and in summary form in the City Council docket item.

  2. What criteria does the City use to evaluate the potential on-street food truck locations?
    The criteria used by the City to evaluate potential on-street food truck locations reflects the goal set by City Council to address the demand for additional food choices provided by the trucks, while minimizing impact on City streets. The potential sites are not located near intersections , multiple  restaurants, or in areas with high demand parking spaces. They are not located near fire hydrants or in parking spaces for people with disabilities. The proposed sites are located near concentrations of employees and/or residents, and on roads wide enough (66 feet) to accommodate the food trucks and other traffic.

  3. What happens after City staff present their research findings on the potential on-street food truck locations to City Council?
    City Council will consider an amendment to the City Code that will provide a process for City Council to adopt on-street locations and will include the initial three locations. City Council will consider this ordinance change in a First Reading on April 12, and will hold a public hearing on the ordinance change on Saturday, April 16.

  4. What precautions are being enforced to ensure the safety of pedestrians and operators while the food truck is in operation?
    City Code addresses several safety precautions to protect pedestrians, motorists and food truck operators, which include the following:

    • Food trucks parked in a marked parking space must fit within the width and length of the marked space.
    • The occupation of a food truck in any parking space shall not interfere with lighting, trees, overhead wires or utilities.
    • Food truck vendors cannot block ingress or egress of any other vehicles or pedestrians, cause traffic congestion, or be parked in any drive aisles or fire lanes.
    • Vendors cannot sell to anyone standing in the street unless the street has been closed to the public for a special event or street closure issued by the city.
    • Vendors cannot sell to drivers or passengers in motor vehicles stopped at a red light or while in a moving traffic lane.
    • Food trucks cannot be left unattended while vending.

  5. When will the on-street food truck program begin?
    If City Council adopts the changes at their meeting on April 16, vending may begin as soon as the City posts signs in the designated locations, which will be no later than April 23.   

  6. During what times will food trucks be allowed to operate in the on-street locations?
    As currently proposed, food trucks are allowed to operate between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m.; however, a food truck may vend no longer than four continuous hours at one location.

  7. Will more on-street food truck locations be added in the future?
    The change to City Code will establish the criteria by which City Council could consider additional locations in the future.

  8. How can one participate in the on-street food truck program?
    To operate a food truck in the City of Alexandria, a food truck vendor must first obtain an application for a Food Truck Vendor Permit on the City's website, at the City Permit Center, or at the Alexandria Health Department. The application process starts with a Health Department inspection and ends with the final permit being issued at the Alexandria Permit Center.  For more information, visit alexandriava.gov/FoodTrucks.

    For those who already have a permit, vending may begin in the designated locations as soon as the City posts signs, which will be no later than April 23. 

  9. Will food truck operators have to feed the parking meters while vending?
    No.  The vending fee will cover the cost of the parking meter.

  10. What happens if I bring my food truck to one of the three locations and other food trucks have already occupied all of the spaces?  
    According to City Code, no food truck vendor has any exclusive right to any location on public property, and a food truck may not vend for longer than four continuous hours at one location. Food trucks occupying that space up to the time limit must leave the space so others may vend.

  11. How will parking spaces be restricted for food trucks?
    Parking spaces would be reserved for food truck vending only during the currently proposed hours of 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Staff will monitor the use of the spaces, determine the level of demand, and will adjust the restrictions on the spaces, if necessary. 


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