Jeramey Jannene
City Hall

Food Trucks Banned on W. National Ave.

Council approves resolution to ban food trucks from S. Layton Blvd. west to city limits.

By - Feb 26th, 2019 12:20 pm
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Taqueria Las Estrellas. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

Taqueria Las Estrellas. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

Food trucks could soon be banned from a one-mile stretch of W. National Ave. under a proposal unanimously passed by the Milwaukee Common Council.

The resolution, sponsored by area Alderman Robert Donovan, would ban food trucks from selling on W. National Ave. from S. Layton Blvd. (27th Street) west to the city limits (S. 39th St.).

It’s the sixth such ban introduced by the alderman. Donovan has already blocked food trucks from operating on W. Greenfield Ave., S. 35th St., W. Lincoln Ave. and W. Mitchell St. in the eighth aldermanic district, which runs from approximately S. 20th St. to S. 40th St.

Donovan, in an interview, cited concerns with traffic congestion and complaints from businesses about the loss of parking.

He said the issue drew particular attention near the intersection of S. 37th St. and W. National Ave. “We reached out to that particular vendor and they, for whatever reason, just didn’t want to work with us,” said Donovan without identifying the specific food truck.

When asked if he expects the food trucks to simply go around the corner to side streets, Donovan said: “Well that could very well be. Sometimes that has happened.”

Food trucks can be readily found around much of the city’s south side, often selling Mexican food.

Donovan introduced a similar measure in late 2017 to ban food trucks and other vendors using parking spaces from along W. Lincoln Ave. from S. 20th St. west to the city limits (S. 51st St.), expanding the length of a ban adopted in 2016. In 2014 Donovan sponsored a resolution to ban food trucks along W. Mitchell St. from S. 19th St. west to the city limits (4111 W. Mitchell St.) Later that year he introduced a resolution banning food trucks along S. 35th St. from W. National Ave. to W. Lincoln Ave. A 2013 resolution from Donovan banned vendors along W. Greenfield Ave. from S. Layton Blvd. (W. 27th St.) west to the city limits (S. 43rd St.).

But Donovan’s district isn’t the only district with restrictions on vendors selling from parking spaces. A 2013 resolution from former Ald. Joe Davis, Sr. bans food trucks along N. 76th St. (W. Florist Ave. to W. Capitol Dr.), W. Capitol Dr. (N. 76th St. to W. Fond du Lac Ave.), W. Fond du Lac Ave. (N. 68th St. to W. Capitol Dr.) and W. Hampton Ave. (N. 60th St. to N. 76th St.).

Ald. Nik Kovac successfully introduced a resolution to ban food trucks on E. Brady St. in early 2017. All of the resolutions were unanimously adopted by the council.

The late Joe Dudzik introduced a resolution in 2015 that would have effectively banned food trucks from his entire district. That measure failed to pass the council.

All of the bans are in effect every day of the week.

Donovan’s W. National Ave. ban now heads to the desk of Mayor Tom Barrett with a veto-proof majority. Barrett has not vetoed any of the food truck bans.

Milwaukee Food Trucks

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Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated the ban started at S. Cesar Chavez Dr.

Related Legislation: File 181572

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