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Should L.A. ban food trucks from parking on city streets? Tell us what you think.

Tom LaBonge

TalkBackLAA Los Angeles City councilman intensified debate in the city over food trucks last Friday by introducing two motions that could lead to the trucks being banned on city streets.

One proposal from Councilman Tom LaBonge asks city staff to study what other cities have done and to look into prohibiting trucks from parking at metered spaces in commercially zoned areas. The other calls for a report on the creation of specially designated catering-truck parking zones.

Food truck owners and patrons -- famous for their fervor and their mastery of social media sites such as Twitter -- have mounted a campaign against the proposals and the councilman himself.

Someone has set up a Facebook page called "Los Angelinos Against Labonge." An online petition "against any city bill that would limit access to the food trucks" had racked up 2,000 digital signatures in just three days. Food truck supporters accosted LaBonge during his community bicycle ride Wednesday evening to complain about his proposals. On Twitter, where the controversy became a major local topic Wednesday, one post urged food truck supporters to attend the ride to tell LaBonge "you don't approve of his hatred of food trucks!"

The Times' Kate Linthicum reports on the growing food truck fight. What do you think? Share your opinions below.

Photo: Councilman Tom LaBonge, right, speaks with Dan Nathan about LaBonge's proposal to limit food trucks on Wilshire Boulevard. "Everybody in the building loves having the food trucks," said Nathan, who works nearby. Credit: John W. Adkisson / Los Angeles Times

Comments () | Archives (315)

Yes, please ban these roach coaches! They create untold traffic hazards, deal drugs and such on the side and ruin people's health with junk food. They are a complete hazard to everyone's health.

The trucks should be allowed to park along city streets as long as they are selling food in a commercial area for an agreed amount of time and controlling strewn trash.

As a landscape architect I believe the food trucks are part of what makes L.A. L.A. - they're integral to the city's landscape, part of what makes this city unique and wonderful. Furthermore, some of them offer the best food you can get for an even better price!! I'm not sure what the arguments are against them but if it ain't broke why fix it?? Moreover, in a time where people are out of work and need jobs why make it harder for folks to earn a buck...we should be learning from these successful businesses instead of hampering them!!

I live off abbot kinney and it is a disaster after "first fridays", the rest of the weekend the entire busy stretch of AK is a trash dump. Based on what I see every month, they should be banned from LA forever.

I agree with the LaBonge proposal.

These trucks take up precious space on our city streets and quite frankly...aren't needed. This city has enough fast food / restaurants to serve every type of customer.

If there was a special...off our streets area for them to go to do business..that seems like a workable idea.

These mobile eateries have no "interest" in the areas in which they squat..unlike the establishments (eateries) that are there. Their squatting, not only affects the restaurants, but the landlords, the citizens that live in the area.

There are those in this city where "anything goes"..but there has to be some order and rule of law to make this city work!

Yes, it's unsanitary and the main clientele are illegals.

We do have some real problems that need attention. Food trucks offer a needed service and support many families. This campaign against them is foolish.

Kudos to Councilman Labonge! There's always been a problem with these trucks setting up business for hours at a time in one spot, drawing crowds, trash, etc... It wasn't so bad when there was one or two here and there. Now you're getting them popping up all over the place, and some not so savory. It's getting a bit out of control. Now it seems any ol' roach coach paints some catchy logo on the side, or slaps a blinking lit sign on the side, and they're in business. They aren't doing squat for the city, paying no property taxes, provide overpriced, greasy spooon food (with a fusion twist), and become an eyesore. I have one of these joints down the street from my condo, and it's a haven for drunk partiers and loud idiots!


i love food trucks. they are great for grabbing a quick, tasty bite for lunch while avoiding the usual subway, baja fresh, and other fast food restaurants. if the brick and mortar establishments are so upset about this then they should do something to attract new customers rather than just complain to the city, it's basic economics. i think the competition is great as it has spawned food from almost every corner of the globe all at reasonable prices (<$10).

Taxes and license fees are collected, so why ban a source of government revenue. It's better to encourage small business and employment, while providing a service to time-challenged workers.

LaBonge is on the wrong side of this one. So long as the trucks have their permits and pay the meters, they should be allowed to park on metered streets just like any other vehicle.

If you ruin Art Walk for me LaBonge.... so help me!

Another loser politician to vote out of office. Hey I know let's ban his bike club from being allowed to ride on the streets.

As a former food service worker, my biggest concern is about food safety. Before I set foot in a kitchen, I had to take a test to become certified that I had a extensive knowledge about food safety and kitchen hygiene. Are the people who run these food trucks inspected by the cities? Is the food safe to eat? Is it carefully refridgerated or past it's expiration date? How are we to know? Must we wait until there is a city-wide outbreak of food poisoning before something is done?

I think the best tastes wins.

Don't see the point. They'll save a few parking spaces, but the tax money they generate for the city is a lot more than the, what $2 an hour the meters will generate? If they're worried about parking spaces for other people to use, a few food trucks is nothing compared to thousands of smaller vehicles.

While unsightly, food trucks can be fun. And don't we have bigger things to worry about in this city? Jeez...leave 'em alone. Apparently Tom LaBonge doesn't have enough to do....

Love those trucks!!

Food trucks are important for city life. In the past, I have used them regularly when I didn't have time for a sit down lunch or had limited funds - keep them on the streets!!!

Love those trucks
Theyre a Godsend in the Mid Wilshire district

Love those trucks
Theyre a Godsend in the Mid Wilshire district

yes they should becuz they are taking business from the ones who have been established. It is very unfair. I think they should only be allowed at Carnivals, Concerts, L.A. County Fairground, Stadiums.

How does this make sense? The trucks generate jobs and money for the city and the state. In the worst economy in 70 years you're going to tell me you want to find a new way to reduce or ban a form of free enterprise. Get out of here LaBonge you don't have a clue.

Apparently, the city council doesn't read current news reports. Given court decisions in other cities, what makes our local politicians believe they can corral food truck in LA? Naturally, it never occurred to them to ask the customers what they think.

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