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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)


No. Om nom nom nom nom nom nom.

really-- save the food trucks but screw the library? c'mon people. you get food anywhere, where else can you get free books, dvds, and computers?

Can they serve medical marijuana at these trucks too?

I've lived in the Miracle Mile for 25 years and worse thing about the area was the lack of good food. Yeah, Marie Calender's is great for your mother-in-law's birthday, but all the so-called "brick-and-mortar" restaurants offered mundance fair at high prices. And then the food trucks came to the rescue. They brought an array of foods at decent prices and put some life back to our streets. It's good old fashioned American free enterprise at its best. Mr. LaBonge rages about L.A. becoming a "mobile city" – where has he been for the past 50 years? Why doesn't he stop working as a lobbyist for the restaurant association and do something constructive? Like, hey, what about repaving Wilsire Blvd? I'd vote for that.


This guy is proof our tax dollars are spent foolishly. Has he got nothing better to do? Is this what he was elected for? He should be embarrassed to go after honest working people and intentionally adding more folks to our unemployment lines, which will be more $$ coming out of our pockets. You go LaBong! (misspelling intentional)
FYI, David has been on Grand/Bunker Hill for YEARS and has an awesome food truck, which as of yesterday is now banned from parking. Stupid, stupid bureaucrappy. So many other issues to go after. What an embarrassment, and I hate that my tax dollars go to pay his salary. He's throwing away my money. I'd rather do that myself!

Definitely should be banned, I own a restaurant, I pay my taxes an go through the hassles of keeping everything up to health code. I have employees on my pay roll and spent years building a clientele just to have some truck park in front of my establishment and take away my customers!? I would be furious if I had to deal with this kind of hassle. Stop monopolizing the parking get your own facility and get your own customers!

Los Angeles has double digit unemployment. Instead of finding new ways to drive business’s away and creating more joblessness in the city, the city council should stop and think on what they are doing. They should be spending more of their time on creating more jobs and business’s in Los Angeles and thus creating more tax revenue for the treasury. This is a perfect example on what happens when you have career politicians who have no experience in the real world are put in a position of policy making. It is very sad to see how out of touch with economic reality our city council is.

I have just one question, where do the employees of these trucks go to the bathroom??

Good grief. In a city of this size, this is all this person has to work on? Walk around dude! Find a real issue.

I'm with Ben, the food trucks are a godsend in mid wilshire. If he intends to regulate the food trucks then he needs to regulate the valet parking services that take metered spaces as well. But that will never happen because he's getting paid off by those businesses but not the food trucks.

Food trucks are amazing. We need them in LA.

I think the trucks should go, I don't feel that they are clean and like one of the commentors said where is my cat. Also I felt like the cart that are being pushed around on the streets and sidewalks should also go. We have pently of Resturants to keep in business that are clean mind you.

Why are we putting people out of business? Its insane! I love food trucks and they have a right to own and operate just like everybody else. Trucks stay in LA and should be all around the state as well.

Yes! L.A. should definitely ban all roach coaches. I still call then by that name and I think if we all kept that name instead of taco trucks or food service trucks then people would have no problem with getting rid of them. Old School days they were all called Roach Coaches! Not only are they ugly, but they are also a hazard. Visitors to these trucks often make sudden stops or strange illegal u-turns to get to them as well as illegally crossing the street in front of dangerous traffic to get to them. If they can abide by all the same laws as a regular business that sells food including health inspections with a letter grade in the window and paying taxes and rent for the space they are taking up then I may agree if they were placed in safe out of the way locations.
While on the subject of things in L.A. that should be gotten rid of, How about those annoying trailer billboards that are parked everywhere. And what about the Fruit carts sitting in the hot sun all day and then selling fruit to people. I once saw a cop actually buying from one of these. How sad is that? I'm sure carma got him and he ended up sick from the spoiled fruit.

Leave them be. People like us who work 12-13 hours a day and don't have time to go home and make dinner is helping us to feed us when we can't just run out to a fast food joint from our work. They really aren't hurting anyone. If you really want to do something, do something about potholes on the freeway, shootings, etc etc.

Get rid of the leaf blowers first...PLEASE!!!

Please ban these trucks from city streets but also food carts on city sidewalks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
These type of food vendors are not sanitary and they are taking away money from people who have to pay rent and taxes for buildings...

The food trucks are great and add diversity to my lunch choices. I work at the building behind the truck in the picture and our lunch choices consist of Baja Fresh (gross), Marie Calenders (expensive and slow) and Mixed Greens (overpriced lettuce and nasty dressing). As a consumer, I demand choice. If he wants to ban something, ban parking meters and the ridiculous $50 fines for a spot that would only make $12 legally all day.

Simply answer - YES!

If you don't like lunch trucks, please do not patronize them. Eventually if enough people agree that they are not worth patronizing they will away and go out of business. It is pretty simple.

The same food truck has been serving the employees at my company for many years. 2 years ago we asked the truck owner for liability insurance and they had none. We told them they could not park on the property. They now park in the street. Dont you wonder though, why they dont have liability insurance if they are a business ? I think they should be regulated better and should not be able to park on public streets.

A food truck costs about 100K to build - a brick store can costs 2 or 3 times that at the low end. A food truck pays no monthly rent - a brick store pays 5 to 10K a month. A food truck can move to a crowed location for lunch, then move again to another crowded location for dinner, and move again for late night party goers - a brick store has to build a community of customers. A food truck can park right in front of a brick store and syphon off of that stores' customers - a brick store has to create its own marketing and buzz. There is no fair fight in the game of traditional vs food truck - the food truck wins on all counts.

I would not start a traditional restaurant in this city until something happens to control or limit the trucks. It's simple economics. There is already too much risk in opening a restaurant - the food trucks put it over the edge.

Can stand the food trucks. Especially, in my neighborhood. They make the community (which is already old and worn) look unorganized and like a one-big swap meet. In addition, I hate when the trucks park across from or near a food retail store that actually pays taxes, hires employees and provides in some cases (depending on work schedule) health benefits and have overhead These food trucks are unfairly competing against those establishments and further corroding what little stable economic my community has.

If people like food trucks? then fine! but let them pay a heavier price and be relegated to a location that does not unfairly impact those stationary food outlets.

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