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NIMBY Aldermen Already Want To Ban Newly Legal Food Carts

By Anthony Todd in Food on Sep 25, 2015 7:23PM

Food carts (well, at least some of them) just became legal in Chicago, and not everyone's happy.

A set of licensing rules passed out of committee two weeks ago, and yesterday, the City Council approved the new ordinance. But it took less than a day for alderman to begin attempting to ban food carts from fancy neighborhoods, reports the Trib.

Both Alderman Brendan Reilly and Alderman Tom Tunney have already introduced ordinances to restrict carts. Reilly wants to remove them from Michigan Avenue all the way from Roosevelt to Oak street, and also from Rush from Pearson to Division. Tunney wants to stop them from setting up shop near Wrigley.

On the one hand, stopping the carts from operating in high traffic areas makes some sense, since they could cause congestion. On the other, food carts are part of what make the downtown areas of other cities so vibrant. Surely a few elote and ice cream trucks won't stop up Michigan Avenue?

The Trib reached Elizabeth Kregor, director of the Institute for Justice Clinic on Entrepreneurship at the University of Chicago, who pointed out that plenty of restaurants in the affected areas have sidewalk patios that take up far more room than a food cart would.