New Washington D.C. vending regulations were published on September 20th, which include a new way to determine parking privileges for food trucks. Beginning on November 1, food trucks will be allotted parking permits for a downtown location based on a random lottery. This will hopefully end the intense fighting among food trucks over the best parking spot, and give more food trucks the opportunity to score parking in a prime location.
Some GW food trucks are glad about the new lottery system. The Tasty Fried truck, which is often found on H Street in front of Kogan Plaza, sees the new system as beneficial.
“The good thing is when we come we won’t have to fight for parking, the parking is already available for us,” said Saif, a worker on Tasty Fried. “It is a big problem to find parking with all these food trucks around.”
While the lottery system should reduce conflicts between food trucks, it also takes away their ability to park wherever they want.
“Maybe today we’re here and tomorrow we’re somewhere else,” Saif said. “We don’t get to choose, they choose for us.”
Fights over parking spots can become so heated that the police often become involved. The new system should be able to alleviate that tension.
Additionally, it won’t require trucks to rush to their desired parking spot early in the morning in order to secure it for the day. The parking permits allotted by the lottery guarantee the spot, so trucks won’t have to worry about being the “Early Bird.” To get their preferred spot, trucks may have to arrive at the location as early as 7:00 am.
House of Falafel, another truck that often parks on GW’s campus, was less excited about the new rules for food truck parking, but there’s nothing they can do about the district-wide law.
House of Falafel pointed out additional parking complications that arise on the GW campus, such as emergency parking areas and the construction on H Street.
Other popular locations where trucks including Tasty Fried and House of Falafel like to park are L’Enfant Plaza, Metro Center, and Franklin Park.