By Lori Fredrich Senior Food Writer, Dining Editor, Podcast Host Published Apr 19, 2023 at 12:34 PM

On Tuesday, a new food truck ban was unanimously approved by the Milwaukee Common Council.  The ban prohibits food trucks from parking on the east and west sides of North Water Street between East Knapp and East Pleasant Streets. The ban is in effect through May 31, 2023.

Stemming from a proposal written by Ald. Jonathan Brostoff, which was approved by the Public Safety and Health Committee last week, the ban aims to bring a temporary halt to issues which have put a strain on both the health and police departments.

Brostoff says that a variety of issues – and a series of complaints from neighbors – prompted the ban. Complaints cited excessive littering, the disposal of food truck grease on the sidewalks and streets and customers using parked cars as tables and the space between them as “toilets,” 

He says the issues aren’t isolated to Water Street, and they’ve prompted previous bans in other parts of the city including Mitchell Street and Brady.

“We support good food truck ownership,” he says. “And we’re currently looking for something that’s more than just a little bandaid solution for the problem.”

In fact, Brostoff has been working with Alderman JoCasta Zamarripa to create citywide policy regarding food truck standards and regulations.

“We’ve been looking at models that have been used successfully by other cities of our size,” he says, noting that those plans include clear regulations and a more progressive structure for fining food trucks for violations. 

“The goal is to create a better situation for everyone involved,” he says, “We want the good actors to have proper guidance so they can play by the rules and do things correctly. But we also need safeguards in place so that the bad actors don’t continue to do harm to the city.”

“The vast majority of food truck operators are wonderful,” Brostoff adds. “But we’re trying to prevent a few of the bad actors from ruining it for everyone.”

Brostoff says he hopes to have a citywide proposal ready to present to the Public Safety and Health Committee, and subsequently the full Common Council, in May.

Lori Fredrich Senior Food Writer, Dining Editor, Podcast Host

Lori is an avid cook whose accrual of condiments and spices is rivaled only by her cookbook collection. Her passion for the culinary industry was birthed while balancing A&W root beer mugs as a teenage carhop, fed by insatiable curiosity and fueled by the people whose stories entwine with each and every dish. She’s had the privilege of chronicling these tales via numerous media, including OnMilwaukee and in her book “Milwaukee Food.” Her work has garnered journalism awards from entities including the Milwaukee Press Club. 

When she’s not eating, photographing food, writing or recording the FoodCrush podcast, you’ll find Lori seeking out adventures with her husband Paul, traveling, cooking, reading, learning, snuggling with her cats and looking for ways to make a difference.