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Brady Street might soon be off limits for food trucks. (PHOTO: Brady Street BID)

Food trucks banned on Brady Street?

Food trucks might soon be banned from East Brady Street, according to a story published earlier by Urban Milwaukee.

During today's Common Council meeting, the legislation to ban food trucks – presented by Ald. Nik Kovac – was unanimously approved. Mayor Tom Barrett must sign the bill for it to go into effect.

"In general, I am very supportive of food trucks – I eat at food trucks – and they are welcome in most places on the East Side," says Kovac.

However, Kovac says there are a couple of circumstances that require food truck regulation such as if a food truck repeatedly parks on the same residential street and is disruptive to residents or, as in this case, if food trucks are competing for customers and parking spots at establishments that pay property taxes.

If approved, food trucks will be banned from the street seven days a week throughout the Brady Street District, which runs the entire street from North Jackson Street to North Farwell Avenue and connected intersecting streets.

"This is a really bad moment for Milwaukee food trucks," says Manminder Sethi, owner of Punjabi Accent, Milwaukee's first Indian food truck.

Sethi, who parks his truck on Brady Street five nights a week around dinner time, disagrees that the food trucks take away customers from the restaurants on the block.

"They are different customers," says Sethi. "And in my case, there is not an Indian restaurant on the block so I am not competing with anyone."

According to Steph Salvia, executive detector of the Brady Street Business Improvement District, this is common in other cities and that the brick-and-mortar business owners on Brady Street assume a huge risk paying rent, utilities, staff, insurance and a significant special tax assessment because they are located within the boundaries of the business district.

"The dollars paid into the BID are invested right back into the district in the form of lighting, safety, capital improvements, streetscape, marketing and events, all of which are funded by our commercial property owners," says Salvia.

"For the past couple of years, our business owners have hoped that new regulations would come about that would result in a better balance between the food trucks while still protecting the interests of those with significant investment in established brick and mortar businesses located within the BID."

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