Legal Roadblocks Slows Down Food Trucks in Oakland

Legal Roadblocks Slows Down Food Trucks in Oakland



Every Friday after office hours, a convoy of food trucks has been rolling into North Oakland to set up shop. They have been doing this since the middle of June and every time they turn up, they were able to draw a large and hungry crowd.

This weekly event, which is called Bites on Broadway, has endured venue changes, as well as an old city ordinance, to become a well-liked weekly attraction on 45th Street.

The inclusion of a circus performance just outside Studio One on Friday swelled the crowd to almost 300 people. Studio One is an arts center owned by the city. The crowd can choose from among the four food trucks and join the line extending from every food vehicle. While it is true that the food is good, it is not cheap.

A neighborhood resident, Beth Ann Berliner, said, “Oakland is a place that has a lot of reasons to feel sad and bruised, but this is a good opportunity to bring people together and build community.”

Although the weekly event is welcome to the residents, outdated city ordinances made its establishment a bit harder that it should have been.

In Oakland, there are only a couple of spots outside the Fruitvale district where food trucks can operate legally. This 2001 law was passed as the industry is expanding exponentially from taco trucks to gourmet food. Big cities all over the country are witnessing the growth of mobile dining and are now developing various strategies to handle it.