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June 8, 2021

Hartford City Council passes ordinance restricting food trucks

HBJ PHOTO | John Stearns Food trucks line up daily along downtown Hartford's Elm Street bordering state offices and Bushnell Park.

Hartford City Council approved a measure Monday that restricts food trucks from operating on most of the city's public streets.

Under new regulations, food trucks may only operate on public ways in parts of Hartford's downtown, North Meadows and South Meadows neighborhoods, in addition to a couple areas near Trinity College and the University of Hartford. Food trucks in these areas must close by 9 p.m., with the exception of Trinity Street and Prospect and Front Street, where trucks may operate until midnight. The ordinance doesn't apply to trucks operating on private property, or non-motorized food carts.

Councilors passed the measure to combat traffic and crime problems stemming from people who congregate at food trucks in areas like Wethersfield Avenue with motorcycles and ATV vehicles, Gale said.

"These particular gatherings have gotten out of control," Gale said, noting that the Hartford Police Department has enacted parking bans on Wethersfield Avenue over the past couple weekends in an effort to quell ongoing street parties that have been going into the early morning hours.

"The immediate concern was to get control over this business," Gale said. 

Gale said he supports food truck businesses for the vibrancy they bring to the city. He added there are discussions at City Hall about creating food truck parks in areas like Farmington and Girard avenues, but those plans aren't yet fully formed. Additionally, the 9 p.m. curfew could be extended to midnight in some areas covered by the ordinance.

Under the new ordinance, food trucks in Hartford are allowed to operate on the following streets until 9 p.m.:

Blue Hills 
Granby Street (from Burnham to the Bloomfield line) 
Mark Twain Drive (from Albany Avenue to Carrie Perry Way) 
Coventry Street (from Tower to Holcomb) 

Clay Arsenal 
Homestead Circle 

Northeast/North Meadows 
Vine Street (from Coventry to Love La) 
Fishfry Street (from North Main to the railroad tracks) 
Fishfry Street (from Weston to West Service Road) 
West Service Road 
West Service Road Connector 
New Road 
Savitt Way 
Leibert Road (from Weston to Jennings) 
Jennings Road (From Leibert to the end) 
Windsor Street 

Downtown/Asylum Hill/SoDo/Frog Hollow 
Market Street (from Trumbull to Market St Ext) 
Pleasant Street (from Windsor to Market) 
Fraser Place 
Cogswell Street 
Church Street (from Ann Uccello to Main) ** potential midnight location
Ann Uccello (from Asylum to Church) 
State House Square 
Trinity Street (from Elm to Jewell) ** potential midnight location
Elm Street 
Washington Street (from Russ to Grand) 
Retreat Avenue (from Maple to Essex) 

West End 
Sherman Street (UCONN law to Fern) 

Parkville/Southwest/Behind The Rocks 
Pope Park Highway 
Bartholomew Avenue (from Park St to Hamilton)** potential midnight location 
Hamilton Street (from the BRT to Bartholomew) 
New Park Avenue (from Francis to approx. Merrill) 
Kane Street (from New Park to the West Hartford town line) 
Summit Street 
Newfield Avenue 

South Meadows area
Taylor Street 
Sheldon Street 
Charter Oak Avenue/Van Dyke (from Huyshope to Sequassen) 
Huyshope (from Charter Oak to Sequassen) 
Ledyard Street (from Meadow to Airport and Airport to Wethersfield) 
Reserve Road (from the underpass to Maxim) 
Maxim Road and Brainard Road 
Murphy Road (from Maxim Road to Brainard)

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