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More Mpls. Food Trucks = Competitive Downtown Parking

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- They've overcome Mother Nature only to be challenged with parking problems in downtown Minneapolis. Food truck owners say every weekday can become challenging as they scout for the best spot.

"It's ridiculous, at 8:30 a.m. trucks will start circling the block," said Steve Ramlow, owner of Simply Steve's food truck. "Then around 9, somebody finally parks and then everyone parks."

Ramlow said the big fight is for spots on Marquette Avenue between 7th and 8th, near the IDS tower.

"Most of us really get along and we try to make sure we're utilizing the space," said Cody Allen, owner of the House of Hunger truck. "Sometimes in the morning for about 10 minutes it gets interesting."

Food Truck Parking

In 2010, Minneapolis issued only 10 food trucks licenses and trucks were only allowed to park on Nicollet Mall. In 2011, the number grew to 28. Then in 2012, the number doubled to 56. This year, there are 66 licensed food trucks competing to sell lunches.

On top of the increase in food trucks, our April and May snow storms have pushed back the food truck season making things even more competitive.

"We were three-and-a-half months into the year, this time last year, and this year it's been really tough in the last month to even get out," Allen said.

Some food truck owners have been surviving by parking at tap houses on evenings and weekends.

"This week I'm at 612 Brew on Thursday, I'm at Indeed Brewing on Friday. I'm at Fulton on Saturday," Ramlow said.

This season food truck owners formed a group called the Minnesota Food Truck Association. They came together after skyway businesses formed their own group called the Downtown Food Committee.

Brick and mortar restaurants said food trucks were taking away their business and they approached the city about limiting the amount of trucks downtown.

On Tuesday, the food truck association planned to meet again.

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