Food trucks parked on the Eastern Promenade on Friday, May 28. Executive Director of Portland Downtown Cary Tyson advises Portlanders to be "tourists in their own town" as a sense of normalcy returns this summer. (Portland Phoenix/Elizabeth Clemente)
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The city has recommended keeping food trucks on Cutter Street, following the controversial decision last spring to move the trucks away from a popular location along the Eastern Promenade.

Staff were slated to make this recommendation at a joint meeting between the City Council’s sustainability and transportation committee and the housing and economic development committee on Tuesday, after the Phoenix’s deadline.

The recommendation calls for maintaining a food truck plaza at the middle parking lot on Cutter Street. It also would slash the number of dedicated food truck spots in that lot from 14 to seven, while relocating those seven spots to the north side of the parking lot, away from the base of the hill. Staff say this will allow for installation of electricity for the trucks to access. Additionally, staff are recommending installation of new trash cans, installing a walkway and stairs down to the Cutter Street lot, exploring additional food truck parking in a nearby lot and instituting a $3,900 license fee for trucks to operate there.

The city forced trucks to vacate from the top of the Eastern Promenade in June after complaints from neighboring property owners, though several truck owners disliked the new Cutter Street location. Moving the trucks was a pilot program for the city, and staff reportedly made their decision to maintain the Cutter Street lot following an online public survey with more than 1,800 responses and a survey to food truck operators.

Truck owners like Jordan Rubin, who owns Mr. Tuna, and Dylan Gardiner, owner of Falafel Mafia, had previously told the city in no uncertain terms they wanted to return to the old spot at the top of the Eastern Promenade. 

“Moving the trucks down low did not solve the problem and suggesting that it did doesn’t do any good in filling out this survey,” Gardiner said in early October.


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