The Concerning Reason This City Has Partially Banned Food Trucks

For decades, the only foods you could expect from a truck were ice cream and popsicles. But in the early 2000s, hungry patrons who previously could occasionally catch a snack from a random food cart rejoiced as trucks with flare and gourmet fare began popping up (per Touch Bistro). These early mobile food pioneers sparked a revolution, bringing food to the people and creating a culinary culture that fans feel is the best thing since sliced bread on four wheels. Unfortunately, the popularity of food trucks has the Denver Police Department (DPD) concerned about the crowds that gather around them and forced some trucks to move from a downtown hotspot for safety reasons (via KUSA 9 News).

Lower Downtown (LoDo) Denver features streets packed with businesses, restaurants, and bars that draw crowds into the wee hours of the night. It's been an ideal place for Denver food trucks to park and gain business from workers and late-night revelers, but the DPD has marked LoDo as an area of concern for its rising crime rates. A few weeks back, DPD officers injured six innocent bystanders, some of whom were in line at a local food truck, when they shot a man with a gun outside one of the bars in LoDo. 

Tasked with increasing public safety in the area, the department forced the food trucks that frequent the popular spot to move in order to decrease gatherings outside the bars.

Food trucks removed after shooting

Food truck owners already struggling with inflation have been forced to move away from the crowds that support their businesses and are fighting for their livelihood after an officer-involved shooting prompted a partial ban in downtown Denver (via KUSA 9 News). Food truck owners removed from the area have voiced their objections to the city council but received limited feedback on the ban that has diminished their business.

According to Out There Colorado, food truck owners and their patrons disagree with the City of Denver and the DPD connecting rising crime in LoDo to the food trucks that park in the popular area. Some say that moving the trucks won't reduce the crowds or crime rates that are more likely caused by the avid bar scene and party-goers that will remain.

The police department says that they have been working on reducing crime in LoDo for months by increasing police presence, lighting, and DUI patrols. The decision to move the trucks was made after the officer-involved shooting, and the department has refused to release the body camera video of the incident. The food trucks that once benefited from the mobility of their business are now suffering from their easy removal from the area compared to brick and mortar establishments.