CHICAGO, IL – Food carts will soon be legal in Chicago, but the fight for food-cart freedom may have just begun.

The Chicago City Council lifted the city’s ban on food-cart street vending with a unanimous vote on Sept. 24. But hours after overturning the ban, Aldermen Brendan Reilly, 42nd Ward, and Tom Tunney, 44th Ward, introduced ordinances that would ban carts in certain potentially lucrative locations.

City aldermen can restrict food carts to protect public health and safety or prevent traffic congestion. “There’s no room,” Tunney’s chief of staff told the Chicago Tribune. “It’s just too congested.”

But if Tunney is truly concerned about overcrowded sidewalks, it’s odd that he’s issued 114 sidewalk café permits this year to restaurants in his ward, which comprises Lakeview.

Reilly, whose ward covers parts of River North, the Loop and other downtown areas, has issued 332 sidewalk café permits for restaurants in his ward this year.

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