PITTSBURGH, PA – Food truck operators say Pittsburgh — particularly Downtown — is a tough place to do business because of restrictive regulations.

Restaurant owners complain that mobile food vendors siphon customers from established businesses that pay real estate taxes and costs for operating in the city.

Pittsburgh City Council, which is considering changes that would make it easier for food trucks to operate, will hear both sides of the argument at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday during a public hearing.

Councilman Dan Gilman of Shadyside said food trucks are “an absolute draw” to attract new residents.

“This law was written to deal with ice cream trucks years ago and has not been updated in years,” said Gilman, who has proposed amendments to an existing ordinance that would relax food truck rules. “To stand in the way and block food trucks from the city is bad for the city and bad for economic growth.”

Under the legislation, food truck operators for the first time would be permitted to park in metered spaces. They could stay there for up to four hours so long as they pay the meter fee.

Under the existing ordinance, trucks must move every 30 minutes from public places that aren’t metered.

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