Albany's next food truck pilot program starts May 1 and will include slots for up to 25 food trucks.
The city announced the rules for the program, a follow up to last year's short pilot program at the end of the summer, on Tuesday. (Quick recap of a public meeting earlier this spring to get feedback ahead of the plan's release.) It's set to run May 1 through October 31.
A few of the highlights:
+ Up to 25 trucks will be included in the pilot program. (Last year's program included just five slots, three of which were claimed.) The city will be issuing the permits on a first-come, first-serve basis.
+ The number of possible permits for Washington Park have been increased from three to five. (The designated spot for food trucks in the park is on Washington Park Road at Hudson Ave, near the Knox Street Mall. Trucks will be allowed Saturday and Sunday 11 am-5 pm and Monday 3-9 pm.)
+ Potential operating hours have been expanded to 11 am to 10 pm.
+ The areas open to food trucks will include those zoned industrial, in addition to commercial. (zoning map)
Among the holdovers from last year's program: Trucks wishing to operated within 150 feet of a fixed-placed restaurant must get written approval from that restaurant. And sites within business improvement districts require the OK of the BID.
Permits are $250 (up from $200 last year, though the length of this year's program is much longer) -- each additional permit for another location is $125.
The pilot program does not affect the long-established food truck scene around West Capitol Park.
A copy of the food truck pilot program rules is embedded below.
The rising popularity of food trucks has been a trend is many cities around the country. But the Capital Region hasn't been the easiest place to operate one of the trucks, in part because there so many different municipalities, each with their own rules. Even so, food truck events around the region have been very popular.
It will be interesting to see how many trucks sign up to take part in the Albany program this summer. Both the press release announcing the rules, and the rules document, note that the city is interested in seeing trucks operate in areas where there are currently few or no food options.
Also: The Downtown Albany BID is organizing a monthly food truck event to coincide with 1st Friday this summer -- "Fork in the Road" is set for May 1, June 5, August 7, September 4, and October 2 at Tricentennial Park.
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