Home > Cultural Movement, Design the Details, Economics > Traverse City street food keeps rolling along

Traverse City street food keeps rolling along

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Since last Tuesday, a petition on Change.org by the TC Street Food group has generated 466 484 495 499 509 522 signatures. If you haven’t signed it, I encourage you to do so today. 466 is an impressive number in such a short time for such a small town–help them go over 500.

It’s clear from the numbers and comments that people want vibrancy. They want social connections. They want food they can eat in public spaces. They want to support small businesses….and all the other benefits of street life. As one comment on the petition put it, “This is a superb example of what will keep TC alive, exciting, changing, accessible in every way.” Or, another, “It’s in the spirit of our town and entrepreneurs everywhere!

The language of the petition is below and you can sign up at:

–>  TC Street Food Petition   <–


Tonight’s DDA Meeting

Since last summer, there has been a lot of positive developments by the City Commission sub-committee, which has created a sensible draft policy for the City outside of the Downtown neighborhood (Below). For downtown, they are seeking guidance by the Downtown Development Authority. Tonight they are likely to vote on the subject and the board has a few choices, however, the basics come down to whether the DDA Board supports a more restrictive policy or one that leans towards incentivizing street vending. Or, they may simply get out of the way and let the market run its course.

I’ve embedded the DDA’s agenda and packet below. It includes their direction for tonight, in addition to the current draft policy via the clerk’s office. If you can attend, it is at 7pm at the Governmental Center on Boardman Ave. 

The ongoing process surrounding street food vendors has been written about a lot already (herehereherehereherehere, and here, not just on MyWHaT), so hopefully today is the last time for a while.

If you can’t make the meeting, make sure you sign the petition and perhaps send a comment to the DDA board.

Petition Language:

To: Traverse City Downtown Development Authority

From: TC Street Food

Subject: Adopt the mobile food regulations proposed by the TC Street Food group


We recommend that the DDA allow mobile food vending on all public streets, with
the following restrictions:

  1. A complete restriction on mobile food vending on Front Street between Boardman Ave. and Union Street due to a lack of parking and safety concerns;
  2. A complete restriction on mobile food vending within twenty feet of all intersections to ensure a clear line of sight for all traffic; and
  3. A contractual exception to the above restrictions for special events.

Additionally, we recommend that the DDA enact no location-based restrictions on mobile food vending on private property. We ask that the City Commission enact reasonable health and safety regulations narrowly tailored to protect the public.





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Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are that of the author and do not represent the opinions of writers previously published here or any of the organizations, committees, commissions or other affiliation the authors may belong to, unless so stated. 

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  1. February 15, 2013 at 11:02 am

    Privately owned shopping malls have capitalized on the ” economies of Agglomeration” for decades. City fathers typically want malls in their town. Multiple anchor stores (selling the same products), with specialty stores in-between (selling the same products as the anchors) and on the ” boardwalks” you find kiosks (gentrified street vendors!). Amazing how under a roof they all compete. Creating an environment that attracts MORE BUSINESS for all.

    Our opinion is that developing a healthy balance of the variety available is important. Our research into street vending indicates that it is helpful to have a volunteer organization of owners (micro-entrepreneurs) that promote pedestrian and circle safety, cleanliness and orderliness, and cooperates with the city in marketing the to tourist, etc.

    Increased FOOT traffic increases profits!

    Wish your community well in developing a vibrant and profitable city center.

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