Plans for the revitalization of the National Mall could include the District's blossoming food truck industry if one top D.C. official has her way.
Harriet Tregoning, the city's director of planning, says she wants the National Park Service to give visitors and residents dining options beyond the high priced cafe food at the museums or the hot dogs and soft pretzels offered at the few concessions stands on the Mall.
"Food trucks are an innovation in the District that weren't in existence even two years ago," Tregoning told The Washington Examiner. "I would encourage [having] them -- rather than looking at a revised, long-standing Mallwide concessions agreement -- to give visitors more variety and more flexibility."
Tregoning envisions a food pavilion of sorts where trucks can park on Seventh Street during lunchtime and more benches and tables could be added to that area of the Mall. Although it's illegal to conduct financial transactions on park service property, Seventh Street is owned by the District and Tregoning said an easement could be granted for the sidewalk, which is park service property.
The park service isn't shooting down the idea, although it's not yet embracing food trucks on a daily basis. National Mall Superintendent Bob Vogel told the National Capital Planning Commission last week that the new plan for the Mall, which is in the process of being approved by the commission, does include concessions improvements. In it, "mobile food services can be on location for key events," he said.
But that scenario is not vastly different from what's already in place for special events like the Smithsonian Folk Life Festival, which has food booths operated by local restaurants.
Tregoning said she is hoping the park service can streamline its "cumbersome" regulations and permitting process to allow food trucks the freedom to do business on the Mall.