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Parking and Rules of the Road

Moving and Parking

  1. Vehicles licensed for food peddling must obey all traffic laws and regulations.
  2. You may not park or sell within 300 feet of a school entrance while the school is open to students. (Section 115-45 of the Milwaukee Code of Ordinances)
  3. You may not stop for more than two hours in any residential block and such stops must be separated by a six-hour period. You must be in compliance with posted time limits on parking. (Section 115-45 of the Milwaukee Code of Ordinances).
  4. You cannot sell food from a vehicle on a public street in a non-residential block for more than one hour on any day unless your vehicle is parked in compliance with all posted time limits on parking and with all other applicable regulations. (Section 74-1 of the Milwaukee Code of Ordinances)
  5. Food, merchandise, or any other article may not be sold or offered for sale for two hours immediately before the start of any scheduled event, and ending one hour immediately after the event on any public street or sidewalk within 500 feet of the Midwest Express Center, the Auditorium, the Arena, the Milwaukee Public Museum, the Bradley Center, the Performing Arts Center, the Eagles Auditorium, the Riverside Theater, Summerfest, Miller Park parking facilities, and the right of way for Jazz in the Park, River Rhythms, the Westown Farmer's Market, and certain special events designated by the Commissioner of Public Works. (Section 105-56 and 105-57 of the Milwaukee Code of Ordinances)
  6. There are other specific streets and highways where the selling from a parked vehicle is prohibited.

Section 115-45 of the code relating to Selling Article from Parked Vehicles, Locations where prohibited are as follows

  1. The North and South sides of W. Mitchell St. from S. 19th Street westward to the city limits all the days of the week including Sundays and Holidays.
  2. The east and west sides of N. 76th St from W. Florist Ave. to W. Capitol Dr. all days of the week including Sundays and holidays.
  3. The north and south sides of W. Capitol Dr. from N. 76th St. to W. Fond Du Lac Ave. all days of the week including Sundays and holidays.
  4. The north and south sides of W. Fond Du Lac Ave. from N. 68th St. to W. Capitol Dr. all days of the week including Sundays and holidays.
  5. The north and south sides of W. Hampton Ave. from N. 60th St. to N. 76th St. all days of the week including Sundays and holidays
  6. The north and south sides of W. Greenfield Ave. from S. Layton Blvd. westward to the city limits all the days of the week including Sundays and holidays.

The ordinance change was reviewed by the City Attorney and it was determined that MPD alone has the authority to enforce section 115-45 of the City code.  Complaints regarding peddlers parked in the prohibited areas listed above should be referred to MPD.  The ban applies to both push carts on the sidewalk and vehicles on the street.

DPW does however have the authority to enforce parking for all vehicles, food trucks included.  If a food truck is parked in violation of the parking rules (parked in a no parking zone, parked in excess of the posted parking limit etc.), those issue can and should be referred to DPW parking enforcement.  To make a referral call  the Parking Information Desk at 286-8350.  
Parking of peddlers on private property requires a temporary event permit (unless the event itself is permitted by DCD), as mobile food operations are limited to the public way per city ordinance.  Peddlers found selling on private property should be advised to move or obtain the appropriate temporary event permit.

Other Rules of the Road

  • Each mobile food establishment shall return to its service base at least every 24 hours for servicing and maintenance.
  • Food cannot be sold door-to-door.
  • All sales must be made on the public way (sidewalk or street) directly from the licensed unit.
  • It is prohibited to make any sales from a roadway median strip, safety island, or on foot into any street or roadway (including an alley) where there is vehicular traffic.
  • You cannot block or restrict an individual's access to a business or residence, and you must allow a minimum 5 ft. clearance on sidewalks for pedestrians. You cannot make any comment, request, or proposal which is obscene, lewd, lascivious, profane, filthy, or indecent.
  • No minor under 12 years of age may participate in the activities of a food peddler.
  • Unless you have a permit allowing night time operation, food cannot be sold between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. This does not apply on January 1st, Memorial Day, Juneteenth, the 3rd and 4th of July, Labor Day, and on city streets adjacent to State Fair Park during the run of the Wisconsin State Fair.
  • If you are interested in selling in any of the Milwaukee County Parks, you must contact the Milwaukee County Parks System at 414-257-4503 for information.
  • If you use your mobile establishment at a festival and want to offer different items than you are normally licensed for (such as grilling next to the unit), additional licensing may be required.
  • The entire operation must be fully mobile. You cannot place coolers on the ground or provide chairs or tables for your customers. Mobile units are not permitted to use electrical connections. Generators are acceptable provided they are attached to the mobile unit.


Food peddlers must comply with all city noise nuisance regulations ( S 80-65-4 of the Milwaukee Code of Ordinance). A food peddler with a permit for a pushed, pedaled, or pulled vehicle shall not use any type of horn.

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