Aurora council votes to strike down 65-year-old ban on ice cream trucks

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A Mister Softee ice cream truck makes its way through the streets of Brooklyn, New York, Monday June 18, 2007. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

AURORA | For more than 60 years, the warm streets of Aurora have been uninviting to the ice cream trucks of the greater Denver area, turned away by laws that prohibit them from operating in the city.

That will likely change this summer, as the Aurora City Council voted unanimously on first reading to lift a circa-1957 ban on treat trucks Monday.

“City staff actually brought this to our attention, and brought this forward, and have been working since then to develop both a repeal of the prohibition as well as the creation of the necessary regulatory guardrails that will provide safety measures to welcome ice cream trucks back to the city safely,” council sponsor Dustin Zvonek said.

It was the chilly fruit of a council subcommittee led by Zvonek that met earlier this year to discuss getting rid of unnecessary and burdensome regulations.

The 1957 ordinance which codified the ban said children running after the trucks had resulted in “hazardous conditions,” adding that the ban was “necessary to control injury, death or accident.” It also mentioned a citizen petition and said the law change had earned the support of police.

Some of the safety measures in Zvonek’s proposal include prohibitions on:

  • Registered sex offenders and anyone previously convicted of a sex crime involving a child operating an ice cream truck in the city.
  • Driving in reverse, driving faster than 10 miles an hour or driving on a street where the posted speed limit is greater than 25 miles per hour while operating a truck to sell products or playing music.
  • Selling ice cream from any part of a truck facing traffic.
  • Conducting transactions if the truck is not parked “as near to the curb or the edge of the roadway as is reasonably possible.”
  • Operating without rear- and side-view mirrors as well as either a convex mirror or camera on the front of the vehicle so the driver can see the area in front of the truck obscured by the hood.

The ordinance will have to be approved on second reading to take effect officially; the council’s next regular meeting will be held on July 11.

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Brent G Taylor
Brent G Taylor
4 months ago

“Registered sex offenders and anyone previously convicted of a sex crime involving a child operating an ice cream truck in the city.” This is somehow additional to other restrictions on sex offenders? How exactly does this prevent luring children for nefarious reasons to the assumed safety of an ice cream truck where children are otherwise taught to not approach strangers and strange vehicles? This was necessary (to repeal) in support of… small business? The ice cream industry? Nostalgia for an era that no longer exists? Does this mean (a fond childhood memory of the yellow Helm’s Bakery trucks) the donut/bread guys will drive down our neighborhoods as well?

Bluebird
Bluebird
4 months ago

Ha! You know not what mental torture is until the incessant drone of an ice cream trunk floods your neighborhood for two hours

Delva Martinez
Delva Martinez
4 months ago

Yes!

RW Estela
RW Estela
4 months ago

On Vaughn Street, I was five years old the last time little ice cream trucks were making the rounds. The following year we had moved across town to 23rd Avenue and began going to the store to find what formerly had been delivered to us curbside. Strange being old enough now to see a 65-year-old ban lifted so that the summer ritual of my early youth can return . . .

Joe Felice
Joe Felice
4 months ago

I truly hope no children are injured or killed as a result of this.

doug
doug
4 months ago

Why not just keep them in our parks?

doug
doug
4 months ago

Ironic: It was the chilly fruit of a council subcommittee led by Zvonek that met earlier this year to discuss getting rid of unnecessary and burdensome regulations.
But read the regulations for these ice cream trucks.

Jeff Brown
Jeff Brown
4 months ago

Meanwhile both sides of council continue to ignore the 800-lb chimp in the corner— the city’s chronically weak retail, dining and entertainment sector that impedes the quality of city services across the board. They would have us continue subsidizing Denver’s cultural gluttony to please party leadership on both sides.

Council is leaving over $30 million per year in sales tax revenue on the table. They haven’t acknowledged the problem/opportunity, haven’t commissioned any data collection since 2016, haven’t set any strategic goals or KPIs… nothing. I’ll go as far as to call the City of Aurora economically rudderless.

As someone who’s studied the city’s budget challenges, this proposal re ice cream offers very little return. A far better objective; Map Aurora’s exit from the Denver Scientific and Cultural Facilities District and plan Aurora’s renaissance by investing the SCFD taxes collected in Aurora, IN AURORA!