Minneapolis wants to ban all new drive-thru windows citywide in order to cut down on carbon emissions produced by idling cars.
The City Planning Commission has been considering a drive-thru ban since 2017, but the idea didn’t really start to come to fruition until the 2018 conversations surrounding the “Minneapolis 2040” comprehensive city plan.
Now, according to a report prepared by the planning commission, a new ordinance wants to take language included in the comprehensive city plan and “expand the prohibition of new drive-through facilities to all zoning districts citywide.”
“A text amendment that specifically addresses regulations is timely given the number of proposals for new drive-through facilities that have been considered by the City Planning Commission in the last few years and the undesirable impacts these uses have,” the report states. “Said impacts include noise, extended idling, proliferation of curb cuts, conflicts with pedestrians, and traffic generation.”
The report lists seven pending proposals to build new drive-thru windows within city limits for businesses such as banks, pharmacies, coffee shops, and fast-food restaurants.
Some, however, think the ban would have an adverse impact on the most vulnerable residents, such as the elderly and disabled, or even parents with young children. But City Planning Commission President Sam Rockwell dismissed those concerns during a Thursday meeting, according to WCCO.
“You go to a city like London, Paris, New York or Boston. Neighbors help their elderly neighbors up the stairs with their groceries. They know them, they help them, they run errands. So creating that community can be a boost,” Rockwell said.
“Drive-thru [windows], traffic lanes, parking facilities … they all create induced demand, which is ‘if you build it, they will come,’” he added.
Tom Steward, an investigative reporter for the Center of the American Experiment, agreed in a recent article that the “latest anti-automobile edict” would “once again harm the most vulnerable members of society.”
“Yet the big shots at city hall never seem to let the personal impact on the people they’re supposed to serve get in the way of imposing their vision,” he said. “It seems Minneapolis has a future with all sorts of places to go, but no practical way to get there. The sort of place you might choose to ‘drive-thru’ and keep on going.”
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