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monsoon

Should Drive Thru's be Banned In Charlotte?

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We have a new Poll here on UrbanPlanet that asks this question so I won't start another one here. But I want to know what you guys think specifically about putting some kind of campaign in place in Charlotte to eliminate Drive Thru's. We are suffering greatly here from automobile and truck generated ozone and particulate pollution and this would seem to be a good way to help cut it down.

Some things to consider are changes in the zoning laws that would stop more from being built, maybe some kind of property taxcut to close them down along with advertizing campaign that said something like "This business is going green. Please shut off your car and come in?"

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I'm not a parent so I can't say from personal experience, but according to some folks it's extremely difficult, even impossible to have children and go to the restaurant, pharmacy, dry cleaners, bank, grocery, etc. without drive-thrus. I recall looking at a site for mothers (don't want to track down the link) and the number-one thing that they thought would make their lives more convenient was more drive-thrus.

I can certainly see how this applies for newborns or toddlers. It could be a huge pain in the neck to get a kid out of the child seat, put them in a stroller, walk into or out of a store carrying something, and then secure the kid back in the child seat and be on your way. It could also be difficult to keep tabs on three small children while also talking to a teller at the counter at the bank. Etcetera.

Drive-thrus are so integrated into the psyche of America that there is no way to erase them. And, they do serve a purpose. I do, however, agree that they don't belong everywhere. The best we can hope for is a ban on drive-thrus in certain neighborhoods or on certain roads where there is a pedestrian or transit-oriented focus. South Blvd in Charlotte, for example, could be one such area.

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I'm not a parent so I can't say from personal experience, but according to some folks it's extremely difficult, even impossible to have children and go to the restaurant, pharmacy, dry cleaners, bank, grocery, etc. without drive-thrus. I recall looking at a site for mothers (don't want to track down the link) and the number-one thing that they thought would make their lives more convenient was more drive-thrus.

I can certainly see how this applies for newborns or toddlers. It could be a huge pain in the neck to get a kid out of the child seat, put them in a stroller, walk into or out of a store carrying something, and then secure the kid back in the child seat and be on your way. It could also be difficult to keep tabs on three small children while also talking to a teller at the counter at the bank. Etcetera.

Drive-thrus are so integrated into the psyche of America that there is no way to erase them. And, they do serve a purpose. I do, however, agree that they don't belong everywhere. The best we can hope for is a ban on drive-thrus in certain neighborhoods or on certain roads where there is a pedestrian or transit-oriented focus. South Blvd in Charlotte, for example, could be one such area.

I agree completely. Pedestrian areas shouldn't have them to promote traffic going to other areas for both safety and practicality reasons. The child in the car seat is the perfect example too, having my 8 year old nephew get in and out of the car is enough hassle as it is, I couldn't imagine a newborn.

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I would love to ban drive thrus, if for no other reason than it causes most Americans to incorrectly spell 'through'. In an ironic way, though, drive thrus actually help some urban businesses, as it gives them customers that need neither parking nor space in the store. It is also not politically viable since it so relied on by families. But I do wish businesses would switch to a kiosks to order and pay, then park with someone coming to deliver the goods with the car off. Idling pollutes.

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Just a point on this. Most you probably are not old enought to remember them without drive thrus but when I worked at McDonald's while in high school in the 70s, it did not have a drive thru window, and most didn't at the time. (though they were on the way by then) Some how people managed to get their kids in and out of the place without much trouble.

It seems to me that pollution, gas dependence and sustainablility (or lack of) are determined by the choices that people make with their lives and how they decide to run their families.

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the worst is when i see some jagazz in his 2 ton truck - whose just been through the drive-thru - idling with the windows up and AC on in the summertime. and i'll be the first to admit i have been guilty of that on rare occassion with the kids... no excuse, i try to remain dilligent. ignorance and self-indulgence sometimes swoops down like a hawk.

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I know that drive-thru's are not the best for the environment, but if there were no drive-thru's, then wouldn't fast food joints have to close earlier? This would mean fast food places would not be open as late, and that would mean no late night runs to taco bell or wendy's. So the question then becomes, where are you gonna go for your late night fast food cravings? :D

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In the world of public investors, very few businesses could possibly accept the terms of business from 20 years ago. That would mean removing the growth in revenues from the past 20 years. In a business sense, drive thrus have nothing to do with customer convenience. They have everything to do with squeezing more revenue from a single store, without the need for the extra parking spaces, the extra security (for late night/24 hour), and the extra indoor seating.

I still think it is a paradox, but we would all dislike fast food buildings even more if they had twice as much surface parking as they do now to accommodate the extra people. Urbanism is about high volume and density and drive thrus contribute both in a world where people are not close enough to walk.

I think there are ways to help the pollution issue, without eliminative decades worth of income gains for an entire sector of the economy. One way would be to explain to people that does pollute more and cost more gas to idle than to shut it off. Most people seriously still think it costs more gas to shut off the engine and restart. That is a hold over from before fuel injection when that was actually true. But with fuel injection motors, it doesn't cost much gas to start an engine.

Maybe they could just do conveyor belts like carwashes. So people shut off their car and go through the line.

So while I agree in principle that drive thrus are tacky, polluting, and help sales at places that contribute to obesety, a ban is just not practical, and would have economic implications.

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I know that drive-thru's are not the best for the environment, but if there were no drive-thru's, then wouldn't fast food joints have to close earlier? This would mean fast food places would not be open as late, and that would mean no late night runs to taco bell or wendy's. So the question then becomes, where are you gonna go for your late night fast food cravings? :D

The Mickey Dees that I mentioned above with no drive thru, was open 24 hours/day.

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They should be banned. Mothers survived hundreds of years without them. Otherwise, we're just further down the path to the following:

singerb2dincar.gif

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Ignore this if Im wrong! But doesn't starting your car take more gas than just letting it idle in line?

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No, if you have a car with fuel injection, it costs more to idle than than turn your car off and on. Unless, of course, you are only idling for 20 seconds or something.

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I really don't think banning drive thru's is going to do much in changing the ozone. I would much rather have more biodiesel and ethenol pumps, introduction of more fuel efficent cars, smartcars, hybrids, electric, fuel cell. I just feel that trying to change peoples habits and dependencies on convience is a long shot. We need more fuel efficient vehicles on the market. Or better yet vehicles that don't rely on fossel fuels. Banning drive thru's does not challenge someones dependency on a car that uses fossil fuel. Most people would still drive to the fast food place to eat rather than walk, unless of course it's 50 feet away.

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