MINNEAPOLIS — The Minneapolis City Council voted unanimously to ban drive-thru windows at new businesses.
Council members say the move is needed to ease traffic snarls, remove barriers and safety threats to pedestrians, reduce the size of parking lots and cut down on emissions from idling vehicles. Businesses with existing drive-thrus are exempt.
The proposed ban came before the city planning council in May of 2019. At that time Executive Director of Move Minnesota Jessica Treat said other factors have become more pressing than the convenience offered by drive-thrus.
“Conveniencing the automobile trip - making it the most convenient choice - it encourages and induces more driving, and that's not great for our environment," Treat said, adding idling cars at drive-thrus produce unnecessary emissions - while cars crossing sidewalks while entering and exiting drive-thru lanes impede pedestrians and make crossing unsafe.
“It doesn't mean that those businesses won't be able to operate, people will walk to businesses, they take transit to businesses, they bike to businesses, they don't only arrive by car,” Treat said.
Others KARE 11 talked to were not too hot on the ban. “I think that's a horrible idea, I love drive-thrus, they save a lot of time,” University of Minnesota student Hannah Brady said while exiting the McDonald’s drive-through in Dinkytown.