Former Ottawa City Director Applauds St. John’s Tim Horton’s Drive-through Ban

From the Wires

Former Ottawa City Director Applauds St. John’s Tim Horton’s Drive-through Ban

By: Marketwire .

Jan. 8, 2009 09:20 AM

OTTAWA, ONTARIO — (Marketwire) — 01/08/09 — Back in 2003, the City of Ottawa established an aggressive policy to restrict the proliferation of drive-through restaurants because of their direct impact on traffic congestion along main arteries, resulting in road rage and potential delays for police, fire and ambulance services. Drive-throughs encourage car idling creating air pollution. Tim Horton’s challenged Ottawa Council’s decision and the Ontario Municipal Board sided with Tim Horton’s in 2006.

“I am very pleased to see that Canadian cities are fighting back, says Dennis Jacobs, the City of Ottawa’s former Director of Planning, Environment and Infrastructure Policy, and the staff member who lead the fight in Ottawa. “Recently, Toronto has also stepped up to the plate adds Jacobs, by looking at ways to make Tim Horton’s and other fast food outlets, responsible for their direct impacts on the environment, in view of the disproportionately high amount of garbage that is strewn in and around city neighborhoods.”

“What we need however, says Jacobs, is a coordinated effort as individual municipalities cannot expect to make a difference on their own. Fast food is a part of our lifestyle, but the industry must also be environmentally responsible as a retail business. As evidenced in Ottawa, a piece meal approach results in many small battles that can be lost. What we need is a national approach.

Dennis Jacobs is a Registered Professional Planner, a past president of the Ontario Professional Planners Institute and a member of the Canadian Institute of Planners. Since leaving the City of Ottawa in 2007, he has continued to practice land use planning in the Ottawa area as a consultant with the firm Momentum Strategic and Creative.

Contacts:
Momentum Strategic and Creative.
Dennis Jacobs
613-862-0799 or 613-729-3773
Dennis@momentumservices.org
www.momentumservices.org

Published Jan. 8, 2009

Moratorium | Traffic at Tim Hortons prompts drive-thru crackdown

Traffic at Tim Hortons prompts drive-thru crackdown

Posted By TARA BRAUTIGAM, THE CANADIAN PRESS

The ubiquitous Tim Hortons drive-thru, a daily pit stop for many Canadians on their way to work, has brewed a controversy in Newfoundland and Labrador’s capital city.

Municipal politicians in St. John’s have passed a motion that prohibits the establishment of new drive-thru operations unless businesses can prove to the city’s traffic department that vehicles won’t spill out onto public streets.

Mayor Dennis O’Keefe said while there wasn’t much public pressure calling for the legislation, it came about because of safety concerns arising from traffic lining up along drive-thrus and spilling out onto roads.

“We have had incidents where fender benders have resulted,” O’Keefe said in an interview Tuesday.

“Inevitably … something tragic is going to happen if it’s allowed to continue.”

O’Keefe said the resolution passed Monday doesn’t target any specific business but was triggered by the growing popularity of Tim Hortons drivethrus in the city.

“I guess in many ways they are the victim of their own popularity and their own success,” he said, adding that possible solutions could include more drive-thru lanes at each location and separate express lanes at busy times of the day where only coffee is sold.

A spokeswoman for Tim Hortons said the company has met with city officials to address traffic concerns and hires extra staff during peak periods.

Rachel Douglas, the company’s public affairs director, also said Tim Hortons is renovating at least one outlet in the city to improve traffic flow.

“Tim Hortons is continuously working on making our sites better to serve our customers faster,” Douglas said in a statement.

The motion, which took effect immediately, sparked a flurry of reaction from private enterprise and the public.

http://www.thesudburystar.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=1376609

St. John’s has ordered a moratorium on new drive-thru applications

CBC.ca Homepage

Tim’s lineups spark halt to new St. John’s drive-thrus

Last Updated: Tuesday, January 6, 2009 | 5:46 AM ET Comments177Recommend78

The city council in St. John’s has ordered a moratorium on new drive-thru applications, amid concerns that long lineups at some coffee shops are posing persistent traffic and safety hazards.

The only lineups cited at Monday evening’s regular council meeting involved Tim Hortons franchises across St. John’s, although the moratorium will apply to other franchises.

Councillors said new applications will not be approved until the city is confident traffic will not be affected.

Mayor Dennis O’Keefe said the problem is particularly bad around a Tim Hortons shop on Topsail Road.

“It’s a public highway which becomes a stacking lane for Tim Hortons,” said O’Keefe.

“I have seen drivers out of pure frustration pull out into the adjoining lane and try to go on west early in the morning, and one of these fine days there’s going to be a tragedy there — or in any one of the other ones where public highways are used for stacking lanes for Tim Hortons,” O’Keefe told the meeting.

Deputy Mayor Ron Ellsworth said the situation is unique to Tim Hortons restaurants, but added the company should not be demonized because it is so popular with consumers.

Ellsworth noted that other locations — including Thorburn Road, Ropewalk Lane and a location in the Goulds — have had traffic problems.

“Every one of them is an issue, but I also think we have to recognize that Tim Hortons is a good corporate citizen,” Ellsworth said.

“They’ve been very good to our community. They’ve been very good to programs in our community. And certainly I don’t want this to be a black mark on Tim Hortons in any way, shape or form.”

Ellsworth said he wants the company to meet with council to work out a solution to chronic traffic problems.

http://www.cbc.ca/consumer/story/2009/01/06/tim-hortons-city.html

The Canadian Press

Traffic at Tim Hortons prompts crackdown on drive-thrus in St. John’s, N.L.

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — The ubiquitous Tim Hortons drive-thru, a daily pit stop for many Canadians on their way to work, has brewed a controversy in Newfoundland and Labrador’s capital city.

Municipal politicians in St. John’s have passed a motion that prohibits the establishment of new drive-thru operations unless businesses can prove to the city’s traffic department that vehicles won’t spill out onto public streets.

Mayor Dennis O’Keefe said while there wasn’t much public pressure calling for the legislation, it came about because of safety concerns arising from traffic lining up along drive-thrus and spilling out onto roads.

“We have had incidents where fender benders have resulted,” O’Keefe said in an interview Tuesday.

“Inevitably . . . something tragic is going to happen if it’s allowed to continue.”

O’Keefe said the resolution passed Monday doesn’t target any specific business but was triggered by the growing popularity of Tim Hortons drive-thrus in the city.

“I guess in many ways they are the victim of their own popularity and their own success,” he said, adding that possible solutions could include more drive-thru lanes at each location and separate express lanes at busy times of the day where only coffee is sold.

A spokeswoman for Tim Hortons said the company has met with city officials to address traffic concerns and hires extra staff during peak periods.

Rachel Douglas, the company’s public affairs director, also said Tim Hortons is renovating at least one outlet in the city to improve traffic flow.

“Tim Hortons is continuously working on making our sites better to serve our customers faster,” Douglas said in a statement.

“We will continue to work with the city to find solutions wherever possible to address traffic concerns.”

The motion, which took effect immediately, sparked a flurry of reaction from private enterprise and the public.

“Go in, have your coffee, by all means,” said Bill Rowe, host of a popular radio call-in show broadcast provincewide.

“But get off your big duff and go in, walk in, and get it rather than hold off in your car waiting for 20 minutes, beefing and stewing and complaining.”

Local blogger Peter Whittle slammed city councillors for launching a “jihad” against Tim Hortons and chalked up any possible public safety risk to their failed zoning and planning.

Bradley George, a spokesman for the provincial branch of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, said the legislation sends a discouraging message to entrepreneurs and condemned it for pinning “blame squarely on the shoulders of successful business owners, rather than drivers or customers.”

In recent years, several major cities in Canada have debated the merits of banning drive-thrus because of both traffic problems and environmental concerns stemming from idling cars.

In 2002, for instance, the City of Toronto enacted a bylaw banning new drive-thrus from opening up within 30 metres of a residence.

http://www.google.com/hostednews/canadianpress/article/ALeqM5gsts4NslQ09CBRgx5pr_2ODc0CNA

Drive-thrus are bad for you, city argues

Vaughan

November 06, 2008 08:26 PM

Bank drive-thru approved, but sparks debate about merits
By: Caroline Grech

If you like to get your coffee or do your banking at a drive-thru, you might have to change your ways if some Vaughan councillors get their way.

An application by York Major Holdings Inc. and Metrus Properties to build a bank with a drive- thru sparked debate amongst councillors about the need for drive-thrus.

While council approved the application in the end, the ensuing debate provided insight into how Vaughan might look in the future.

The approved proposal would see a bank with a drive-thru built at Major Mackenzie Drive and Dufferin Street.

But some councillors don’t want to see more drive-thrus in the city.

“It’s a bank. Drive-thrus are not critical. I prefer that a drive-thru not be allowed at this corner,” Councillor Alan Shefman said.

If Vaughan is looking now at a plan to make the city more sustainable, drive-thrus don’t fit the bill, Mr. Shefman argued.

He wasn’t alone. Regional Councillor Joyce Frustaglio called for a hold on drive-thrus in new projects.

“Drive-thrus are harmful to your health. You’re forced to sit in your car and breath in fumes from other cars,” Ms Frustaglio said.

Councillor Peter Meffe also heaped criticism on drive-thrus, but offered the idea that the drive-thru might only operate when the bank was closed.

“It isn’t more convenient. These things (drive-thrus) are hindering human contact. They’re making us worse people. I can’t support it,” Mr. Meffe said.

But before council got too far ahead with ideas to ban drive-thrus, planning commissioner John Zipay issued a cautionary tone on the issue.

“The zoning bylaw permits certain places to have drive-thrus. This council could not put a temporary ban on them. You would have to change the bylaw,” Mr. Zipay said.

He also noted the area where the bank would be located is not a pedestrian area, but one that people travel around in their cars.

Mr. Zipay warned councillors that any decision on drive-thrus has to be consistent.

“It has to be done on a comprehensive basis. You can’t say one type of business can have drive-thrus but not another,” he said, adding it was a revelation to him that this might be on the table.

But some councillors had no problem with the bank drive-thru proposal.

“To say no to this application would be inappropriate because it is allowed. I can’t support the change right here,” Regional Councillor Mario Ferri said.

Council approved the application, but Ms Frustaglio requested a report to deal with the issue of drive-thrus for the next committee of the whole meeting.

http://www.georginaadvocate.com/News/Vaughan/article/83947

Mike Ivey’s Business Beat: DQ drive-through sails through

Mike Ivey —  11/12/2008 11:07 am

The last time Madison was arguing over drive-through windows at fast-food restaurants, it turned into a national brouhaha fed by Rush Limbaugh and the Drudge Report.

This time it barely hit the local radar screen.

I’m talking about the approval last week of a new Dairy Queen “Chill & Grill” at 1513 Lake Point Drive as part of the ongoing redevelopment of a neighborhood once considered so dicey, the city changed its name.

The DQ will help anchor a $1.8 million, two-building office and retail project at 1526 W. Broadway on the southeast side.

City officials have been working for years to improve the area formerly known as Broadway-Simpson, which Ald. Tim Bruer once said had the most “drug-infested and decayed apartment buildings in the city.”

But things have turned around over the last decade, helped in large part by the Community Development Authority’s Monona Shores-Waunona Woods redevelopment. That $15 million effort included tearing down the worst buildings, refurbishing others and converting three dozen rental townhouses into owner-occupied condos.

The private sector has also stepped up, with local businessmen Scott and Jim Norton opening the Cranberry Creek Restaurant, which has benefited from the hungry lunch crowd coming across the street from the giant WPS Insurance complex.

With Cranberry Creek apparently on solid footing, the Nortons have now turned their attention to the Broadway Station project a few hundred yards west.

But before breaking ground, they needed a conditional use permit for a drive-through service window for a DQ. The franchise said it wouldn’t locate there without a drive-through, a move developers said would kill the entire project.

The Nortons took their case before the Madison Plan Commission last week, which got an earful from several condo owners who said they feared a DQ with drive-up service would bring more traffic into the area. They also warned about “gang graffiti” and “too many kids running around,” suggesting that tensions in the racially mixed neighborhood remain.

In the end, however, the commission sided with several longtime Lake Point residents who said having a DQ not only provides families a place for ice cream but might also provide some jobs to needy teenagers.

“I see the DQ as an economic development tool,” says Patrick DePula, past president of the Waunona Woods condo association and a former Dane County Board supervisor. “Plus, I’ve got a 7-month old, and it’s kind of a pain to get them in and out of the car each time you want to grab something from a fast-food place.”

Absent, ironically, from the proceedings was Plan Commission member Eric Sundquist, whose remark about rethinking the drive-through windows in light of concerns over automobile idling and global climate change put Madison in the spotlight for a day back in May.

Sundquist’s comments, which appeared here in the June 25 Business Beat column, were sent to the Drudge Report Web site via WIBA’s own Vicki McKenna. The Drudge feature then caught the attention of radio commentator Rush Limbaugh.

Limbaugh used the story to warn his listeners that liberals and Barack Obama are prepared to revoke American’s right to burn as much fossil fuel as they wish.

Now, I guess we’ll see if Rush was right.

http://www.madison.com/tct/business/313884

‘I think it’s important to get out of the car and go inside’

Cave Creek sticks to its guns on slower-paced lifestyle

By Linda Bentley | September 24, 2008

‘I think it’s important to get out of the car and go inside’
CAVE CREEK – Parkway Bank didn’t fare much better than the previous applicant during Thursday night’s planning commission meeting with its renewed request for a special use permit (SUP) to allow drive-through customer service.

Planning Director Ian Cordwell noted during his introduction, “The building was originally designed to have a drive-through facility as an integral part of the structure. Even though the use was denied, the structure was built as planned.”

On behalf of the applicant, Robin Lorenz brought some renderings to illustrate how “unobtrusive” the drive-through would be.

During public comment Anna Marsolo said she had the minutes from 2001, and stated, “The concerns then should be the same as now. The main concern was the precedent it would set for drive-throughs. Vice Mayor Mozilo said it was a life-style choice.”

Referring to the fact the SUP had been previously turned down, Charlie Spitzer said, “This reminds me of when my kids were little. They’d go ask mom if they didn’t like the answer they got from dad.”

Shea Stanfield said, “I was on the council that voted this down in 2001. Most of us were committed to no drive-throughs. We wanted a walking kind of town.”

Implying the bank was employing an “if we wait long enough faces change” strategy, Stanfield deadpanned, “If we wait long enough there won’t be any more banks,” and said, “I hope we can hold the line on this one.”

Herb Natker said, “I’d like to reiterate what the speakers said before me. It would set a precedent. We don’t need it … I hope you deny this.”

Kathryn Bosco, Parkway Bank’s branch manager, said, “There’s no one left waiting for faces to change.”

Citing Cave Creek was Parkway’s busiest branch with the largest number of transactions each month, Bosco stated more pollution is created by starting and stopping a vehicle than by idling for a few minutes.

Bosco stated her concerns were for Parkway’s customers, being able to provide them with this service, and said she has a petition people have signed in support of a drive-through.
Commissioner Steve LaMar moved to approve recommendation for the SUP, but only “for the sake of discussion,” and said, “As far as drive-throughs go, I don’t have a problem with the design or function. The problem I have is the same as in 2001. There are a lot of national corporations wanting to locate in Cave Creek that all want drive-throughs.

“It’s the difference between Cave Creek and other towns,” said LaMar, adding, “I wish we were more unique.”

Commissioner Bill Allen said, “I’ve banked at Parkway Bank since it opened. I think it’s important to get out of the car and go inside … The bank is an important contribution to the town, but I don’t support a drive-through.”

Commissioner Reg Monachino said, “If we grant this we’d have to grant it to others. We’d be no different than Bell Road.”

“I have mixed emotions,” said Chairman Ted Bryda. Even though the town has the right to turn down others on a case-by-case basis, he said, “We can still end up in litigation.”

The commission voted 1-4 against the SUP with Commissioner Dan Baxley voting in favor.
Cordwell announced there will be four major general plan amendments reviewed during the Oct. 16 planning commission meeting. The rezoning of approximately 11 square miles of state land within the proposed annexation area is scheduled to be heard on Nov. 6 and a nonconforming use case scheduled for Nov. 20.

http://www.sonorannews.com/archives/2008/2008-09/080924/FrntPgParkwayBank.html

Banning drive-thrus in Madison worthwhile

By: Emily Houtler /The Daily Cardinal  – September 16, 2008

Recent proposal to ban drive-thrus in Madison deserves greater consideration

I wonder why much of the world considers Americans lazy. Maybe it is because dead batteries in a remote control have reduced some to tears. Perhaps it is the fact that nearly a quarter of American adults are completely physically inactive by choice. Or maybe it is because they simply do not have the decency to get out of their car to order and pick up their venti iced vanilla latte.

If it were up to a Madison planning committee, no one would need to worry about that last one. If some in the committee could have their way, Madison would be a drive-thru free city, and life would subsequently be better for both the environment and residents of Madison.

Late this past June, Eric Sundquist, a member of Madison’s Plan Commission, proposed the idea that the city of Madison should consider banning restaurant drive-thrus. Several Canadian cities have implemented similar measures because of their environmental impact, and recently San Luis Obispo, Calif., followed suit.

Such a proposal is a smart plan for numerous reasons. First, there is the environmental aspect. Vehicles, whether idling in a fast food drive-thru lane or rushing down the Beltline, release harmful gases and exhaust. However, when a car is moving, these gases at least achieve the objective of moving a vehicle toward a destination. Automobiles that sit idle in drive-thrus, sometimes for more than 20 minutes, are simply polluting. There is no other excuse. Imagine if the pollution created from the hours spent in drive-thrus every day was eliminated. It certainly would likely improve the quality of the city air at least a modest amount. Additionally, with the rash of hurricanes hitting the southern United States recently and through the rest of the season, oil refineries all along the coast have been forced to shut down. With a minor gas shortage, it is far more important for our domestic fuel to be put to better use than waiting in line for hamburgers.

Exiling drive-thrus would also save many people large amounts of frustration. Having been on both sides of a drive-thru speaker, I know how aggravating the system can be. No speaker, electronic or human, is flawless. It always seems that more mistakes are made on drive-thru orders than on counter orders due to many reasons, including the inability of many Americans to articulate properly further distorted by a faulty microphone system. It is also more difficult to rectify errors made while in the drive-thru lane owing to the volume of idling cars and the nearly impossible speed expected of employees of said establishment.

Further, in today’s volatile market, some might worry that taking away drive-thrus would be bad for business. Although it is true that drive-thrus usually do have a steady supply of customers, these people would likely still frequent these establishments, especially if everyone in the city closed their drive-thrus. With gas prices as they are, no sane person would drive outside of Madison just to use a drive-thru to get their meal. The manner of service, not the product or employees, would be changed by the exclusion of drive-thrus.

Several questions still surround the issue, such as grandfathering current drive-thrus and accommodating drive-thru pharmacies. Nonetheless, this subject deserves serious consideration, and the issue was swept aside by the committee far too quickly. In a city known for its progressive measures for both humanity and the environment, this is a ban that should be passed in Madison. At the very least, Madison would be wise to implement a restriction on the number of drive-thrus allotted in a city that lacks the infrastructure to support a large number of automobiles.

http://www.dailycardinal.com/article/20431

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