CBC | Drive-thru moratorium debate brewing in N.B. cities

Drive-thru moratorium debate brewing in N.B. cities

Last Updated: Friday, January 9, 2009 | 7:43 AM ET Comments87Recommend56

CBC News

The idea of clamping down on drive-thrus that is filtering through a Newfoundland and Labrador city council is causing a full-bodied debate to percolate in New Brunswick.

The city council in St. John’s, N.L., has ordered a moratorium on new drive-thru applications. It’s concerned that long lineups at some coffee shops are causing traffic and safety hazards.

In New Brunswick, the idea of imposing a similar moratorium is getting mixed reactions.

David Kelly, a Fredericton city councillor, has long raised concerns about drive-thrus in the New Brunswick capital city.

In particular, he said he is concerned about the Tim Hortons location at King and Regent streets, which is one of the busiest intersections in Fredericton and just steps from the legislative assembly and the main building housing provincial bureaucrats.

He said he supports the motion of St. John’s council and would like to see other municipalities follow suit.

“Yes, I would like to see municipalities all across Atlantic Canada have something implemented and make sure that we’re all sort of on the same book here when it comes to dealing with drive-thrus,” he said.

“If they’re causing problems with [traffic] congestion … and safety and pedestrian [traffic], then they have to be dealt with and considered.”

More pressing matters

In Saint John, Paul Groody, the city’s commissioner of municipal operations, believes the city has other, more pressing matters to deal with first.

However, Groody said it probably won’t be long before Saint John council will have to make a decision about drive-thrus, too.

Until that time, coffee drinkers like Tanya James will continue to brave the long lineups in Saint John.

James goes through the Tim Hortons drive-thru on McAllister Drive in Saint John almost every day. She said it’s more convenient than getting out of her car, especially when the weather is bad.

But she understands the concerns of councillors in St. John’s about traffic snarls and safety.

“It is a concern because of traffic. If it was a different drive-thru than this one, sometimes you end up blocking people in traffic and it can cause accidents,” she said.

“I’ve definitely seen accidents or I’ve seen people be rear-ended at drive-thrus.”



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