Drive-thru ban on menu | City eyes cracking down on smog from idling cars

Drive-thru ban on menu

City eyes cracking down on smog from idling cars

Brooke Larsen, Burnaby Now; with files from the North Shore News

Published: Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Burnaby councillors say they will look at a city-wide ban of new drive-thrus.

The ban would cut down on smog created by cars idling in fast-food lineups, Coun. Anne Kang said at Monday’s council meeting.

“While drive-thru restaurants provide convenience to customers, they’re also one of the contributors to greenhouse gas,” Kang said.

“I think in the long term it will really add up.”

Kang raised the issue during a discussion of White Spot’s request for a drive-thru at 6038 Kingsway. The site is now occupied by an Arby’s drive-thru and does not need a rezoning from council.

Councillors also asked city staff for a report on a possible moratorium on drive-thrus. The moratorium would not affect existing restaurants.

Kang said the issue hit home when she was out walking with her young daughter and passed a drive-thru.

“I was just concerned about the quality of the air she was breathing,” she said.

Coun. Dan Johnston agreed, calling the amount of smog created at some drive-thrus “pathetic.”

“You can sit at that McDonald’s at Still Creek for 20 minutes,” Johnston said.

“As we try to green our community a little bit, we should be trying to discourage idling.”

Several cities in Oregon and California have restricted the opening of new drive-thus, he added.

Smog isn’t the only reason to ban drive-thrus, Coun. Pietro Calendino said, adding food and drink can distract drivers more than cellphones.

“I think that it’s a safety issue,” he said.

“I hope people are thinking very carefully when they’re drinking their lattes and driving to work.”

But Mayor Derek Corrigan said the matter may be complicated because the city’s zoning bylaw permits drive-thrus.

“We can talk about it and bring it back to council,” Corrigan said.

The report will go to the city’s community development committee before it’s discussed by city council.

Last year, North Vancouver considered banning the proliferation of drive-thru businesses, but the ban failed to get councillors’ support.

The motion was designed to bolster the city’s anti-idling bylaw that prohibits vehicles from idling longer than three minutes, but it does not include drive-thru businesses.

North Vancouver has only one drive-thru.

Cities in Ontario and Nova Scotia have also looked at banning new drive-thrus but, so far, no Canadian city has passed a ban.



  1. So I can’t get drivethru in my ev that doesn;t emit while in lineup?

  2. if you are not emitting any pollution or CO2 – then knock yourself out waiting in line …

    ev – electric – right? How do you charge it? Are you able to use clean energy to charge?

    It’s always nice to go inside and say hi to the face across the counter … 😉

    What do you think – should the other people polluting our shared environment in line at minimum be subjected to a drive-thru tax?

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