Drive Thru Issue Gone Nation Wide; O’Keefe

Drive Thru Issue Gone Nation Wide; O’Keefe
January 9, 2009

St. John’s Mayor Dennis O’Keefe, says interest in council’s decision to put proposed drive-thru’s on hold until traffic safety issues are addressed has gone nation-wide. O’Keefe says he has been doing interviews with media across the country – but he says there’s another aspect of the issue that’s unfolding. O’Keefe says the traffic department has been contacted by other communities about similar problems. He’s hopeful that St. John’s can come up with a plan which can be used across the country.

http://www.vocm.com/news-info.asp?id=33542

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.”

http://www.cbc.ca/consumer/story/2009/01/09/nb-drivethru-debate.html

Lung Association Supporting Drive Thru Moratorium

Lung Association Supporting Drive Thru Moratorium
January 9, 2009

The province’s lung association has thrown its support behind the city’s moratorium on new drive thru’s. Spokesperson Greg Noel says they have been encouraging the public to limit vehicle use for some time, because of environmental and health concerns. Noel says while they may be pursuing change for different reasons, the association is pleased with the debate taking place. Noel notes it is not just drive thrus that cause the Lung Association concern. He says idling vehicles in general can have harmful health effects.

http://www.vocm.com/news-info.asp?id=33540

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

Moratorium

Dear Members of City Council,

Please direct staff to review the possibility of placing a moratorium on all new commercial drive-through operations. This would be one strategy towards designing our city for people not cars.

A city designed for people not cars would have multiple town centres linked by green spaces, walkways and/or bicycle paths.

Benefits of multiple town centres:

  • Increased opportunities to access services, products, employment and entertainment within our communities
  • The development of a strong, highly diversified local economy, which would increase job opportunities.
  • Natural development of support networks for the disabled, elderly, young children, new immigrants etc.
  • Physical activity becomes a part of our daily routine, thereby improving overall health, air quality and decreasing the stress placed on our health care system.
  • Increased safety, as there would be more eyes on our communities thereby decreasing the overall need for police officers
  • Stronger communities

Designing cities around cars not people is expensive!

The cost of non-renewable fuels will continue to rise. This will impact the cost of living and the cost of running our cities.

  • We place ourselves in jeopardy, when our city is not highly diversified or built on a local economy.
  • Road and bridge infrastructure are expensive to build and maintain
  • Educational programs which promote better health are expensive, as they receive funding from all levels of government. Incorporating healthier lifestyles into our daily routines would achieve greater success and be cost effective.
  • The future costs of dealing with the impacts of climate change should not be ignored

Hopefully, in the near future, you will also consider levelling the playing field to encourage the growth of a diverse local economy and placing a moratorium on the widening of our streets.

As councilors you have the opportunity to place a unique stamp on London vs. a global stamp. Dare to dream!

As councillors, you are entrusted to do what is right for the majority. Please redesign our city for people not cars.

Best wishes,

Teresa Rutten

A-Channel Video – July 15th 2008 Public Participation Meeting

http://mfile.akamai.com/18152/wmv/ondemandwm.chumtv.com/conventional/london/achannel/2008/07/P-DRIVE0716.wmv

Support from Denver Vale Nixon, BSc (Victoria), MES (York), MLIS (Western)

Dear Honourable Mayor DeCicco-Best:

I am a London homeowner and doctoral student at the University of Western Ontario (please see address below).  This afternoon I attended the meeting regarding drive-through (a.k.a. “drive-thru”) regulation in London, though perhaps “circus” would be a better description given the behaviour of the Tim Horton’s corporate supporters that were present.  Anyway, I wish to pass on to you that I support any regulatory change that prevents the addition of drive-throughs in the city.  Although the proposed changes that were presented sounded weakened, again I support any restrictions on drive-throughs, and therefore support the amendments, though with strong encouragement to expand drive-through restrictions universally (i.e. a moratorium) in the Official Plan as soon as possible.

Having returned from a two month “conference tour” on the west coast, I will admit that I am not totally up to date on all of the details and nuances that you have been dealing with, but I would like to speak to what I saw as glaring problems in the materials presented.  First, the report statement that drive-throughs do not increase automobile trips is absolutely incorrect.  My current research is on transportation geography and planning, and I have worked as an assistant planner for the Capital Regional District in Victoria, BC, and I can say definitively that a trip to the drive-through is in fact an additional trip, or two (if returning to the same origin), unless the person using the drive-through also works at the drive-through enterprise in question, and can park there without returning to the public road network.  A drive-through user may perform what is called, “trip chaining,” involving a number of stops between final beginning and end points (usually home and place of employment), but this is not aggregated to constitute one trip.  The drive-through is but another node in a series of nodes, the segments in between constituting extra trips.  The other suspect if not outright spurious report claims were those stating that drive-through idling has no significant impact on vehicle emissions (note the wording here), and/or that using a drive-through is no worse than parking the same vehicle.  In general, this makes little sense; if the person’s vehicle is idling, with constant accelerations and decelerations, they are logically emitting more than a vehicle that is not running.  To propose otherwise is absurd.  I may foresee a counter-argument in which a vehicle that starts cold emits more than one that is warm; this may be true in some cases (catalytic converters work best when hot), but how many vehicles will actually reach a thermal state definable as “cold” from a five minute sit in the parking lot throughout most of the year?

Beyond these concerns regarding truth claims, I feel that it is completely irrational, as well as heartless (with regard to future generations), to allow practices such as drive-though idling to continue given the undesirable direction of change observable in the environment, both locally and globally (I will not bore you here with a myriad citations, as I’ve gathered that you are familiar with the situation).  The lack of commitment to environmental integrity associated with drive-through providers is glaringly obvious when considering that most do not allow bicyclists or pedestrians to use this “service” (I have tried!).  Another concern revolves around health– a person, who otherwise does not suffer from a challenge to their mobility, cannot leave their car to walk inside the restaurant is making a sorry statement on the condition of our health and health-awareness indeed.  Similarly, the noise of drive-throughs, their localized emissions, as well as their questionable aesthetic, have the potential to undermine the physical and mental health of local residents.  The research is available to support this.  Please, in the future, when considering issues such as these, consult the peer reviewed literature, rather than entertaining corporate funded “grey papers” that have little scientific value.

Thank you for the time you’ve made to read and consider this.

Sincerely Yours,

Denver Nixon

“America is a country of remarkably developed, highly polished young women, and oddly garbed, criminally inclined young men travelling at great speed in monstrous cars along superhighways from one skyscraping city to the next; the very largest cars contain millionaires with crew-cuts; everyone is chewing gum…”

— Haddon, John. 1960. “A View of Foreign Lands.” Geography 65:286.

Denver Vale Nixon, BSc (Victoria), MES (York), MLIS (Western)

Drive-through dustup begins

Drive-through dustup begins

Tue, July 15, 2008

By JENNIFER O”BRIEN , SUN MEDIA

Hundreds of Londoners packed Centennial Hall today for a public hearing on proposed restrictions on fast-food drive-throughs in the city.

An overwhelming majority of the crowd, most of them fast-food workersm, sported blue campaign t-shirts distributed by the fast-food industry as part of a campaign against any bans on drive-throughs.

City council’s planning committee is holding the meeting to let the public weigh in on proposed curbs to on drive-through locations, aesthetics, traffic, noise and other issues.

The city is trying to clarify rules for drive-throughs in its official plan, its blueprint for growth.

While most in the crowd were there representing or supporting the industry, others included citizens’ groups, such as environmentalists, fringe political parties and neighbourhood activists.

Advocates for the disabled — many of whom support drive-throughs — were also there.

“We are here to say drive-throughs have absolutely no place in areas abutting residential neighbourhoods,” said John Fracasso, of the Picadilly Area Neighbourhood Association.

Said Zachary Young, a concerned citizen, said the planning committee has no business trying to regulate drive-throughs.

“London has one of the highest unemployment rates in Canada. How can you, in good conscience, argue for more regulation on local business, given the high regulation has had to date,” he demanded of the committee.

http://lfpress.ca/newsstand/CityandRegion/2008/07/15/6165986.html

Support from Executive Director, Greenpeace in Canada

london-drive-through-regulation-greenpeace1

FOUNDED IN CANADA, 1971 / FONDÉ AU CANADA, 1971


July 15, 2008

Councilor Judy Bryant

Chair, London Planning Committee

300 Dufferin Avenue.

London, ON

N6B 1Z2

Dear Madam Chair,

I am writing to urge you and the London planning committee to support a temporary moratorium on further “drive through” business operations in London.

While there has been much written and said about the importance of idling in the grand scheme of air quality and global warming, “drive throughs” versus parking lots, idling times and their corresponding carbon footprints, much of this has been raised in an concerted effort to create doubt, rather than provide clarity.

As was the case with the large tobacco companies in the sixties and seventies which questioned the science of smoking related illnesses, proponents of “drive thoughs” need only to create a doubt about the validity of their opponents’ concerns and they win: the status quo will continue.

Today, we know better. If you do in fact have concerns or doubts about whether or not “drive throughs” contribute to global warming and diminish air quality (and I stress here, you should not) then you should do what good science dictates: evoke the “precautionary principle” e.g. when in doubt about the environmental impact of an action, err on the side of caution.

I fear however that in this debate we may lose sight of the forest for the trees. The issue at stake is not counting the seconds of idling but what should London’s official plan be stipulating at a time when the entire global community is grappling with climate change mitigation? Should London’s official plan continue to support a status quo position that encourages individuals to get in their car and drive to a restaurant?

Anna Kajumulo Tibaijuka Executive Director of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT) has stated “the way in which the world’s growing cities are planned and managed will largely determine the pace of global warming”. Indeed, here in Canada, in the near total absence of meaningful federal action on climate change, municipalities and urban planning play even a greater role in addressing climate change than in other jurisdictions.

Municipalities have historically led the way on issues like waste diversion, cosmetic pesticide use and water quality. You can do the same on climate change. Public transit, building regulations, parks, traffic flow – and yes, regulation of “drive throughs” – are all areas in your purview that can have an effect on our collective greenhouse gas emissions.

No one is arguing that a moratorium on “drive throughs” is the most important issue facing our planet today, it is however part of the climate change solution puzzle and is the issue that is before your committee today. There will be no quick fix or single solution to global warming, just millions of small significant actions from individuals and leaders around the world.

Peter F. Drucker the renowned author and management guru once wrote that “management is about doing things right, leadership is about doing the right things”. I can assure you, twenty years from now no one will question why London does not have more drive through restaurants but they may wonder why Council did not act on global warming when they had the chance.

You are leaders, I urge you to do the right thing. Make London a leader and put a moratorium on new drive through businesses.

I thank you for your attention to this matter.

Sincerely

Bruce Cox

Executive Director, Greenpeace in Canada

c.c. Mayor Anne Marie DeCicco-Best

Cory Morningstar, Council of Canadians