City plan to ban drive-through restaurants near public transit faces backlash

By David Garrick / San Diego Union-Tribune / 8 dec. 2021

A city proposal to ban new drive-thru restaurants near public transportation in San Diego is meeting strong opposition from the restaurant industry and some community leaders.

Supporters say the plan would be a logical and necessary step as San Diego strives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by encouraging people to ditch their cars in favor of public transit, biking and walking . Drive-through restaurants, they say, encourage people to use their cars and trucks and make walking and cycling more dangerous, because drivers are distracted when leaving a drive-thru and because the long lines of expectation often spill into bike paths and sidewalks.

But opponents say the plan would discourage restaurants that depend on drive-thru from opening, especially in low-income neighborhoods. They also say the policy would make life more difficult for the elderly and disabled who need cars. The proposal would not require the closure of existing drive-thru services located near public transport, but no new ones could open. It would only apply to restaurants, not drug stores or driving banks.

Opposition groups persuaded city officials to delay approval of the new policy. Instead, officials will meet with the local restaurant industry to discuss possible impacts and investigate how these bans have been handled in other cities, such as Palm Springs and Long Beach. The ban met with opposition from the city planning commission, the city council’s land use and housing committee and a coalition of neighborhood leaders called the community planners committee.

The proposed drive-thru ban could be seen as San Diego’s next step after removing parking requirements for real estate developers in transit areas two years ago and then removing parking requirements for them. businesses near public transport last month. The ban would only apply to areas known as ‘priority transit areas’, which are areas within half a mile of a tram line, public transport station. common fast or two high frequency bus lines.

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Also, what is not mentioned is that during the pandemic many people had to rely on drive-through restaurants.

Melvin Z. Madore