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Don't Blame Supercars For This City's Drive-Through Ban

Regulation / 3 Comments

Could this spread to other municipalities?

There's going to be casualties as government regulators move to combat the threat of global warming. But it's not just the automotive industry that's being examined and legislated, it's the way in which we use our cars as well. And that includes drive-through restaurants.

When it comes to American car culture, the drive-through restaurant has been a staple since the 1930s, and a gift (of sorts) to the rest of the world. But now, according to CBS Minnesota, Minneapolis has banned any more drive-through windows from being built within the city. And not because of the McLaren P1 driver we saw earlier in the year.

The vote on the ban by the Minneapolis City Council was unanimous. "Responding to our constituents’ concerns about their impacts on neighbors, pedestrian safety and building design, Minneapolis will no longer allow new drive throughs,” city-council president Lisa Bender announced via Twitter. Back in May, the planning commission's president, Sam Rockwell, said the move is to reduce carbon emissions made by idling cars while increasing pedestrian safety.

It's definitely a bold move, and one that the more progressive American states will no doubt look at carefully as something they could grandstand on rather than putting the time, effort, and money into actual traffic flow initiatives like making stop lights synch properly.

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The move strikes us as an idea that hasn't been thought through properly. At the same time, Minneapolis is also planning to phase out gas stations, along with other measures, as part of its plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by the end of 2050. That means the city is banking on electric vehicles, which means that it'll be electric cars using drive-through windows. And electrified, hybrid vehicles are becoming more popular every year. Then there's the move to more and more internal-combustion cars being made with automatic stop/start technology because people don't want to waste gas and cause more emissions from their engines than they need to.

There's also no mention of other drive-through services such as banks and pharmacies. And when it comes to pedestrian safety, dropping the ban hammer rather than working on positive solutions sounds either lazy or like the pollution reason doesn't hold enough water. Time will tell how it works out though.

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