US cities ban new drive-thrus to help fight climate change
Idling cars at drive-thru windows thought to contribute to climate change
People love a drive-thru. It’s convenient, quick and means you don’t have to leave the warmth of your car to order. However, idling in your vehicle at drive-thrus is adding to climate change problems.
Some cities around the US are now banning drive-thrus in a bid to reduce the additional carbon emissions.
Long Beach, California has put a six-month ban in place while it researches the issue, and Minneapolis has banned new drive-thrus permanently. This is part of its long-term Minneapolis 2040 plan, citing air pollution from idling vehicles as the main factor, along with litter, noise and traffic blocking sidewalks.
Other places including Orchard Park, New York; Fair Haven, New Jersey; and Creve Coeur, Missouri have also restricted or banned fast-food windows. South Los Angeles banned new drive-thrus back in 2008.
Some cities are also changing the rules as to how drive-thrus work. Businesses in Portland, Oregon now have to serve customers who arrive on foot or bicycle. So less drive-thru, more bike/stride-thru.
Mostly, the new bans are to help with emissions, litter problems, obesity, and keep sidewalks free from vehicles, but some people are worried the ban will affect the elderly, disabled people, or parents with kids in the car. However, the ban is only about new drive-thrus, and existing ones won’t be affected.