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Old Posted Aug 3, 2019, 5:09 AM
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Minneapolis moves to ban new drive-throughs

Minneapolis City Council committee votes to ban new drive-through facilities
Minneapolis could be the first of its size to take such action, city planners say.
By Miguel Otárola Star Tribune AUGUST 1, 2019 — 9:21PM

With a unanimous committee vote Thursday, the Minneapolis City Council moved one step closer to banning new drive-through facilities at fast-food restaurants, banks and other businesses.

If approved by the full council Aug. 8, Minneapolis would likely become the first U.S. city of its size to ban drive-throughs, according to city planners.

City Council President Lisa Bender proposed the ban last year to cut down on vehicle noise, idling and traffic and to make sidewalks safer for pedestrians. While new drive-throughs are already prohibited in 17 of the city’s 23 zoning districts, this policy would extend the ban to include the remaining areas, which include industrial and some commercial districts.

Council Member Lisa Goodman, who sits on the committee and co-sponsored a similar proposal three years ago, said during the meeting that “one of the more controversial things that comes before us is neighbors opposing drive-throughs.”

“I rarely have seen anyone other than the applicants of drive-throughs come to speak in favor of them,” she said. “It is nonsensical for people who walk or bike to be thinking about having to go across large driveways.”

She said she was proud of the new policy, adding, “It’s something that should happen in a city like this.”

Bender, who also sits on the committee, said the city was already working to make commercial corridors less car-oriented.

“This is not a huge, dramatic departure from our past,” Bender said of the ban. “It’s actually just an incremental move toward what the city has been doing for many years.”

The Minneapolis 2040 Comprehensive Plan, which was approved by the council last year, directed the city to outlaw new drive-throughs and gas stations.

The proposal would prohibit any new drive-through facility involving a business transaction at restaurants, banks, ATMs and more. The city would still allow businesses to designate a parking space for dropping off or picking up goods.

http://www.startribune.com/minneapol...ies/513519562/
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  #2  
Old Posted Aug 3, 2019, 11:14 AM
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Old Posted Aug 3, 2019, 11:36 AM
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Another smart move from Minneapolis.
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Old Posted Aug 3, 2019, 1:53 PM
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I think it's OK from a public policy perspective, but kinda odd. Minneapolis is a very car-oriented city, so this will just mean that grandfathered drive-in properties will become much more valuable. It won't actually make the city more transit-oriented, as car usage isn't due to presence of drive-ins, the reverse is true.
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Old Posted Aug 3, 2019, 4:08 PM
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Good for them!

One of my pet peeves is, a lot of times you'll go to a restaurant with a drive-through, and there are, like, 10 cars waiting in line at the drive through, but if you actually get OUT of your car and WALK into the store there's almost no line at all! People are so lazy they'd rather sit in a line for 15 minutes waiting for their order than get OUT of their car and bloody WALK into the store where they can get their order in 5 minutes. It's unbelievable. Either that or they're too stupid to realize that it's often faster to get out of the car and order the normal way than to wait in a mile long line at the drive-through.

I mean people are just really stupid and mindless.
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Old Posted Aug 3, 2019, 4:45 PM
authentiCLE authentiCLE is offline
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The drive through is often still faster. Most fast food places have more staff fulfilling drive through orders than dining room.
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Old Posted Aug 3, 2019, 5:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crawford View Post
I think it's OK from a public policy perspective, but kinda odd. Minneapolis is a very car-oriented city, so this will just mean that grandfathered drive-in properties will become much more valuable. It won't actually make the city more transit-oriented, as car usage isn't due to presence of drive-ins, the reverse is true.
I wonder if it will also encourage such places to be surrounded by more surface parking since people will be forced to park and go inside.
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Old Posted Aug 3, 2019, 8:15 PM
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I don't understand what this accomplishes? So instead of a drive throughs they'll just have more parking spaces...

I'm getting kind of tired of Minneapolis's PR team promoting every planning decision as if it's this great revolutionary change nobody ever thought of before.
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Old Posted Aug 3, 2019, 8:23 PM
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I favor market based solutions to small stuff like this. If people really don't like drive throughs then they will frequent restaurants that don't have them and eventually they will go away.
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Old Posted Aug 3, 2019, 9:49 PM
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This is certainly a step in being less car oriented.

That doesn't imply that it'll single-handedly make Minneapolis a much more urban city. Just one step.
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Old Posted Aug 3, 2019, 10:01 PM
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As most people on here probably know about me, I don't like the Feds getting involved with most things. However, I've been thinking that a 3% tax on drive-thru sales could be a small but smart step to becoming more environmental while not making huge waves. Going into the store wouldn't be taxed.

The split would be:
33% to the Feds
33% to the state
33% to the local city or town

I figure the federal government would funnel it into the EPA or National Park System or add solar panels, etc. to their buildings.
The state could fund state parks or adding solar panels on state buildings etc. etc.
The city could use the money to plant trees, build reservoir ponds etc..

Or they could do whatever they all see fit with the money that helps the environment.
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Old Posted Aug 3, 2019, 10:02 PM
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Originally Posted by mhays View Post
This is certainly a step in being less car oriented.

That doesn't imply that it'll single-handedly make Minneapolis a much more urban city. Just one step.
Exactly. I want EVERY small step I can get while also holding out for a big vision. We can have both.
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Old Posted Aug 3, 2019, 10:34 PM
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I hope they did their homework on whether this will lead to more parking spaces for new developments and/or whether this will lead to local businesses with current drive throughs to sell out to national chains at a premium since it wouldn't be considered a new drive through.
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Old Posted Aug 3, 2019, 11:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The North One View Post
I don't understand what this accomplishes? So instead of a drive throughs they'll just have more parking spaces...

I'm getting kind of tired of Minneapolis's PR team promoting every planning decision as if it's this great revolutionary change nobody ever thought of before.
It accomplishes at least two things:

1. Fewer idling cars = lower carbon emissions (yes it’s minuscule on a global scale, but it’s better for local air quality)

2. Makes the city fabric a little more walkable/bike friendly because (arguably) these drive-through places will be encouraged to build in a more urban footprint and there should be fewer entrances/exits breaking up sidewalks.

One critique that I think has some merit: for some elderly/handicapped/injured people who can drive, drive-throughs are probably much more accessible. Same with parents who have a bunch of small kids.

Edit: increased parking is a concern, but I assume that’s something planners have studied.
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Old Posted Aug 3, 2019, 11:59 PM
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Large parts of town (any city) get by with zero drive-throughs and no onsite parking for most restaurants and fast-food places. The rest of Minneapolis could turn into that sort of area. Over time, more people will arrive by other means, and people who still drive might need to park in a garage within a block (or two!) radius like they do in urban neighborhoods.

For example the City has upper limits on parking spaces per square foot in new buildings, and those could be tightened. Provisions for shared parking could be expanded, so individual businesses can more easily avoid it entirely even if they want access to some. They could also eliminate minimum requirements in any area that's remotely urban, expanding the districts where this is already the case (same link).

As the city densifies, land will be valued higher. Suburban-type fast food places don't work when land gets above a certain cost...because it's worth more to people with grander plans.
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Old Posted Aug 4, 2019, 1:07 AM
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Originally Posted by jtown,man View Post
However, I've been thinking that a 3% tax on drive-thru sales could be a small but smart step to becoming more environmental while not making huge waves. Going into the store wouldn't be taxed.

The split would be:
33% to the Feds
33% to the state
33% to the local city or town

I figure the federal government would funnel it into the EPA or National Park System or add solar panels, etc. to their buildings.
The state could fund state parks or adding solar panels on state buildings etc. etc.
The city could use the money to plant trees, build reservoir ponds etc..

Or they could do whatever they all see fit with the money that helps the environment.
This is a ridiculous idea considering that there's a very simple means of achieving this much more directly: higher gas taxes. (With the proceeds reinvested exactly the ways you describe).

Your idea penalizes someone who would use the drive thru in an EV while letting someone who arrives in a V8 4x4 Suburban and parks and walks in avoid the tax.

If what we want to discourage is the burning of fuel, then let's tax that, not try to do it indirectly targeting only one of the myriad of cases out there.
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Old Posted Aug 4, 2019, 1:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Chef View Post
“It’s something that should happen in a city like this.”
What is "a city like this"? Or is the council member simply referring to the fact that Minneapolis is a city?
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Old Posted Aug 4, 2019, 2:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jtown,man View Post
As most people on here probably know about me, I don't like the Feds getting involved with most things. However, I've been thinking that a 3% tax on drive-thru sales could be a small but smart step to becoming more environmental while not making huge waves. Going into the store wouldn't be taxed.

The split would be:
33% to the Feds
33% to the state
33% to the local city or town

I figure the federal government would funnel it into the EPA or National Park System or add solar panels, etc. to their buildings.
The state could fund state parks or adding solar panels on state buildings etc. etc.
The city could use the money to plant trees, build reservoir ponds etc..

Or they could do whatever they all see fit with the money that helps the environment.
That would spark an epic battle over federal taxation powers.
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Old Posted Aug 4, 2019, 4:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crawford View Post
I think it's OK from a public policy perspective, but kinda odd. Minneapolis is a very car-oriented city, so this will just mean that grandfathered drive-in properties will become much more valuable. It won't actually make the city more transit-oriented, as car usage isn't due to presence of drive-ins, the reverse is true.
Exactly. Most fast food joints are not by their nature designed from an urban perspective. A McD's without a drive-through will still be a stand-alone structure surrounded by a sea of surface parking.
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Old Posted Aug 4, 2019, 5:55 AM
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Originally Posted by SFBruin View Post
What is "a city like this"? Or is the council member simply referring to the fact that Minneapolis is a city?
I can't read Council President Bender's mind but I think she means a city that is trying to become denser, more urban, more conducive to modes of transportation other than cars.

One of the political issues here is getting the NIMBY crowd to realize that Minneapolis is becoming a big city and needs to be building and planning like one. Old people who have lived here all their lives grew up in a metro that was a little over a million and tend to think of Minneapolis like it is still that city.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Crawford View Post
I think it's OK from a public policy perspective, but kinda odd. Minneapolis is a very car-oriented city, so this will just mean that grandfathered drive-in properties will become much more valuable. It won't actually make the city more transit-oriented, as car usage isn't due to presence of drive-ins, the reverse is true.
Our current city council is intensely focused on making the city less car oriented and more urban. The city proper is growing fast right now so they have an opportunity to guide what it will become. One of the things this zoning change will do is make new fast food restaurants much less likely to be built which will encourage more intensive uses of the land. For example this Wendy's was built about ten years ago in an area that is zoned for mixed use midrises and is right outside of downtown. Getting rid of drive-throughs probably makes this sort of development less likely:

https://www.google.com/maps/@44.9626...7i13312!8i6656

Minneapolis is basically using the tools at its disposal to try to get rid of one story auto oriented commercial development in the city and have it replaced by urban format mixed use midrises. The city has one of the lowest rental vacancy rates in the country so they are trying to encourage commercial developments to have apartments above. That doesn't really go with drive-throughs.

Last edited by Chef; Aug 4, 2019 at 6:16 AM.
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