Why some cities are banning new drive through lanes

A small but growing number of U.S. cities have started to ban the construction of new drive through lanes at restaurants.

  • Minneapolis became the latest city to ban new drive through windows at local restaurants.
  • Similar laws and regulations have been enacted in a suburb of St. Louis, Missouri, Long Beach, California, and Fair Haven, New Jersey.
  • Lawmakers cite a variety reasons for the ban — namely to help reduce emissions from running vehicles waiting in line.
  • Drive through windows also tend to cause problems with litter and pedestrian safety, other municipalities point out, and reduce the “walkability” of communities.
  • Other communities even say they are trying to make eating healthier easier — presumably by making fast food less convenient to get — but at least one study shows the ban has the opposite effect.
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