One of the hottest trends in the restaurant world right now is delivery — and Minneapolis just gave people one more reason to stay home and place their food orders online: The city has placed a ban on the construction of new drive-thru windows.
Be it restaurant or coffee shop, pharmacy or bank, the Minneapolis City Council approved the new rule this past Thursday, leaving current drive-thrus untouched (as well as businesses that are currently waiting for approval), but preventing the construction of any new ones within the city. "We're not closing any of the current drive-thrus," Council Vice President Andrea Jenkins said at the approval meeting, addressing concerns that the new policy might discriminate against those with disabilities, according to KSTP News. "I just want to make sure that we are recognizing all parts of our community and trying to make sure everyone has access in the City of Minneapolis." The city — which has a population of over 400,000 and is America's 46th largest according to 2018 estimates — reportedly believes it's the largest in the U.S. to enact such a restriction.
The ban was proposed last year by Council President Lisa Bender with the hope that it will cut down on vehicle noise, idling, and traffic in general while also making sidewalks safer for pedestrians, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune. And though clearly plenty of people use drive-thrus, Council Member Lisa Goodman said that the debate surrounding them tends to be one-sided. "I rarely have seen anyone other than the applicants of drive-thrus come to speak in favor of them," the Tribune quoted her as saying. Well, yeah, you can't expect people to get out of their cars to come into a city council meeting. Maybe if the council added a drive-thru option window, local officials would get more comments from both sides!