Minneapolis Wants to Ban New Drive-Thru Windows

First the city of Minneapolis eliminated miles of car lanes in the name of global warming. Even a  doctor warning in the pages of the Star Tribune that the resulting traffic tie-ups in some areas present a potential life and death threat to public safety  failed to stop the powers that be at city hall.

As traffic inched along during my morning commute this week, I wondered what would happen if an ambulance needed to get to the hospital. I suppose it could drive along the empty bike path. Even so, I believe the bike lane on 28th Street is counterproductive and should be discontinued.

Then the city took away parking spots for people with disabilities, shrugging off the concerns of those whose safety and mobility depend on accessibility as a “trade-off.”

“[This] is the ultimate insult of someone who has trouble with mobility being vacated from a spot that helps them function in society by making way for able-bodied bikers,” [Patricia] Fox said.

Now comes a new way to make life miserable for Minneapolitans with a car. The Minneapolis Planning Commission wants to ban new drive-thrus at banks, coffee shops and other businesses. Even City Pages allows the drive-thru windows have their advantages.

There are plenty of people who love drive-thrus, and it’s easy to see why. They’re quick, convenient, and don’t require leaving your car. If you’re a parent wrangling young children, or you’re disabled, you might consider them something of a miracle. So the forgive the anger over the plan, which some have responded to with incredulity and venom for the “dumbsxxxx” behind it, as one opponent remarked on Twitter.

Never mind that the latest anti-automobile edict would once again harm the most vulnerable members of society. One individual who filed a complaint on City Pages’ website could hardly contain his disdain for the bureaucrats going out of their way to make his life more difficult.

I have a spinal cord injury, drive thru’s are wonderful for the likes of us, especially in the winter  (I’m talking pharmacy drive thru mainly, but we have the right to drive thru anywhere!) We also need to park in bicycle lanes and outside our houses. So all these bans on cars might be appealing to some, it’s unrealistic in the modern city and a real bane for disabled and elderly people. These interfering do gooder ignorant brats do more harm than anything else.

Yet the big shots at city hall never seem to let the personal impact on the people they’re supposed to serve get in the way of imposing their “vision.”

The biggest issue is they effectively encourage people to drive, and that’s the opposite of what city planners want for Minneapolis. When they envision the city’s future, they see a lot more pedestrians and a lot fewer cars. They see unobstructed sidewalks, less traffic, and more room for housing and offices in place of parking lots.

It seems Minneapolis has a future with all sorts of places to go, but no practical way to get there. The sort of place you might choose to “drive-thru” and keep on going.