Ban drive thrus? Some local politicians think it’s an idea worth exploring to help the environment


We’ve all used them at one time or another.

“When you have a sleeping baby in the car and you want to pick up dinner for your family there is an allure of stopping at a drive-thru,” said Saanich Councillor and CRD Chair Colin Plant.

What’s not to love? In a matter of minutes, you can have hot and ready food ready to go without ever stepping out of your car. Well, the reason they are convenient is also why they are not the best for the environment. While you wait you’re idling and emitting exhaust into the atmosphere.

In the U.S., Minneapolis recently banned drive thrus.

The city council there telling U.S. media the move will incrementally help the city with its goal of reducing greenhouse-gas emissions by 80 per cent by 2050.

The story hit twitter catching the attention of Victoria’s mayor who ‘liked’ the tweet.

“It’s kind of a nod to the other cities for leading the way and its something we might look at in the future, maybe,” said Lisa Helps.

She adds it’s not in Victoria’s strategic plan to ban drive thru’s and the ones that exist will remain as is but she thinks over time they will fade out.

Plant weighed in as well.

“In a climate emergency we need to look at different things we can do and not approving additional drive-thrus would be something worth considering,” said Plant.

Monday morning Plant took to twitter asking people what they think of the idea.

“We aren’t talking about shutting down drive-thrus just not approving anymore that’s something that I wonder how our public would feel,” said Plant.

For the most part, people were on board.

Though, Monday afternoon Plant clarified on Twitter that the municipality of Saanich is already addressing the issue of drive-thrus.

While it’s not an outright ban Plant points out on twitter that in their official community plan it says  “Discourage drive-through businesses in order to reduce unnecessary car idling and support more pedestrian-friendly development.”

Luisa AlvarezLuisa Alvarez

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