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-   -   Car going backwards, yes. Bike going forward, no - Taco Bell drive-thru (http://www.bikeforums.net/advocacy-safety/900903-car-going-backwards-yes-bike-going-forward-no-taco-bell-drive-thru.html)

FBinNY 07-13-13 11:44 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dynodonn (Post 15846845)
but more likely it may have to come down to having one's state enacting legislation to make drive thrus services be available for cyclists when the main business lobby is closed for the evening, such as Maine did in 2008.

We really don't need this. A far bigger problem in the USA today than night time drive thru access is excessive legislation with governments trying to micromanage every aspect of daily life.

dynodonn 07-13-13 11:49 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by wphamilton (Post 15846812)
As I understand it, admittedly second-hand, the insurance and liability reasons are red herrings. There are no insurance penalties for allowing walk-up or bikes in the drive-through. This might be what the kids running the place are told or are instructed to tell people, so they may not be deliberately lying to you.

It is sometimes a security concern. Businesses are afraid of someone with easier access to the window and employee than a motor vehicle would afford, and who are more anonymous than they'd be in a vehicle with license tags that could be also be identified by make, color etc. It doesn't make much sense analytically, but it's a righteous concern. Secondly, for all we know the Taco Bell may have previously experienced too much hassle with walk-ups to make it worth the business they're losing. Not detecting the person at the menu, maybe even cutting in line, people getting to the window before placing an order which would be just as bad.

I'm with FBinNY: if they treat you badly don't do business with them. Or abide by their policies if the food is that good - and in that case, if I happen to see a manager (a real one) when I'm a paying customer, I might clue him in about how often his Taco Bell loses out because of the policy. Probably not in my area though because there are many fast food places and most aren't worth the free advice.

Cutting in line, and security issues can be just as much a red herring as the insurance issues. A number of our fast food business do not have provision for catering to bicyclists period, no bike parking spaces, or bike racks. As you said, in your area it's probably a waste of breath talking to a manager since it's likely that most patrons arrive by motor vehicle.

dynodonn 07-13-13 11:51 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by FBinNY (Post 15846855)
We really don't need this. A far bigger problem in the USA today than night time drive thru access is excessive legislation with governments trying to micromanage every aspect of daily life.

Oh we really do, all one has to do and look at a few years back to see what happens when corporate management is left up to it's own devices.

FBinNY 07-13-13 12:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dynodonn (Post 15846866)
Oh we really do, all one has to do and look at a few years back to see what happens when corporate management is left up to it's own devices.

And this is where we part company. You're entitled to your opinion, but I, for one, am much more afraid of excess micromanagement of our daily lives by legislatures that operate almost on whim.

We have to stop looking to government to fix every tiny "problem" and either address it ourselves or live with it. For the last few decades the fastest growing sector of the US economy is government. This is unsustainable in the long run (IMO it already is) but we'll never get it under control because everybody has some pet peeve that he feels needs to be fixed.

northernlights 07-13-13 12:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dynodonn (Post 15846352)
Yep, be a good little cyclist, keep quiet, and maintain the status quo.

Oh noes. Your civil liberties are being oppressed by the man! Here's an idea. Why don't you start a picket line outside of Taco Bell and let your feelings be known to the world? You can become the Rosa Parks of cycling. And why not file a lawsuit against the evil Taco Bell empire while you're at it and see if that gets you anywhere? If they don't laugh you out of the courtroom first. :)

wphamilton 07-13-13 12:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dynodonn (Post 15846864)
Cutting in line, and security issues can be just as much a red herring as the insurance issues. A number of our fast food business do not have provision for catering to bicyclists period, no bike parking spaces, or bike racks. As you said, in your area it's probably a waste of breath talking to a manager since it's likely that most patrons arrive by motor vehicle.

In my area, more like "all" patrons arrive by motor vehicle. I usually don't attempt to use a drive-thru - not worth the probable hassle - but I'll lock up to a tree or railing or whatever is convenient.

My family owned restaurants back in the day and I did my time running them. No drive-thrus or anything like that, but if some people were disturbing the experience for paying customers I wouldn't have put up with it. I could see banning bikes in a drive-up window if some were habitually misbehaving. That's all speculative with respect to Taco Bell of course but I'm saying you can't discount it out of hand.

dynodonn 07-13-13 12:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by wphamilton (Post 15846938)

My family owned restaurants back in the day and I did my time running them. No drive-thrus or anything like that, but if some people were disturbing the experience for paying customers I wouldn't have put up with it. I could see banning bikes in a drive-up window if some were habitually misbehaving. That's all speculative with respect to Taco Bell of course but I'm saying you can't discount it out of hand.

My one biggest peeve is blanket punishment, the last business that I worked for, and pulled that type of scenario, went under due to their poor management decisions, instead of addressing the individual issues at hand.

DX-MAN 07-13-13 12:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by FBinNY (Post 15846855)
We really don't need this. A far bigger problem in the USA today than night time drive thru access is excessive legislation with governments trying to micromanage every aspect of daily life.

I agree, Homeland Security sucks.

Quote:

Originally Posted by dynodonn (Post 15846866)
Oh we really do, all one has to do and look at a few years back to see what happens when corporate management is left up to it's own devices.

THIS.

Quote:

Originally Posted by FBinNY (Post 15846905)
And this is where we part company. You're entitled to your opinion, but I, for one, am much more afraid of excess micromanagement of our daily lives by legislatures that operate almost on whim.

We have to stop looking to government to fix every tiny "problem" and either address it ourselves or live with it. For the last few decades the fastest growing sector of the US economy is government. This is unsustainable in the long run (IMO it already is) but we'll never get it under control because everybody has some pet peeve that he feels needs to be fixed.

In this day and age of rampant excesses by those in positions of power and influence, we the people have to choose -- too much government or neo-feudalism. I'd like to choose Door #3 , but anarchy isn't too good a choice, either.

PatrickGSR94 07-13-13 12:48 PM

Setting aside for a moment the obvious health factors that go along with fast food restaurants with drive thru service, what about someone who chooses to be car-free and travel only by bike? And then like others have mentioned maybe they work a late shift and get off in the middle of the night when 24-hour fast food places are drive-thru only. So if that person wants to grab a bite, they are then unable to simply because of their lifestyle choices? That's like denying someone service because of their religion choice or something.

I understand that private businesses can deny anyone service for any reason, except what's covered as civil rights, but come on. And while I agree that perhaps it shouldn't take an act of government to FORCE the businesses to do something, perhaps contacting the restaurant's corporate office, or getting in touch with the franchise owner or something, could make some headway towards getting things changed.

wphamilton 07-13-13 12:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dynodonn (Post 15846963)
My one biggest peeve is blanket punishment, the last business that I worked for, and pulled that type of scenario, went under due to their poor management decisions, instead of addressing the individual issues at hand.

It would have to be a serious problem for sure. In that case they won't say that they're refusing service to cyclists - it would show up in some rule whose justification doesn't make much sense, like "for your safety" or "insurance premiums".

dynodonn 07-13-13 12:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by PatrickGSR94 (Post 15846992)

I understand that private businesses can deny anyone service for any reason, except what's covered as civil rights, but come on. And while I agree that perhaps it shouldn't take an act of government to FORCE the businesses to do something, perhaps contacting the restaurant's corporate office, or getting in touch with the franchise owner or something, could make some headway towards getting things changed.

Looks like a number of people in the state of Maine may have tried you latter route, but out of frustration ending up going with the former. On small issues such as fixing a broken light, one might make headway in contacting management or the corporate office, but the issue of allowing bikes to use a drive through seems to be much bigger than just talking to manager.

dynodonn 07-13-13 01:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by wphamilton (Post 15847002)
It would have to be a serious problem for sure. In that case they won't say that they're refusing service to cyclists - it would show up in some rule whose justification doesn't make much sense, like "for your safety" or "insurance premiums".

Somewhere along the line, I'm sure one or more persons did get injured and then sued for using a drive through while riding a bicycle or was walking. The usual reaction by insurance companies is to raise insurance rates for businesses that allow such actions, and the knee jerk response by businesses is to do a complete ban if their clientele arrives mainly by motor vehicle.

PatrickGSR94 07-13-13 01:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dynodonn (Post 15847018)
Looks like a number of people in the state of Maine may have tried you latter route, but out of frustration ending up going with the former. On small issues such as fixing a broken light, one might make headway in contacting management or the corporate office, but the issue of allowing bikes to use a drive through seems to be much bigger than just talking to manager.

Which is why I mentioned contacting the corporate office or franchise owner. I actually had an issue at a McDonald's some time ago, sent feedback to corporate, and was later contacted BY the franchise owner within a couple of days.

wphamilton 07-13-13 01:17 PM

I wouldn't be sure about that. I've looked and not found any civil case like that. I've never heard a reference to a lawsuit.

I've asked people in both the insurance industry and restaurant industry about rates depending on cyclists in drive-thru's and to my knowledge they don't exist.

LesterOfPuppets 07-13-13 01:36 PM

Reminds me of a time I got hassled for walking my bike in a Fred Meyer (one-stop-shopping grocery and dep't store). Store goon tried to tell me their insurance wouldn't cover accidents if I was walking my bike. I was like "If they were really concerned about that then they'd surely also have a problem with you having complete bikes for sale on your floor."

prathmann 07-13-13 01:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by wphamilton (Post 15847063)
I wouldn't be sure about that. I've looked and not found any civil case like that. I've never heard a reference to a lawsuit.

I've asked people in both the insurance industry and restaurant industry about rates depending on cyclists in drive-thru's and to my knowledge they don't exist.

I agree. Quite a few years ago the League of American Bicyclists (was LAW back then) did an article on the drive-through issue. They talked to the corporate headquarters of quite a few restaurants and banks that restricted access to cyclists and almost all of the responses cited insurance company liability concerns. Then they went to the insurance carriers for the restaurants and banks and not a single one had any issues with allowing cyclists to use the drive-through.

dynodonn 07-13-13 02:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by prathmann (Post 15847146)
Quite a few years ago the League of American Bicyclists (was LAW back then) did an article on the drive-through issue. They talked to the corporate headquarters of quite a few restaurants and banks that restricted access to cyclists and almost all of the responses cited insurance company liability concerns. Then they went to the insurance carriers for the restaurants and banks and not a single one had any issues with allowing cyclists to use the drive-through.

All the more reason in why some states have enacted legislation prohibiting drive though bans at certain times, only goes to show that corporate hierarchy, whether the insurance carrier or recipient, can not be fully trusted. One or the other, or both, is lying through their teeth.

alhedges 07-13-13 03:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by prathmann (Post 15847146)
I agree. Quite a few years ago the League of American Bicyclists (was LAW back then) did an article on the drive-through issue. They talked to the corporate headquarters of quite a few restaurants and banks that restricted access to cyclists and almost all of the responses cited insurance company liability concerns. Then they went to the insurance carriers for the restaurants and banks and not a single one had any issues with allowing cyclists to use the drive-through.

This is interesting, but it doesn't really address the issue. Insurance rates will go up if you have a lot of claims, and if the corporation feels it will have more claims by allowing bikes and pedestrians in their drive thru lines, they aren't being dishonest.

However, the real liability issue they are actually concerned about, as noted upthread, is security. They are afraid of people robbing their customers waiting for their food, and they are afraid of customers avoiding their drive thru if there seem to be a lot of loiterers nearby.

These are business decisions based on what they think is best for their business. People who compare themselves to Rosa Parks (who could not change her skin color) need to get over themselves. This is not a civil rights issue. Biking is not an immutable characteristic, not is it specifically protected in the constitution, like religion. It is an issue of businesses making a choice about not serving people who engage in certain behavior. The way to counteract it is to show these businesses that they will lose more money by not serving these people.

genec 07-13-13 04:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by alhedges (Post 15847355)
This is interesting, but it doesn't really address the issue. Insurance rates will go up if you have a lot of claims, and if the corporation feels it will have more claims by allowing bikes and pedestrians in their drive thru lines, they aren't being dishonest.

However, the real liability issue they are actually concerned about, as noted upthread, is security. They are afraid of people robbing their customers waiting for their food, and they are afraid of customers avoiding their drive thru if there seem to be a lot of loiterers nearby.

These are business decisions based on what they think is best for their business. People who compare themselves to Rosa Parks (who could not change her skin color) need to get over themselves. This is not a civil rights issue. Biking is not an immutable characteristic, not is it specifically protected in the constitution, like religion. It is an issue of businesses making a choice about not serving people who engage in certain behavior. The way to counteract it is to show these businesses that they will lose more money by not serving these people.

And what, folks on motorcycles and mopeds are so much more secure???

dynodonn 07-13-13 04:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by alhedges (Post 15847355)
This is interesting, but it doesn't really address the issue. Insurance rates will go up if you have a lot of claims, and if the corporation feels it will have more claims by allowing bikes and pedestrians in their drive thru lines, they aren't being dishonest.

Again, why some states have enacted legislation against certain things a corporation "feels" like doing in the name of business.

Yes, this is not a civil rights case, but not everybody can produce a motorized vehicle on demand or even wishes to, and the business maybe the closest place in proximity to do a certain transaction at a certain time.

FBinNY 07-13-13 04:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dynodonn (Post 15847452)
Again, why some states have enacted legislation against certain things a corporation "feels" like doing in the name of business.

Yes, this is not a civil rights case, but not everybody can produce a motorized vehicle on demand or even wishes to, and the business maybe the closest place in proximity to do a certain transaction at a certain time.

There's an easy workaround if you have the least amount of ability to get along with strangers.

Find a car in the line, explain the situation. Ask it they'll be your proxy and buy your order for you. Hand them your $10.00 bill (or whatever). These joints often get multiple orders for one car that are packed and charges separately, so it should be smooth as silk.

I'm sure, that with some gentle cajoling, most crews at these joints would serve a cyclist regardless of the rules. Especially if they see that you'll be eating anyway, and it's easier than having them look bad putting you through the workaround.


Story. ----- Many decades ago, when touring the USA on a bike and a prayer, we came into a town near the end of the day. A storm was whipping up and dark was approaching, so we decided to splurge $8.00 (yes it was a long time ago) on the one motel in town. Though they had a room, they wouldn't accommodate us because, no real ID (didn't drive), no credit card, no car license plate, not 18 yet.

With a storm on the horizon, we rolled up to the local PD and went in and asked if under the circumstances they could give the place a slight nudge on our behalf, or point out the shortest way to the next closest place. (or put us up in their jail). No calls were made on our behalf, since they didn't want to get involved. Instead we were invited to the sergeant's house for dinner and lodging. One of the better nights I've spent on the road.

dynodonn 07-13-13 05:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by FBinNY (Post 15847493)
There's an easy workaround if you have the least amount of ability to get along with strangers.

Find a car in the line, explain the situation. Ask it they'll be your proxy and buy your order for you. Hand them your $10.00 bill (or whatever). These joints often get multiple orders for one car that are packed and charges separately, so it should be smooth as silk.

I'm sure, that with some gentle cajoling, most crews at these joints would serve a cyclist regardless of the rules. Especially if they see that you'll be eating anyway, and it's easier than having them look bad putting you through the workaround.



What a pain the ass and a considerable amount of effort just to get a meal when someone in a car can easily get, and hoping all along they don't disappear with your 10 dollars.

FBinNY 07-13-13 06:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dynodonn (Post 15847566)
What a pain the ass and a considerable amount of effort just to get a meal when someone in a car can easily get, and hoping all along they don't disappear with your 10 dollars.

Yes it is, and I'd simply eat elsewhere. OTOH we can debate these nonsense policies until the cows come home, or we can find a workable solution to the immediate problem. It is less than perfect, but will get you a meal.

It might help solve the problem if each of your proxies asked why they couldn't simply sell you directly instead of playing games.

dynodonn 07-13-13 06:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by FBinNY (Post 15847683)
Yes it is, and I'd simply eat elsewhere. OTOH we can debate these nonsense policies until the cows come home, or we can find a workable solution to the immediate problem. It is less than perfect, but will get you a meal.

Simply going elsewhere may not always be simple option, especially if you are on foot or bike, and nonsense policies will need to be addressed soon or later.
Personally, if a business makes in a pain in the ass to do business with them, then I'll be sure to be a pain in the ass in return.

KD5NRH 07-13-13 06:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by northernlights (Post 15846918)
Oh noes. Your civil liberties are being oppressed by the man! Here's an idea. Why don't you start a picket line outside of Taco Bell and let your feelings be known to the world?

Actually, a properly done picket would be just the sort of negative publicity that tends to bring these things to the attention of upper management, and make them reconsider whether whatever middle manager thought that policy up is worth listening to.

PROPERLY DONE is key, though. You need to have more than three or four people, and have them look like a properly representative subset of local residents. Also, fat people in spandex are cycling's equivalent of wookie suits.

You also need to have your talking points worked out beforehand, and shared with the entire group. You might get the media out there, and everybody needs to be on the right message, and not sounding like that guy in every tornado report describing how it carried off his uncle/dad's 1979 TransCamaroBird with all seven of the dogs inside.

Look like a small fringe group, and you're easy to ignore. Look like lunatics, and you're easy to ignore. Look like a moderate sized gathering of respectable citizens, and you're likely to get some effective attention.


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