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Old 08-14-09, 06:47 PM   #1
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Walgreens drive up and bicycles

I pedaled up to the drive-up window at the neighborhood Walgreens only to be told that they won't wait on bicyclists at the drive up window. Has anyone else experienced this kind of reception at a drive-up window? I had been considering transferring the prescription to Costco and this experience was the motivation for me to do so. The icing was the price; at Walgreens I had been paying $14 and change for 30 pills. At Costco, the same pills were 100 for $8.32.
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Old 08-14-09, 07:02 PM   #2
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Its the company's liability insurance. Probably doesn't cover them if they let you use the drive-thru and you get hit by a car (motorcycles are probably OK, though, since they are motor vehicles).

Instead of worrying about that, which of the two stores (Walgreens or Costco) have bicycle parking at the store? If neither, walk in and ask at both if they can install something out front (do it nicely; they might have a policy to install racks if asked). If they avoid answering, just ask for the regional office # and see if you can get something done.

Better yet, if the Walgreens location is more convienient than the Costco, ask in Walgreens if they'll match the Costco price; I bet they will, as they make their profit off the other stuff they sell in the store, and not the prescriptions (that's why the pharmacy is in back and you have to walk past all that other merchandise to get to it!).
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Old 08-14-09, 07:18 PM   #3
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Instead of worrying about that, which of the two stores (Walgreens or Costco) have bicycle parking at the store?
I.ve been to two Costco's with my bike. Never said a word when I took them in with me. Ok, I fib. One said "Nice bike"
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Old 08-15-09, 12:33 PM   #4
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Per prior postings fast food driveups typically will not serve bicyclists either. I have seen excuses listed as either safety or security.
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Old 08-15-09, 02:21 PM   #5
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The Costco near where I live has extensive bike parking with about 15 of those clamshell contraptions that one puts the bike in, closes it, and locks the bike lock through a loop. Of course, I only see a max of 1-2 bikes at a time there.
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Old 08-15-09, 02:56 PM   #6
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I.ve been to two Costco's with my bike. Never said a word when I took them in with me. Ok, I fib. One said "Nice bike"
Yep, I take mine into 7-11, Walgreens, etc. a lot. Don't ask; just walk on in. 9 of 10 times, nobody stops you.

You do get shut down at the drive-thru, though. It's a pisser when the lobby is closed, too, and you just want a burger or some iced tea.
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Old 08-15-09, 03:58 PM   #7
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I drive my bike right up to the Walgreens drive-thru, no problems, ever. I think they rather I do that than lug my bike all the way back to the pharmacy. I was encouraged by a pharm tech to use the drive-thru. They've been terrific to me.
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Old 08-15-09, 07:06 PM   #8
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at a McD's drive thru here in town, a guy walked up, placed his order, grabbed the cashier through the window and strangled her. After that, no one served except inside a vehicle anywhere in town. I don't object, but I don't tend to eat that kind of food when I'm riding. How about a third option: Does your pharmacy deliver? Avoid the problem altogether. Although, if Costco's price is so much better, switch and put the money saved into your bike (you've got a list tucked away, I know it). Seems service isn't the big issue here.
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Old 08-15-09, 07:38 PM   #9
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I knew I was taking a chance at my Walgreens, and they served me the first two or three times. Then the guy said they can't serve me there any more. Funny, because it meant they remembered me from before. No big deal, though, because I can bring the bike in the store and leave where the cashiers can see it.
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Old 08-15-09, 08:17 PM   #10
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Its the company's liability insurance.
Maybe, but probably not. I remember years ago the League of American Wheelmen (now L. of Am. Bicyclists) did an article on the subject of drive-up windows at banks, fast-food places, and stores. When they contacted places which prohibited bikes they were frequently told that it was because of insurance reasons. They then asked for the names of the insurance companies and inquired about their policies. None of the insurance carriers at that time had any restrictions on serving cyclists at the drive-up windows. They then went back to the businesses and none were able to show anything in their insurance policies that would support their prohibition of cyclists at the drive-up.

Claims of insurance rules offer a convenient excuse for company policies that they realize will be difficult to justify on rational grounds.
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Old 08-15-09, 09:25 PM   #11
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Per prior postings fast food driveups typically will not serve bicyclists either. I have seen excuses listed as either safety or security.
I contacted several fast food conglomerates with this exact question, and got the standard 'liability' answer from all of them.

My local bank, with whom I no longer deal, was the ONLY place in town that was accepting of my bike in the drive-thru. No Walgreens, no fast-food, nuttin'.

Heck, Walgreens isn't even bike-friendly; not a bike rack to be seen! I usually use the handicapped parking sign right by the door, on the RARE occasion when I do ride to WG.
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Old 08-15-09, 09:32 PM   #12
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This is an idea for a business: Have a drive through dedicated for cyclists and perhaps motorcycles. It would have to be located in a cycle friendly area for decent returns.
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Old 08-15-09, 10:22 PM   #13
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I've never had a problem using my bike at the local Walgreen's drive-through.
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Old 08-15-09, 10:40 PM   #14
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Years ago I worked as a night mgr at a fast food place while finishing my last year in college. Part of the training was absolutely, positively no service to walk-up or bicycle customers. The company had a liability policy, but it had very high deductible, and they just decided the risk for a few sales wasn't worth it.

BTW: The Walgreens on my way home from work has a cemented-in bike rack right next to the door, and its visible from the front counters. Easy to lock my '***' commuter, pop in for an item or two, and back out. Hmm . . . maybe I need to start taking prescription drugs to see if they'll serve me at the drive-thru window ; where I work I could use a little 'something' at the end of the day (maybe stay with a little scotch on the rocks?).
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Old 08-16-09, 03:07 AM   #15
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Its the company's liability insurance. Probably doesn't cover them if they let you use the drive-thru and you get hit by a car (motorcycles are probably OK, though, since they are motor vehicles).
It has nothing to do with liability insurance or any other BS excuse they give you. It is simply some dumb manager on a stupid power trip or misguided sense of what is not safe.

The only real safety consideration is for the "late night" drive ups. It would be easy for a pedestrian or cyclist to crawl through the window and rob them. (If that was the reason they gave me for a late night ban, I would be OK with it, BUT not any of the other BS reasons).

OP, be sure to tell Walgreens that the drive up policy is why you changed stores.

To surfrider: Can you explain to me how it was not dangerous to cycle or walk through the parking lot but it is so extremely dangerous to take the lane in the drive-up. I think the trainer just gave you a bunch of BS. A car/truck trying to back out of a parking space is far more dangerous to a cyclist than the car waiting behind a cyclist in the lane.

I have used drive-ups on my bike and never been hit. Anyone here ever been hit in a drive-up?

PS: My son did get his parked bike run over in the parking lot of the McDonald's he worked at in high school, by a van driver backing up. The driver tried blaming McDonald's, but in the end, it was his auto insurance that paid up.

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Old 08-16-09, 07:44 AM   #16
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The only real safety consideration is for the "late night" drive ups. It would be easy for a pedestrian or cyclist to crawl through the window and rob them. (If that was the reason they gave me for a late night ban, I would be OK with it, BUT not any of the other BS reasons).
So how does refusing to serve cyclists and pedestrians prevent the would-be robber? He can still sneak up to the window late at night and commit the robbery. The store isn't preventing the cyclist/ped from getting to the window - they're just refusing to serve them once they do get there. Seems like that is only an inconvenience to the legitimate customer who was hoping to be served (and pay for it). The robber wouldn't be inconvenienced at all.
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Old 08-16-09, 08:25 AM   #17
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Years ago I worked as a night mgr at a fast food place while finishing my last year in college. Part of the training was absolutely, positively no service to walk-up or bicycle customers. The company had a liability policy, but it had very high deductible, and they just decided the risk for a few sales wasn't worth it.
Before you said it was probably due to the insurance company policies, but the above seems to indicate it wasn't the insurance company but rather the decision of someone at the fast-food place who was worried about the deductible - i.e. the amount *not* covered by insurance. Wonder if whoever instituted the policy had any real numbers on risk vs. benefit and tend to doubt it. Insurance companies do have staff whose job it is to evaluate such risks and, AFAIK, they aren't the ones promoting the restrictive policies.
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Old 08-16-09, 10:09 AM   #18
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They blame it on the insurance company. I, for one, am going to follow up and call their insurance company. I once went to a bank before the doors opened and the drive-thru was open for cars but a pedestrian wasn't allowed to use it. I stood there for 20 minutes until the bank opened and there was quite a lane of angry motorists (there was only one lane). It was a remote drive-up so there was no threat of theft. When the bank finally opened I went in and closed my account.
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Old 08-16-09, 01:52 PM   #19
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Most people do things, then they come for reasons why they did them.

The reason bikes are banned for drive-thrus is because we live in a car culture, so cars are the default and that's the end of the discussion. Everything else is post-hoc.
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Old 08-16-09, 03:33 PM   #20
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Good insight, Kimmitt.
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Old 08-16-09, 04:14 PM   #21
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It's mostly the same in SoCal.The only place that will let me use the drive-up window is my bank.I think it's because I have been using that bank for 30+ years and everyone knows me there.
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Old 08-16-09, 06:39 PM   #22
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The last time i rode to walgreen's i had forgotten my lock, so i just took my bike inside with me.
I brought it with me to get a drink and batteries and nobody said a word about it to me.
Slightly related anecdote: At best buy the security guy at the door lets me park just inside the entryway where he can keep an eye on my bike and backpack.
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Old 08-16-09, 08:00 PM   #23
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I've never had a problem using my bike at the local Walgreen's drive-through.
Ditto. And I use it frequently. In fact, they know me better because almost no one rides up on a bike. By the time I get up to the window, they usually have my prescriptions pulled and ready.

Wells Fargo is cool with bike customers at the drive-thru as well.
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Old 08-16-09, 08:42 PM   #24
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Our Walgreens, bank, and hospital have bike racks. The bank will let me use the drive-up, but I mostly walk in.

The local Savalot told me I could bring my bike inside. But, I decided not to because I forseen the kids wanting to bring their bikes inside too. Their is a lot of bicycles at this store. Sooner or later one of them would try riding in the store and then it would be back to no bikes inside.
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Old 08-17-09, 06:50 AM   #25
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Local Burger King refuses to serve me on a bike or motorcycle - citing a potential safety hazard. After discussing it with them and contacting corporate BK offices, I have boycotted BK completly. Kinda too bad for them, as I'm pretty vocal about it and have even stopped using them for "post century refueling" (ie a big coke and lg fries to drive home after an long unsupported ride).
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