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Should bikes be allowed in Drive-thrus?

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Should bikes be allowed in Drive-thrus?

Old 02-20-15, 12:08 PM
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Should bikes be allowed in Drive-thrus?

Want a meal on 2 wheels? Utah may halt bikes in drive-thrus | KSL.com

I've been chastised as I went through a drive-thru on my bike to pick up dinner for my kids. I don't carry a bike lock because I don't need one at work or home.

Tell me what you think about this article.
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Old 02-20-15, 12:27 PM
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I think it is grossly misleading.

The proposed legislation would prohibit cities from forcing businesses to allow cyclists in the drive through lane when the lobby is closed.

I can see lots of reasons a business would want to restrict what are really after hours transactions to cars, basically a customer who will pay their money and leave. No mess, no loitering issues.
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Old 02-20-15, 12:29 PM
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Bikes should be allowed in drive-thru's, but it's inappropriate for statute to prohibit or require it. It should be the business's right to decide whether or not they want to cater to customers on bicycles, and let the free market determine how wise their decision is.

With respect to the article, city councilman Garrott is right that the concerns over crime and additional liability are overstated. That said, the local ordinance forcing businesses to accept bikes is misguided in my opinion, as would be a state law overturning local ordinances regulating businesses. You've got a mess brewing there in Utah.
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Old 02-20-15, 12:54 PM
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I was required to be go into the McD on foot and place my order, so I left.

In hindsight, I think that employee did me a favor.
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Old 02-20-15, 01:06 PM
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All drive-through restaurants should be required to have separate, compatible 'bike-though' access. Bike lanes for drive-throughs.
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Old 02-20-15, 01:13 PM
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In all reality I can understand how people don't see much connection between cars and bikes, but if motorcycles can do it, then why not bikes?
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Old 02-20-15, 01:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Keith99 View Post
I think it is grossly misleading.

The proposed legislation would prohibit cities from forcing businesses to allow cyclists in the drive through lane when the lobby is closed.

.
+1

While I think it makes sense to allow bicycles in drive throughs, especially when the premises are otherwise closed, I think the city mandate is an intrusion to owner discretion.

If the city rally wants to increase bicycle access to drive throughs, the best thing it can do is address the barriers more directly, by offering legal cover and eliminating merchant liability for accidents in the drive through except for those where the merchant is clearly at fault. The city bill as is mandates that merchants create what may later be seen as a hazard, but offers no protection.

MY proposal, probably can't be enacted by the city, and would likely require a state law, but IMO would do more to create access by eliminating reasons to deny it.

In any case, business owners should enjoy broad authority to manage their businesses as they see fit. It's the business that bears responsibility for the consequences of their policies, so they should have to authority to set them. The proposed state override isn't anti bike, it simply restores policy making where it belongs.
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Old 02-20-15, 02:38 PM
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Here in Texas, Jack in the Box prohibits bikes and walk-ups at their drive thru. Taco Bell, no problem. Whataburger, no problem.
I think Sonic has figured out a decent solution. They have a walk-up window.

I just don't go to Jack in the Box, if it's after the lobby is closed.
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Old 02-20-15, 03:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Keith99 View Post
I think it is grossly misleading.

The proposed legislation would prohibit cities from forcing businesses to allow cyclists in the drive through lane when the lobby is closed.

I can see lots of reasons a business would want to restrict what are really after hours transactions to cars, basically a customer who will pay their money and leave. No mess, no loitering issues.
How would a cyclist be loitering at the drive-thru by cycling up to the window?
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Old 02-20-15, 03:27 PM
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I think that most reasons to exclude bicycles would also apply to motorcycles, so if they're willing to exclude motorcycles also then whatever. I'll just go to the next place, or go into the lobby.
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Old 02-20-15, 03:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Chris516 View Post
How would a cyclist be loitering at the drive-thru by cycling up to the window?
I think he means that bicyclists and pedestrians riding or walking up are more likely to eat on site than motorists driving up. That can also mean more littering. Given that these businesses make money by selling food, it's logical to assume that wouldn't turn people away without cause. You or the city administration may disagree about the cause, but you're not indemnifying them for the consequences either.
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Old 02-20-15, 03:37 PM
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Patronize food trucks. They are generally locally owned, bike and pedestrian friendly, and have better, more interesting food.
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Old 02-20-15, 04:28 PM
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Not sure if Utah is on of the 20 or so states that classifies "bikes" as vehicles, but basically it comes down to insurance and liability. If you own the restaurant and "allow" bikes to use the drive-thru and a car runs into a bike there is a good chance that the restaurant could get hit with a lawsuit. Also I doubt most insurance carriers would provide coverage if that happens. So basically there is no win for the restaurant if they allow and condone the use of bikes in the drive-thru, but there however is a huge amount of risk.
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Old 02-20-15, 04:37 PM
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I've gone through a mcdonalds drive-thru on a bicycle once when the lobby was closed. The clerk there was going to deny me food for it, and got a little huffy about it. I asked to see the manager, who chastised me for it, at which point I told him he could accept my money or I would go to the burger king down the street, and notify their superiors. Pretty quick change in attitude.
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Old 02-20-15, 04:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Oldan Slo View Post
All drive-through restaurants should be required to have separate, compatible 'bike-though' access. Bike lanes for drive-throughs.
No.
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Old 02-20-15, 05:01 PM
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If they serve people in vehicles after hours but not pedestrians or cyclists doesn't that qualify as discrimination? There's a lot of lawsuits going around of a P&R nature for that sort of thing.... and those guys seem to all be winning.
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Old 02-20-15, 05:05 PM
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My house in Portland was about 7 blocks from what used to be a Wendy's restaurant (sometimes I can go for a good juicy triple burger). They closed the lobby early, but had the drive-through open late.

So, one evening, after probably working on my house, I walked down there. Walked up to the drive-through, and they refused to serve me.

Security, or something? It was on a busy street, but a pretty ordinary neighborhood.

I certainly wasn't going to walk back home, get my car, and drive through the drive-through.

That may have been my last time to that Wendy's restaurant. And they closed a year or two later (along with a bunch of Wendy's restaurants across the nation).

I might imagine such a policy in the less than savory neighborhoods where the employees hide behind bullet proof glass and distribute goods through a bank teller drawer. But, in an ordinary neighborhood, it is just bad business to refuse to sell to local customers.

Risk of customers getting crunched by a car? I tend to be alert to what is going on around me, and the risk of serious damage in a 5 MPH drivethrough is far less than walking across a street, or walking across a parking lot (with or without a car parked there).

So far, I've never had a coffee kiosk turn me away on foot, bicycle, or in a car.

As far as littering... I've always gone by the rule pack-it-in, pack-it-out. Sometimes I'll sit down at a table. Sometimes I'll make a dumpster deposit (from the business's trash). But never leave behind more than a few crumbs.

I don't know about other customers. I'm not seeing mounds of trash around the coffee kiosks that serve individuals. And, it is not uncommon to see bags of trash with fast food restaurant names on the side of the roads left by cars (but apparently less frequent in the restaurant parking lots).
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Old 02-20-15, 06:04 PM
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Originally Posted by RaleighSport View Post
If they serve people in vehicles after hours but not pedestrians or cyclists doesn't that qualify as discrimination? There's a lot of lawsuits going around of a P&R nature for that sort of thing.... and those guys seem to all be winning.
IMO- this is not discrimination in any traditional sense of the word. We are not born as bicyclists, it's a choice we made, and one we can abandon at will. In any case, bicyclists are not a protected class as defined by either the constitution or statute.
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Old 02-20-15, 06:07 PM
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I wonder if the No Bike or Pedestrians In The Drive-Thru lane is unique to restaurants? I know in a couple cases banks and dry cleaners have the same rule.
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Old 02-20-15, 06:23 PM
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Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
IMO- this is not discrimination in any traditional sense of the word. We are not born as bicyclists, it's a choice we made, and one we can abandon at will. In any case, bicyclists are not a protected class as defined by either the constitution or statute.
People aren't born with cars either. But, almost everyone is born with 2 feet, not that humans can walk immediately after birth.

I just think it is silly for businesses to turn away customers. I can imagine encouraging bicyclists and pedestrians to come inside during normal hours, but as I mentioned, I'm not going to walk home just to get a car to use a drive-through during the extended hours.

The only rationale I can think of is:
Say one is held up by someone in a car, then one can snap a photo of the license, and if the car isn't also stolen, the diver might be able to be traced.
On the other hand, if one is held up by a pedestrian, the criminal wouldn't be able to make as fast of a get-away, but it is also harder to find them.

Of course, none of this has any bearing on the employee safety. Just give a hungry person a free hamburger, and be safe. The policies seem to be pretty widespread, so I wonder if it is an ill-reasoned corporate policy that fails to consider differences between communities.
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Old 02-20-15, 06:26 PM
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For me the issue is the government involvement. I don't see an good reason why they think they need to decide what's best. First, they obviously have no clear view of the reality of risk/liability. Second, they can't really understand the specific factors that each local business encounters in interacting with its customer base. Just stay out of it and let the businesses and customers decide for themselves.
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Old 02-20-15, 06:38 PM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
People aren't born with cars either. But, almost everyone is born with 2 feet, not that humans can walk immediately after birth.

I just think it is silly for businesses to turn away customers. I can imagine encouraging bicyclists and pedestrians to come inside during normal hours, but as I mentioned, I'm not going to walk home just to get a car to use a drive-through during the extended hours.....
My reference to not being born as cyclists was as a counter to the "discrimination" argument, and nothing more.

I agree with you that it's dumb for any business to turn away business, but I consider it their right to do so for their own reasons (subject to discrimination rules).

For my part, I've never had service refused by any business, including a "drive up" windows. At my bank, I've been inside when there were lines and had staff tell me to take my bike and use the drive up window where there's no line. But the manager told me that there have been issues where cyclists filter up instead of waiting their turn, and drivers have complained. I wonder if line-breaking events might be one reason that bicyclists aren't welcome at the drive up window.
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Old 02-20-15, 06:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Matariki View Post
For me the issue is the government involvement. I don't see an good reason why they think they need to decide what's best. First, they obviously have no clear view of the reality of risk/liability. Second, they can't really understand the specific factors that each local business encounters in interacting with its customer base. Just stay out of it and let the businesses and customers decide for themselves.
Have the restaurants that are actively turning away customers done a risk assessment? Considered the local restaurant needs?

I agree that the government likes one-size fits all solutions. But, at the same time, denying access to a segment of the population without reason is inappropriate, and I would think a bad business decision.

One could make an argument that the government should allow restaurants to only cater to fair skinned customers if they deem it safer to do so.
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Old 02-20-15, 06:51 PM
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Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
But the manager told me that there have been issues where cyclists filter up instead of waiting their turn, and drivers have complained. I wonder if line-breaking events might be one reason that bicyclists aren't welcome at the drive up window.
I wait my turn, although I have chosen the shortest line if there is more than one line available.

The time I was turned away from Wendy's as a pedestrian, there were no cars around. Hmmm, perhaps I walked up to the window rather than talking to the sign, although it is also likely I wasn't served when walking past the sign.
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Old 02-20-15, 08:38 PM
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Shoud bikes be allowed in drive thrus. Why not.

My LWB recumbent is almost as long as a Smart car.
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