Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Are Drive Thru Lanes a Gender Issue?

Yesterday, in the county council work session on a developers request to permit drive thru lanes in a Transit Oriented District, Marsha McLaughlin pointed out that the Planning Board voted along gender lines in rejecting the change. Jacqueline Easley, the sole female member of the five member board, pointed out that drive thrus are helpful when you have three kids in the car. She cast the only vote in support of the change.

The three women on the council seemed to empathize, though Calvin Ball and Greg Fox both pointed out that they were dads and therefore not unsympathetic to the challenge of dealing with three kids in the car. Greg appeared to support the Planning Boards decision.

The bottom line is that drive-through lanes, particularly for fast food, are bad. According to this post on the Sierra Club blog, cars idling in drive thru lanes are a big waste of energy.

“Taking the fast-food industry as an example, and taking into account that the average McDonald's drive-through wait is 159 seconds, we can calculate that the company's consumers burn some 7.25 million gallons of gas each year. The figure for the entire U.S. fast-food industry? Roughly 50 million gallons.”

There is also the health issue. It seems to me that getting those three kids out of the car and moving around is a good way to negate the impact of eating fast food.

Then again, I am a man…and a dad.
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