A Southern California city is considering declaring a Chick-fil-A restaurant a “public nuisance” because of traffic safety issues caused by long drive-thru lines.
“There is a chronic adverse traffic impact caused by the operation of the drive-through restaurant facility,” the city report stated.
The latest: The Santa Barbara city council discussed the issue on March 1, scheduling the public hearing for early June, per NBC News, Los Angeles.
The problem: “There is a chronic adverse traffic impact caused by the operation of the drive-through restaurant facility,” the city report stated.
- These long queues block sidewalks, bike lanes and driveways, the report stated. Buses and emergency vehicles have had to find other routes.
- According to CBS News, the drive-thru blocks one traffic lane for as long as 90 minutes on weekdays and 155 minutes on Saturdays.
What they’re saying: “The City’s Traffic Engineer, Police Chief, and Community Development Director have evaluated the situation and believe that the persistent traffic back-up onto State Street is a public nuisance and that the nuisance is caused by the operation of a drive-through at the Chick-fil-A restaurant,” the report stated.
“It is important to understand we’re trying to cure, not trying to punish,” Mayor Randy Rowse said, earlier this month.
State of play: The fast-food chain has already tried many ways of tackling the problem, “such as on-site queuing and stationing mobile order takers, but none have appeared to work,” the report said.
- Posting a police officer to give out citations was not an effective solution either, as it put a burden on public resources.
- For now, Chick-fil-A representatives have asked the city council to delay the public nuisance designation and give it more time to fix the problem, according to Fox News.
What Chick-fil-A is saying: Travis Collins, the Chick-fil-A franchise operator, said they “want nothing more than to be a good neighbor.”
- “That’s why, as the local restaurant operator, I’ve been working diligently with the city and our internal partners to continue mitigating traffic concerns, hiring extra team members to serve our guests, engaging third-party traffic control to help expedite traffic and much more,” he said, per the report, adding that “Chick-fil-A strives to serve not only our guests, but our communities at large.”