Minneapolis bans new drive-thrus

A McDonald's drive through sign topped with golden arches
A sign directs customers to the drive-thru at a McDonald's restaurant in Des Plaines, Illinois.
Scott Olson | Getty Images file 2013

New drive-thrus have been banned in the city of Minneapolis.

The Minneapolis city council on Thursday passed an ordinance that no longer allows the building of drive-thrus for banks, restaurants and other businesses.

Council president Lisa Bender says the city had already been limiting them.

"We've already restricted drive-throughs over the years in a number of ways, through pedestrian-oriented overlay districts and other tools. There's a map included in the materials allowed today and it's actually quite limited today, but this just says that we will not have any new drive-thrus in the future,” Bender said.

Proponents of the ban hope it will cut down on vehicle noise and idling, and make sidewalks safer.

Opponents of the ordinance say it will make access to businesses and restaurants more difficult for people with physical challenges. However, Council member Andrea Jenkins says she heard the concerns from those with disabilities that drive-thrus can help to make their lives easier.

"We're not closing any current drive-thrus, but rather regulating where new ones can occur. So I just want to make sure that we are recognizing all parts of our community and really trying to make sure that everyone has access in the city of Minneapolis,” Jenkins said.

The ban will not affect drive-thru proposals that had been submitted before the ordinance passed.