Salt Lake City Council looks to change the way drive-through windows work

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 Utah) - The city of Salt Lake is looking to throw another ripple into the landscape of business. This time the city is looking to change the way a drive through window works.

Salt Lake City Council is not just looking to change the way restaurants operate with their drive-throughs. They are also looking at banks, dry cleaners, any one that has a drive-through window.

Businesses would all have to change and accommodate those who walk, ride bicycles or any form of transportation to that window.

“We have a lot of good walk up clientele and we want to keep them. I hope nothing changes on that side of things,” said manager Dominic Smith of Cafe Espresso.

It’s the “sole” mode of transportation that that Salt Lake City Council is looking to change.

“We are being flexible. We are allowing restaurants, banks to accommodate people who are walking or on bikes or whatever way they want,” said Vice Chair and Councilman Luke Garrott of District 4.

It’s a green incentive that comes with controversy. The Utah Restaurant Association has spoken out against the move and Salt Lake City PoliceChief Chris Burbank issued this statement.

“There are several cities across the nation that prohibit walk-up traffic through drive-through vendors during night-time hours. Some areas have seen an increase in robberies where this has been allowed. Clerks have been subject to incidents that they would not normally be subjected to from pedestrians. The police department is not opposed to walk-up traffic in the downtown areas. While we have not seen a dramatic increase in crimes within the Salt Lake City area, we should approach all ordinances being aware of downsides and the possibility of increased associated disorder.”

Patrons are all for the move but say it should be restricted.

“There could be drinking and driving. It's dark at night and you can't see people. So I think it makes sense for them to regulate the walk up business hours,” said consumer Brystal Eshenroder.

“The issues of crime are issues that we are all dealing with and are very serious. But will this one adjustment make for a crime wave? I doubt it,” said Garrott.

Businesses would take a financial hit to accommodate such a move.

“Right now we don't have a grant program for businesses to do this sort of refurbishing,” the councilman added.

If placed into law, businesses will have to keep lobbies and dining rooms open if walk up windows are not established.

At 7 p.m. on July 15 Salt Lake City Council is looking for your input.

You can announce whether you're for or against this drive through window option at the meeting or put your input here

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