Unsustainable: Drive-through bans on bicyclists won't stand test of time


Yesterday, I was turned away on my longtail bicycle at a drive-through window. To be turned away on a bike at a drive-through is not unusual -- Taco Bell and Wells Fargo have both made waves for their bike-unfriendly policies -- though it was a surprise for me. My bike, festooned with "Love your farmer" and "One less minivan" stickers, has a seat for my toddler in front and a running board for my other two boys in back, fits in with the "flare" at Burgerville, like the sign reading "Drive Less, Save More." In fact, I've biked through that very same drive-through on that very same bike before, with my three boys aboard, for milkshakes and cheeseburgers. My family is, after all, car-free by choice (both for its budget benefits and its environmental advantages).

And I have long sung the praises of Burgerville, the ultra-green Pacific Northwest fast food joint. The company is known for its use of local, seasonal ingredients, its composting, its use of wind power, and its fryer oil recycling program; all those french fries and Walla Walla onion rings are cooked in oil that ends up in someone's biodiesel engine. It's the only fast food restaurant where I, a bit of a nut when it comes to sustainable food, will eat. I'm not the only one; I regularly find the bike rack at Burgerville full and run into other hippie, foodie families in the dining area.