Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Drive-thru removed from project in Downtown Langley

When building an accessible, walkable community, the construction of drive-thrus should be strongly discouraged. Not only do drive-thrus promote pollution-causing idling, but they also promote driving which encourages unhealthy communities.

Most drive-thrus also detract from the public realm. Shops that front the street with good sidewalks promote active transportation in communities, especially if these streets are close to townhouses and apartments. Parking lots and drive-thru break up the street front which discourages walking and cycling. This is why I believe that new drive-thrus should not to be allowed in Downtown Langley as the City’s stated goal is to create a pedestrian-oriented core.

Back in 2012, I posted about a new coffee shop with a drive-thru project that was proposed along Fraser Highway on the western edge of Downtown Langley. I was disappointed that City Council approved a drive-thru. Construction of this project did not start until recently.

This morning, I walked by the project to take a few pictures.

New project at 20112 Fraser Highway. View from the sidewalk.

View from street, new building at 20112 Fraser Highway.

I was pleasantly surprised to see that the drive-thru component of this project was removed. In fact, the building fronts Fraser Highway and is pedestrian-friendly. As Downtown Langley continues to develop, we need more projects that encourage and support a pedestrian-friendly public realm. I’m glad the drive-thru is missing which means that this project will now help build a health and more accessible Downtown Langley.

1 comment:

Blair said...

I am always amused at how the young and able-bodied make it their business to make life harder for those who are less able.

Drive-thrus are considered a scourge by folks like yourself, but are a god-send to the less able-bodied who just want to enjoy the simple pleasures you take for granted. When getting out of your car involves unstowing a wheel-chair or other such challenges then the simple act of getting a cup of coffee or a cheeseburger goes from a2 minute stop to a 20 minute ordeal. Ever try to hold a cup of coffee while loading multiple children when you are not fully able? Nope, probably not, which is why you harp on drive-thrus and "walkable cities" while ignoring that percentage of the population for whom a walk is not a pleasurable thing but a painful and slow activity.