Verdun bans drive-through restaurants

There are only four restaurants with drive-through service in Verdun, and the borough plans to keep it that way.

Borough wants to encourage more walking and reduce greenhouse emissions

The four drive-throughs in Verdun will be allowed to stay, but no new permits will be issued. (CBC)

There are only four restaurants with drive-through service in Verdun, and the borough plans to keep it that way.

Verdun is the latest borough to ban the construction of new fast-food spots that offer service for customers in their cars.

Officials say it will reduce exhaust emissions, lighten vehicle traffic and encourage residents to walk more.

"In Montreal, 39 per cent of greenhouse gases are because of motorized vehicles, so if we can do anything to reduce that, we're reducing our carbon footprint," said Sterling Downey, a city councillor for Verdun.

Existing drive-throughs will be allowed to stay, but no new permits will be issued.

"Drive-throughs on highways makes sense, or on thoroughfares. But in a small suburb or a place like Verdun, everything is within [walking] distance," Downey added.

Mixed feelings from residents

Residents interviewed by CBC News showed mixed feeling about the ban.

Paul Moreau remembers how bad traffic was when LaSalle Boulevard was down to one lane near Galt Street due to construction last summer.

"The drive through was blocking the traffic, because it was down to one lane and people were lining up in the morning at McDonald's," he said.

At the same time, he likes the convenience they offer.

"If you live 10 or 12 blocks away, it's not really that convenient [to walk]. Doesn't really make sense to me to ban them," he said.

Elizabeth Czyzeski, on the other hand, in unequivocal in her agreement with the ban. She says walking into restaurants is faster anyhow.

"They always have you wait to the side and bring your food out, when inside you can be in and out," she said.

Verdun joins Rosemont—La-Petite Patrie, Saint-Laurent and Plateau-Mont-Royal in banning drive-through services.

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