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Should Golden get rid of the drive-thru?

There are about 20 drive-thrus in town and that includes fast food, coffee shops, car washes, pharmacies and banks.

GOLDEN, Colo. — The City of Golden is considering a proposal that would study banning or limiting drive-thrus. 

For some people, drive-thrus are convenient when they're in a rush or don't want to get out of the car. City officials in Golden believe this model has caused more harm than good.

According to the city's business proposal, drive-thru operations have large environmental impacts, extreme traffic impacts on surrounding streets that pose risks for pedestrians and cyclists.

"Council directed staff to investigate the potential to limit new drive-throughs in Golden in the future, but only after a community engagement process that would not begin until later this year at the earliest," city officials said in a statement to 9NEWS. "In requesting that staff look into this issue, council cited potential concerns related to bike and pedestrian safety along corridors with drive-through access points, as well as emissions from idling vehicles, and the congestion that popular drive-throughs can cause along these streets." 

Currently, drive-thru operations are only allowed by special use permits located in commercial and mixed-use zone districts. There are about 20 drive-thrus in Golden which include fast food, coffee, car washes, pharmacies and banks. The last drive-thru was approved in 2019 along South Golden Road, where most of the city’s current drive-thrus are located.

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The study would include opportunities for public input, and examine a range of options, such as limiting drive-thru operations for certain types of businesses, zone districts, and locations. 

The process won't start until at least the end of the year. Once the process is completed, officials would conclude with recommendation to council, a draft ordinance (if appropriate), and a council study session. 

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