Here's one way to kill drive-throughs: enforce the idling ban.

Her Worship Hazel McCallion is 93 years old and has been Mayor of the City of Mississauga, just west of Toronto, for 36 years. Mississauga is growing up from the sprawlville it was when she became mayor, but it is still full of drive-throughs, many of which are the popular Tim Horton's coffee chain. Surprisingly, she hates them and tried to have them banned back in 2008. Now, according to the Toronto Star, she wants to enforce the city's anti-idling laws.

If you went into a lot of those drive-thrus you could charge a lot of those cars. Drive-thrus are contrary to our idling bylaw. It’s completely hypocritical to have an idling bylaw and to allow drive-thrus,” McCallion said Wednesday.

The mayor told Mississauga city council she opposes them for three reasons: the pollution caused by idling; traffic problems, particularly during rush hour when lineups spill into turning lanes; and the routine violation of a city bylaw that prohibits idling for more than three minutes.

Tim Hortons tells George Carlson, chair of Mississauga's environment committee, that "their goal is to get cars in and out of the drive through in a minute-and-a-half." Right. I have seen Timmy coffee crawls go on for twenty minutes. Carlson also notes,

We’re at the end of this suburban era. In the future a lot of these restaurants and businesses, they’re not going to waste their money building drive-thrus. It’s a disappearing feature here. But it takes time.

More in The Star. More on why I hate drive-throughs below in related links.

Tags: Canada | Toronto | Urban Life | Urban Planning