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HRM committee recommends taking closer look at limiting new drive-thrus

The motion will now go before council
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(Meghan Groff/HalifaxToday.ca)

Discussions on limiting future drive-thrus will go forward in Halifax Regional Municipality.

On Thursday, HRM's environment and sustainability standing committee agreed to a motion to explore restricting new drive-thrus and expanding existing ones.

The aim is to reduce the idling of vehicles which contribute to greenhouse gas emissions.

The motion was put forward by councillor Richard Zurawski, who said North America's ingrained car-dependent culture has many costs, including in road repairs, pollution and to our overall health.

The motion will now go before council, who will decide whether or not to direct the chief administrative officer to examine the possible restrictions.

A staff report has already pointed out some negative consequences of the potential move, including inconveniencing parents of young children, impacting the safety of those grabbing food or a drink late at night, potentially exposing those with weakened immune systems to diseases and making it more difficult for those with limited mobility to get service.

Zurawski told NEWS 95.7's The Rick Howe Show, all of those social impacts will be weighed.

"This particular study that we approved on the environment and sustainability committee was specifically to begin the process of looking at it, and looking at all the pros and cons, and consulting with everyone," he explained.

Zurawski has already arranged a meeting with Paul Vienneau. The accessibility advocate was recently hired as HRM CAO Jacques Dube's special advisor on accessibility.

"He and I will ... sit and talk about this specific topic from his perspective, because I'm not in a wheelchair and most of us aren't," said Zurawski. "So the solutions we come up with may in fact not be good solutions."

The development of new drive-thrus is already restricted in Halifax's downtown core.




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Meghan Groff

About the Author: Meghan Groff

Born in Michigan, raised in Ontario, schooled in Indiana & lives in Nova Scotia; Meghan is the community editor for HalifaxToday.ca.
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