If you’ve never enjoyed the fare at In-N-Out, well, all I can say is, add that to your bucket list my friend. However, if you wish to partake of that burger flipper’s tasty delights, or that any other fast food emporium, while availing yourself of the drive-thru window, you’ll soon be out of luck in Baldwin Park, CA. The City Council has voted to ban drive-thrus, not just those of the home of the Double Double, but everybody’s, due to the traffic congestion that’s leaching into the residential areas of the home to approximately 90,000. Now, that all seems reasonable, if not exactly the best way to encourage sales tax revenue generation, but what makes it interesting is the fact that Baldwin Park is home to the first In-N-Out (opened October 22, 1948), as well as that company’s In-N-Out University.
Baldwin Park is a solid blue-collar community about 22-miles east of downtown Los Angeles. It was originally park of the sprawling Lucky Baldwin rancho, and today is bisected by the 10-freeway, from which you can see the In-N-Out location. The new ordinance took affect over the Fourth of July weekend, and reaction from the community has been mixed at best. Some residents laud the new-found freedom of egress from adjacent businesses, while others lament the potential loss of business and accompanying tax revenues.
Drive-thrus are part and parcel with California’s Car Culture, and it will be interesting to see how this experiment in Baldwin Park pans out. In-N-Out, in particular seems to have had its success outpace its locations abilities to manage traffic flow, and it seems prerequisite that each location have a sign imploring line waiters not to block their neighbor’s driveways. Me, I’ll still be patronizing the drive thru at In-N-Out, as well as the occasional other Fast Food establishment, just not any of those in Baldwin Park evidently.
Image sources: [InsideSoCal.com, LindsayFincher.com]