Saanich approves expansion of McDonald’s drive-thru

Second drive-thru lane and other amenities being added to Shelbourne Street restaurant

Despite a handful of letters of protest, there were few grimaces in regards to the Shelbourne Street McDonald’s request to double its drive-thru to two lanes.

By doubling the lanes, it is expected cars will spend less time idling in the McDonald’s drive-thru and will also limit the number of cars backed up onto Church Avenue.

“The reality right now is there’s a problem there for McDonald’s, and not just McDonald’s, but for the area, with traffic on Church Avenue,” said Coun. Vic Derman. “The unfortunate result is this could encourage more traffic at the drive-thru, but for now it’s a problem that needs to be dealt with.”

The twinning of the drive-thru lanes will end up merging into one but will still move traffic along at a faster rate.

A new bench along Church Avenue, to the south, is among a list of amenities McDonald’s will add with the doubled drive-thru. It will also add an additional bike rack, a pedestrian crossing sign for the drive-thru’s crosswalk, safety bollards between the drive-thru lane and parking, and will heighten the fence by 1.2 metres between the drive-thru and Gore Peace Memorial Park, which sits between McDonald’s and Shelbourne Street.

Among the letters opposed to the drive-thru expansion was a declaration by letter writer Mei Ang that the restaurant’s drive-thru model is against the official community plan.

Council was unanimous in its support for the drive-thru, calling it an ‘existing business.’

“This is a small improvement towards alleviating the problem,” said Mayor Richard Atwell. “It’s integral to the neighbourhood, and a fixture on that corner, and I foresee it as being that for a while too.”