The city’s Public Works Department issued a statement Thursday regarding the on-going traffic congestion backups on upper State Street because of the drive-through at Chick-fil-A, 3707 State St.
City officials acknowledged the traffic queue is a serious safety and traffic issue. City staff, as well as the Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office, have contacted representatives from Chick-fil-A regarding the “nuisance occurrence, emphasizing the safety concern and the on-going traffic congestion back-ups that have been occurring on a daily basis. The City has insisted that the nuisance to the public must be eliminated,” Rob Dayton, transportation planning and parking manager for the city, said in a statement.
City staff is working with Chick-fil-A’s corporate offices to produce short and long-term solutions and representatives with the fast-food chain “have acknowledged responsibility for addressing the public safety concerns and are actively pursuing options to address the situation both on a temporary and long-term basis,” Mr. Dayton said.
In the meantime, city officials are requesting the public’s assistance to prevent traffic collisions and congestion. Drivers are reminded not to stop on State Street to queue into Chick-fil-A.
“Queuing in the street is not only dangerous and a blockage to normal State Street travel, but it is also illegal and is a significant fine if ticketed,” Mr. Dayton said.
Representatives from Chick-fil-A issued a statement to the News-Press stating, in part, that the restaurant recognizes the traffic concerns surrounding the fast-food drive through.
“We want nothing more than to be a good neighbor, and the restaurant team is working with city officials to identify solutions to manage traffic,” officials said.
The restaurant has previously worked with the city and local police to try and mitigate traffic issues. Some of the measures taken include: having an employee use an iPad to take orders in the drive through to expedite the process; installing curbside delivery as an alternative to the drive-through to reduce the number of cars; introducing mobile ordering to allow customers to order and pay in advance; installing traffic cones and a “No Left Turn” sign to manage the flow of traffic; and restriping the parking lot to manage the traffic onsite at the restaurant.