Saturday, May 1, 2010

Bikes Unsafe in Drive-Thrus, Really?

Last Monday, 4/26/2010, in the evening after work I rode over through the drive-thru at my nearby Walgreens on The Roadley and dropped off a prescription for my wife. Around 7:30 that same evening I rode back through the drive-thru again to pick it up and, well, here's the description of what happened as it appeared in the message I sent to Walgreens via their corporate web site:

For several years I have ridden my bicycle through the drive-thru at my local Walgreens. The most any of the pharmacists or clerks have ever said is "you be careful out there." Today, however, when I pedaled in to pick up a prescription I was told the next time I came to pick up a prescription on my bike I needed to park it and come into the store. (Nothing was said to me when I pedaled in to drop off the prescription just a half an hour before.) I was further informed it had to do with "safety and liability issues." I find this curious, because I don't know of a single instance of a bicycle/car accident in a drive-thru, much less a business being sued on account of it. There is no posting about "No Bicycles in the Drive-Thru Lane" at this Walgreens. I would think that your company would be at the forefront of promoting the healthy lifestyle of bicycling. Furthermore, in Arizona “a person riding a bicycle on a roadway or on a shoulder adjoining a roadway is granted all of the rights and is subject to all of the duties applicable to the driver of a vehicle” (Arizona Revised Statutes Section 28-812). If I have all the rights of a vehicle out on the road, why would I not have those same rights in your drive-thru lane? I have not been prohibited from using my bike in the drive-thru lanes at six different businesses in my area, including my bank. Could you tell me what the corporate policy is regarding this issue?

On Thursday evening, 4/29/2010, I received a phone call from the manager of that Walgreens store. He said the note had been passed on to him by corporate. He said he did not see anything wrong with my riding my bike through their drive through lane, and he would inform the rest of his staff of that. He explained he thought it was a concern for my safety, but he added that I had made some good points in my message and maybe his staff was being overly concerned.

He added that he hoped I would take regular safety precautions such as having lights on my bike, and I assured him I always wear a helmet and have a taillight and two headlights on that particular bike.

He went on to say he had been unable get a reply from his corporate office concerning company policy of bicycles in drive-thru lanes, but said his understanding was a business could prohibit bikes from using drive-thrus just as they could prohibit pedestrians from using them.

I told him my understanding was an Arizona business could refuse service to anybody they chose, for no reason at all. I added that I didn't believe that would be very smart customer service, and I did not think they were exposed to any additional legal liability by the presence of my bicycle in their drive-thru. He agreed.

My wife thinks I'm a troublemaker, what do y'all think?


  1. I think your a troublemaker to, my kind of trouble maker!!! Way to go!!