California City May Declare Chick-fil-A a ‘Public Nuisance’

by Victoria Santiago

One California city has had enough of those long Chick-fil-A lines at lunchtime. In Santa Barbara, CA, it might even be a “public nuisance.” It seems like waffle fries can’t justify long drive-thru lines for officials in the city.

In fact, the drive-thru situation has been assessed by many different city officials. The city’s traffic engineer, police chief, and community development director have all looked at how Chick-fil-A impacts traffic. As it turns out, the fast-food joint in question often causes traffic to back-up down the Street. Based on a city traffic report, that makes this California Chick-fil-A a public nuisance.

If you’ve ever been stuck in a long drive-thru line, just take a look at these numbers: the long line at Chick-fil-A can block one lane of traffic for up to 90 minutes on weekdays. On weekends, that wait time goes up to 155 minutes.

The fast-food chain has asked the city council to hold off on officially calling it a nuisance. Chick-fil-A says that it can work on traffic delays. One possible answer is to hire third-party traffic control to help with traffic. On top of that, they could even figure out an offsite parking agreement.

The city council said that there will be a public hearing until June 7. The council has already approved a step toward making the Chick-fil-A a public nuisance.

California Chick-fil-A Has a ‘Good Problem,’ But It’s Still a Problem

All things considered, we could think of worse issues for a fast-food restaurant to have. City officials think so, too. “Chick-fil-A has a good problem here. They are so successful, they have outgrown their site,” said Santa Barbara city council member Kristen Sneddon. “It’s possible they were oversized for that site, to begin with.”

In the words of the franchise operator, Travis Collins, the Santa Barbara Chick-fil-A wants “nothing more than to be a good neighbor.”

Collins went on to say that he had been working hard with the city and with the company’s partners to figure out the answer for this traffic issue. There are many moving parts to this problem, in addition to the parking and traffic ideas above. Collins said that they will also be hiring extra team members to serve guests quickly, according to Fox Business.

“Chick-fil-A strives to serve not only our guests, but our communities at large,” he added.

Santa Barbara Residents Say This Traffic Problem Is Not New

Even though its an issue now, residents of the California city say that the fast-food place has always impacted traffic. To them, their complaints are only now getting attention.

“In the past, it felt like the complaints were taken half-seriously,” said city resident Rick Closson. “Over the years, you’ve had Chick-fil-A putting together their fixes that really did not do much to fix the traffic problem.”

“But then you have the city coming forward with a possible nuisance title, and the corporation is now saying, ‘Oh my goodness, please just give us more time to solve this.'”