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Some cyclists may be pedaling out for late-night tacos in celebration of Salt Lake City's new drive-thru law.
But a state lawmaker wants to ban cities from requiring fast-food joints and other businesses to open quick-order lanes to anyone on a bike. Utah's capital passed just such an ordinance in September.
"The city overreached," said Rep. Johnny Anderson, R-Taylorsville, who argues business owners should decide whether to gear services toward cyclists or pedestrians.
Anderson recently pitched the bill to the Utah House panel that oversees local government. The committee sent the legislation to the House floor with a 7-3 vote.
It's not the first time conservative Utah lawmakers have tread on a new idea from Salt Lake City's liberal-leaning leadership.
Four years ago, Sen. Wayne Niederhauser, a Republican from Sandy, pushed legislation blocking a historic district in the city's Yalecrest neighborhood. And 20 years ago, lawmakers nullified then-Mayor Deedee Corradini's local gun-control efforts.
Salt Lake City Councilman Luke Garrott insists the capital city is in the right. Along with new downtown bike lanes, the ordinance carries out the city's bike-friendly "vision," he said.
Strolling up and ordering a burger is still out of the question, Garrott notes.
"No pedestrians. Only bikes," he told the House Political Subdivisions Committee a week ago. "We didn't want to force radical change. We wanted gradual change."
The rule applies after the walk-in dining room has closed. It not only is for hungry, hurried cyclists, but also could streamline bank transactions and pharmacy stops, said Dan Fazzini, a vocal Utah cycling advocate and an accountant.
Some franchise owners and supermarket managers, on the other hand, cast a gloomier picture of what the rule could mean: Thin tires could get stuck in drain grates. Drivers may injure cyclists after failing to see them in the dark. Workers at the order window may become targets of harassment from customers on bikes who have neither sedan door nor seatbelt to restrain them.
Derek Smith of Presidio Insurance argues that cyclists could drive up liability for owners. He cited a letter from Salt Lake County Sheriff Jim Winder, noting drive-up lanes are typically dimly lit.
Smith was one of several at the meeting to suggest that Utah's cycling crowd is a rough one.
"When people are doing illegal drugs and they get the munchies, they approach the drive-thru," he said.
"We're concerned about the safety of our employees," said Burger King franchise owner Gary Moore, who operates 22 restaurants in Utah. "We just think this is a bad idea."
Such concerns have a long history in Utah, said Fazzini, who has been turned away from drive-up windows while on his motorcycle.
"Cyclists are discriminated everywhere you turn," he said.
"I get where they're coming from," Fazzini said, referring to Anderson and the bill's proponents. "But I'm gonna stand for the cycling community."
Some, including Salt Lake City Democratic Rep. Marie Poulson, chuckled at the notion of anyone on handlebars doing harm.
"As a cyclist," she joked, "I'm getting really offended here."
Niederhauser, now the Senate president and a cyclist, finds himself torn on this Salt Lake City ordinance. He said Monday he had not seen Anderson's bill but believed any effort to give cyclists equal treatment was "a good thing," so long as it didn't put too much of a burden on individual businesses.
Nationally, few cities and states have grappled with the issue, said Melva Sine, president of the Utah Restaurant Asssociation.
Maine is one of them. Statewide, anyone at the drive-thru window on bike or on foot must approach at their own risk: Businesses are protected from any liability.
Kate Bradshaw of the Utah Food Industry Association said some customers "feel more comfortable" ordering from cars. But fast-food joints, banks, pharmacies and other businesses should choose for themselves whether to serve cyclists, she said.
Some lawmakers said business owners who don't like the city's policy should take it up with council members, rather than state legislators.
"If you don't like their decisions," said Rep. Justin Miller, D-Salt Lake City, "toss them out of office."