Chick-fil-A has a new plan for the drive-thru at the restaurant it plans to open next year where the Van Ness Burger King now stands. Company representatives, including its head engineer, a traffic consultant and zoning lawyer discussed the plan with ANC 3F’s Technical Review Committee on Thursday, January 21st.
Chick-fil-A’s original plans had two lanes leading to the drive-thru. The new plan keeps the two lanes as they are now – one for the drive-thru and one as a pass-through to parking and the alley in the back.
Chick-fil-A also said the franchise would send three employees outside to take orders on tablet computers and direct traffic if cars back up to Connecticut Avenue or even around the block to Albemarle Street.
New ANC 3F chair Malachy Nugent, who gave a summary of the Chick-fil-A meeting at the commission’s January 27th publicmeeting, said the chain’s representatives gave traffic estimates, based generally on an average of similar fast food restaurants nationwide, that suggest a possible 50 percent increase in vehicle traffic over what the Burger King currently sees.
Chick-fil-A is doing its own traffic study and will give the findings to ANC 3F and the District Department of Transportation this Friday, February 5th. Nugent said until they see Chick-fil-A’s study, commissioners will remain skeptical that any kind of driveway will mitigate safety concerns for motorists and pedestrians.
On its Tuesday, February 23rd public meeting, ANC 3F will discuss and vote on its final recommendation for DDOT’s planners. Two days later, DDOT’s Public Space Commission will take up the Chick-fil-A proposal at a public hearing.