FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – The long drive-thru line at a Chick-fil-A restaurant in Fort Lauderdale is causing traffic problems.
Don Friedman, who lives in the area, and Marilyn Scherz, who owns a neighboring cigar store, said the line often stretches out to North Federal Highway near Northeast 26th Street. Scherz said people are constantly beeping their horns.
“It is an accident waiting to happen,” Friedman said.
According to the Fort Lauderdale Police Department, there were seven vehicle-related incidents at the restaurant property last month, and there have also been three crashes related to the restaurant traffic. The only enforcement there right now is related to drivers who block the intersection.
“There are accidents all the time on a daily basis pretty much,” Scherz said. “It has been like this for months. I call it the chicken cult ... I don’t know how they can solve it other than making a turning lane that goes all the way down to the corner.”
The Florida Department of Transportation, Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis, who has been caught in the traffic jam himself, and the restaurant owner are trying to find solutions.
“They are successful. We are happy they are making money. The reality is they are interfering with others trying to get on with their lives ... we need to keep traffic moving. It’s on a main artery,” Trantalis said.
To avoid the problem, a Chick-fil-A on Biscayne Boulevard in Aventura got rid of the drive-thru lane, so customers order ahead, park in a designated spot, and wait for someone to bring out their order.
This isn’t an isolated incident. Similar traffic issues caused by long drive-thru lines at Chick-fil-A restaurants in Ohio and Texas prompted lawsuits.
The restaurant owner in Fort Lauderdale declined to comment for this story, which he said was “silly.”