KERRY FERGUSON, San Juan Capistrano
I’m a fan of In-N-Out—great burgers, very fresh fries and friendly service. However, San Juan Capistrano’s fast food alley on Del Obispo doesn’t need one more drive-thru! Good food, wrong place!
First, the increased traffic, coupled with the Chick-fil-A traffic coming soon, will make it extremely difficult for emergency fire and rescue vehicles to exit Station 7 in emergencies, something they had to do 7,559 times last year. We observed this recently, with all four lanes clogged, and the vehicles had to use the central turning lane heading toward the freeway to get through. If that, too, was clogged with autos waiting to turn left into one of the drive-thrus, delays could mean lost lives, or worse.
Second, it would be only two doors from our beautiful new 4-star hotel and back right up to the 1794 Blas Aguilar Adobe Museum, owned by all of us. Right there would be the chain of cars waiting to drive thru at about 100 per hour, with a loud voice blasting out: “Give me your order, please—would you like fries and a drink with that?”
What supposedly irreplaceable income is worth further diminishing the serene quality of our little Spanish village? As we speak, the city is spending more than half a million dollars to beautify our town’s entrance. Our city’s motto is “Preserving the past to Enhance the Future.” Does adding more and more drive-thrus to fast food alley, right next to a historic landmark, live up to that? Absolutely not!
Finally, this is not the only way to create revenue in that space. Why create more snarled traffic, a dangerous situation for emergency vehicles and more blight on our city’s biggest asset, its historic downtown? Find a better location for In-N-Out. Find a more appropriate tenant for the Marie Callender’s property. We really need a sit-down family restaurant with a small banquet space. Leave the charm in our historic downtown!