Why is there no traffic enforcement at Chick-fil-A?

78 Comments
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By an edhat reader

Does anyone know why the city refuses to enforce obvious traffic codes such as "No person shall stop, leave standing or park any vehicle within an area designated as prohibited..." This designation certainly includes the southbound lanes on Upper State Street between Hitchcock and Ontare.

Poor planning and poor enforcement allows Chick-Fil-A to operate a drive-through that is so popular it regularly backs up traffic onto State Street and about a quarter mile back around the corner onto Hitchcock. Uncaring members of our town constantly sit in their cars during lunch and dinner hours, belching fumes while the parking lot sits empty. Ignoring how obviously wrong and lazy it is to block traffic on a major street, or to block sidewalks and other businesses rather than to courteously pull into a parking lot and walk a few feet to pick up their meal.

Why is it OK for a private business to create this kind of public disruption on a daily basis for several year's now and nothing has been done? (Except for Sundays, thank god, when they rest.) I know, it is your given right to just sit in your car and have someone hand you your daily caloric intake, but, I have to wonder if our community would tolerate this if it was a local aid organization providing free healthy meals to local families in need.

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a-1544923958 Nov 13, 2018 07:47 PM
Why is there no traffic enforcement at Chick-fil-A?

I traveled back and forth from upper State to Cottage area on De la Vina regularly 4-7 times a week, for years, at any time of day or night. That has stopped but I live in the neighborhood. I have NEVER seen State backed up at State and De la Vina due to people trying to get into Trader Joe's. I don't shop at peak, and if I can't park, I leave. Come to think of it, I've never been behind more than one car getting into the lot. If I was, I would not stop. Am I just the beneficiary of the TJ's angel? I do believe that anyone who tries to pick up dinner at a TJ's at 5:15 p.m. deserves what they get. Sorry, it's just true.

a-1544923958 Nov 13, 2018 07:42 PM
Why is there no traffic enforcement at Chick-fil-A?

I wanted to update this. Around 3:30 this afternoon, I was stuck in traffic heading downtown, which I will call Southbound. I went through light at State and Hitchcock after waving someone leaving Whole Foods/banking lot. I got safely through light and then total stop. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ It is NOT EASY to get into the other lane when you're in the lane leading to strip malls. Smaller collisions often happen. I saw none today. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Yes, of course it was the stupid drive-in causing all this southbound State St. backup, into the intersection of State and Hitchcock, occasionally blocking it. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ I just hope some of our healthy, active, caring and ecologically aware brother and sister community members can Park Their Cars and get their orders. Please! ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------What's the deal with 3:30 p.m.? MUST be that school let out. So much for having your afternoon snack at home before going out to play. So much for peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and all the others we ate, with apples and carrots and a few cookies. Oh well.

PurpleBee Oct 11, 2018 04:04 AM
Why is there no traffic enforcement at Chick-fil-A?

I noticed a few days ago (after I had gotten by the drive thru traffic to park in the lot and go into the store to get my shake), that people were bypassing the wait by pulling in to the lot going the wrong way and trying to get turned around to park. Not a good idea. They are now blocking all traffic trying to exit the drive thru and those of us who were already there. Just wondering why no one has brought up the impact all of those idling vehicles spewing exhaust and wasting gas?

Skywalker Oct 10, 2018 11:58 AM
Why is there no traffic enforcement at Chick-fil-A?

If you are concerned about what Chick-Fil-A has done to traffic movement on Upper State, just wait until Target is complete and you'll soon forget about Chick-Fil-A just like how in the age of Trump I look back on my concerns with George W. as so quaint. The City knows Target will create a nightmare - take if from the City planner herself: "In an interview with Noozhawk, City Planner Renee Brooke said there won’t be enough parking at certain times at the location in the now-closed Galleria building at 3891 State St. “The site is constrained in parking capacity, parking lot layout, and access to the street with right in, right out-only turning movements,” she said. “Overall, motorists will experience significantly more traffic friction at the driveway locations as the building goes from largely dormant uses to constant vitality,” Brooke said.

a-1544923958 Oct 10, 2018 08:52 PM
Why is there no traffic enforcement at Chick-fil-A?

...and no one at the party wanted to hear The Walker drone on about traffic or chicken vendors or Trump as they had better things to do...like laundry and watching reruns of Clutch Cargo...how DID they get them lips to move? You go girl!

a-1544923958 Oct 09, 2018 11:17 PM
Why is there no traffic enforcement at Chick-fil-A?

Wow, Cool. I've never gotten so many upvotes as I did here, for simply pointing out obvious traffic facts and driving courtesies. And the driving horror that upper State is. It's all pretty simple. But it won't change. Population only grows. Same with climate change. Whatever we do, growth in other countries, who of course want our (USA's) standard of living, will counteract any change we and other first world countries make. Not that the USA is making changes. CA is an outlier.

a-1544923958 Oct 09, 2018 11:21 PM
Why is there no traffic enforcement at Chick-fil-A?

How do you define old? I'm late 50's but defined by my youth and my family, decades ago. And yes, politics really ARE local. Do you define objectors to our current administration the same way? Take a bigger historical view and realize what has happened in the past 50-70 years. There are many people alive who were there!

jdoggydogg Oct 09, 2018 08:07 PM
Why is there no traffic enforcement at Chick-fil-A?

i found myself behind this drive through conundrum recently and was mildly appalled. bunch of slims idling for a deep fried roided chicken breast sandwich is pretty ridiculous. #maga

Rinconer Oct 09, 2018 09:50 AM
Why is there no traffic enforcement at Chick-fil-A?

So thankful to live in one of the most beautiful areas with the greatest climate on Earth. I met several people from Switzerland this summer who came to Santa Barbara because we were had cooler temperatures than Switzerland, amazing. We are all very lucky to be here. We could instead be a one legged beggar in Bangladesh, now that would be something to complain about.

Flicka Oct 09, 2018 09:35 AM
Why is there no traffic enforcement at Chick-fil-A?

Nothing like jumping all over the poster for wondering what to do about people illegally stopping and blocking one lane of the road. I'd take photos, take them to the police and to a City Council meeting. Keep at it and maybe something will be done if even just to get you off their backs. Good luck.

Ahchooo Oct 09, 2018 10:53 AM
Why is there no traffic enforcement at Chick-fil-A?

I could surely rant a bit about parents blocking traffic to pick up their kids. There's a school I sometimes go by where the parents stop their cars mid-lane, instead of pulling over to the side while waiting to go in the lot. Everybody needs to try a little harder to be aware of how our actions affect others, and see if we can be a bit more considerate.

a-1544923958 Oct 09, 2018 09:40 AM
Why is there no traffic enforcement at Chick-fil-A?

FLICKA and others - it is NOT illegal to be stopped behind another car in traffic. If a car was simply stopped in the lane with nothing in front of it and heading no where, then this code may be applicable. There is nothing illegal about being in a line of cars heading into a place that happens to slow traffic. If that were the case, then EVERY driving parent at EVERY school, EVERY day would be ticketed as they wait to pull in to drop off/pick up their kids. Seriously people, it's not that big a deal. There are SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO many more important things to spend your time and energy fretting about.

a-1544923958 Oct 09, 2018 09:28 AM
Why is there no traffic enforcement at Chick-fil-A?

While I agree there are traffic issues with the ingress to Chick-Fil-A , your quote on the traffic codes is incorrect..... there is no one parking or leaving their vehicles in traffic at Chick-Fil-A, period. They are blocking traffic waiting to turn into the lot. This actually happens MANY places in town , not just Chick-Fil-A. Obviously, this is poor planning by the City , but there is no traffic enforment laws being broken. EVERYONE can complain, but rather than complaining, why don’t you do something about it and join one of the city planning committees and be a voice to fix the problem

Luvaduck Oct 09, 2018 08:55 AM
Why is there no traffic enforcement at Chick-fil-A?

You should see the traffic at In-and-Out Burgers @Turnpike and Calle Real. If you emptied the cars, more than thoughtless, lazy types, you'd find a lot of tired, over-worked, over-weight people trying to grab cheap food and get by for another day. When you're exhausted or hurting or both, a few extra steps becomes a mammoth task. Our way of living is killing us.

a-1544923958 Oct 09, 2018 09:23 AM
Why is there no traffic enforcement at Chick-fil-A?

Luvaduck - I see a lot of wealthy, healthy (looking) and happy people at In-And-Out. What's with all the nutrition snobs here? You may be "healthy" but you're also miserable and somewhat bigoted. It's not just sad, fat, poor people eating junk food. Gads, you health snobs make me want to go choke a celery!

Bndtech Oct 09, 2018 07:34 AM
Why is there no traffic enforcement at Chick-fil-A?

It is possible that Chic-Fil-A can fix the traffic issue by taking pre-orders via phone and just drive thru and pick it up, instead of waiting for there order to be made. As for the traffic issue at hand - IT IS A HAZARD! I live off Hitchcock and every time I need to turn right onto State when that business is open you can see the cars stacking up on the road past Rusty's at times. I find that if you don't maneuver into the #2 lane right away, you are going to wait for traffic to pass. I've also seen cars coming out of Chic-Fil-A improperly, causing #2 lane traffic to STOP. Seriously folks, if your a Chic-Fil-A customer please - you are causing a hazard to public safety when your vehicle is lined up on State Street. Maybe a different business location is in order? Maybe the city can start citing vehicles blocking traffic on State Street? SBPD are you taking NOTE?

420722 Oct 09, 2018 07:31 AM
Why is there no traffic enforcement at Chick-fil-A?

Can someone go take a video with their phone this afternoon of all the law breakers in line and chik fil A? Send it to the city, sometimes you have to put it in their face to get action. I can’t do it I have to walk to work now. I stopped driving to work so you all could have one less vehicle on the road during to morning and evening rush hours...your welcome.

pstarSR Oct 09, 2018 07:21 AM
Why is there no traffic enforcement at Chick-fil-A?

I am only going to comment on the drive thru blocking the street issue. Although we could chastise the city, and chik fila for not enforcing this issue. the problem lies with the customers, they sit in front of the sign stating "DO NOT BLOCK STREET, DO NOT WAIT IN STREET". they are literally stopped in front of it for minutes and dont read it. It is a hazard especially when the amount of traffic on state street has exploded recently. Lets all take stock in the fact that we are part of the problem and solution. Pay attention to other people in the world we can all drive together, if we respect each other.

Marshallmom Oct 10, 2018 04:35 AM
Why is there no traffic enforcement at Chick-fil-A?

It's not that they don't read the sign...they see it. They read it. They say Screw it. I'm gonna go what benefits me best. You are right. We need to put in a bit of effort and not be such rude drivers. We may just end up a bit happier all around.

a-1544923958 Oct 09, 2018 11:12 PM
Why is there no traffic enforcement at Chick-fil-A?

I do not understand why people don't enter the (Huge) lot, park and go into the restaurant. I guess few care about inconveniencing many. If only some of those spaces could be for Ontare Plaza!

PurpleBee Oct 09, 2018 12:08 AM
Why is there no traffic enforcement at Chick-fil-A?

When it blocks other businesses from accessing their driveways it s a real problem. Changing lanes does not help when it is like that. Rusty's delivery drivers and customers are really impacted.

SoapBox Oct 08, 2018 07:42 PM
Why is there no traffic enforcement at Chick-fil-A?

This comment is many times over the most read on here in several days, indicating this is an issue for a lot of people. And it should be obvious that the OP intended to bait all of you commenters who love this product or company so blindly that you defend breaking the law to put your singular personal desire ahead of the clear and legal right of way of others. The same commenters are often the first ones to say things like "what part of illegal isn't clear" when it comes to other less tasty quality of life issues. And to those that say just pull around and keep moving, easy peasy ... well, it will be tough to defend that position to the mother of the bicyclist that gets slammed trying to pass the cars blocking access to the bike lane.

SoapBox Oct 10, 2018 06:23 AM
Why is there no traffic enforcement at Chick-fil-A?

A: Third person self referral can be associated with self-irony and not taking oneself too seriously. B: I'm pretty sure the word bigotry does not include intolerance of those who have the deeply held belief that their right to stop in traffic for a chicken sandwich is more important than public safety and basic civility.

a-1544923958 Oct 08, 2018 08:38 PM
Why is there no traffic enforcement at Chick-fil-A?

Oh, need I mention how hard it is to "pull around" if you get stuck in the business-side lane?! Haven't we all seen the backup behind city buses?! And the close calls?

a-1544923958 Oct 08, 2018 08:36 PM
Why is there no traffic enforcement at Chick-fil-A?

I agree with most of what you say, but not that the OP was baiting. This business is a problem on upper State. So is Ontare Plaza -- and Jeanine's has expanded. Thank goodness the Medicine Shoppe has great delivery. I used them, and their fantastic customer service, for years while my parents were sick and dying. I was able to walk there, or go at end of day if necessary. I hope they can find another site to serve their clientele. ========================================================================= Upper State is a disaster, traffic-wise, and has been for many years. It will get terribly worse, and affect many people. =========================================================================I I do not drive it between 9 and 5, or later and earlier, in the months preceding our largest consumer holiday. I also know some parking tricks; I'm sure those who have lived here for decades do too. It helps to do grocery shopping at 7 a.m. or p.m.

a-1544923958 Oct 08, 2018 08:31 PM
Why is there no traffic enforcement at Chick-fil-A?

Soapsbox: If you have ever had their food, you would certainly understand why people crave it morning, noon, and night. They are closed on Sundays, so traffic is not that bad on that day. Their chicken is the most tender and tasty just about anowhere on the planet. A lot of us walk there, ride a bike or take the MTD 6 or 11 to get there for our "fix." Yes, it is really that good!!!

a-1544923958 Oct 08, 2018 06:36 PM
Why is there no traffic enforcement at Chick-fil-A?

Four dozen comments and no one has stated the obvious? The cops turn a blind eye because they love Chick-Fil-A!! Their lunch break is before noon so they're in and out. Props to the guys and gals in blue!!!

a-1544923958 Oct 08, 2018 05:19 PM
Why is there no traffic enforcement at Chick-fil-A?

We go there regularly, but learned to arrive early to avoid the traffic. We simply cannot resist their chicken strips along with kris-cut waffle fries, and a large lemonade. If there is a long line we just put on our "mellow hats" and politely wait until it is our turn to order. Life is much too short to worry about a few cars that we can easily drive around. I had a woman honking and yelling at me last week at Trader Joes...she finally whizzed past me in her Prius, and that is when I noticed her bumper sticker...."COEXiST"

a-1544923958 Oct 08, 2018 05:34 PM
Why is there no traffic enforcement at Chick-fil-A?

Both situations, at Chik Fil A and Trader Joes, are a result of very poor planning on the part of SB. Both had to do traffic/parking studies and obviously, the studies were inaccurate. No project should cause a line up of traffic/idling cars out into the public thoroughfare. I would suggest calling SB Planning and filing a complaint with a request for new traffic studies. This should result in some new striping or more adequate parking spaces. For fast foods, they assume 3 minutes per car or something like that. We all know it takes longer than that between an order and service. We have a Starbucks that underwent an inadequate parking/traffic analysis and the line always interferes with through traffic in the shopping center parking lot. It causes chaos and crankiness. All this should and could be avoided.

a-1544923958 Oct 08, 2018 04:46 PM
Why is there no traffic enforcement at Chick-fil-A?

Dear OP: As you can see, there are a lot of Edhat commenters who are all too ready to take you to task for daring to mention that this blocking of the right lane is illegal, ridiculous and needs to be resolved. Everytime I drive past and see cars sitting with their idling engines, sitting in that right lane which is meant for through traffic, I wonder, "How long before enforcement of the law comes into play and something is done about this flagrantly illegal situation?" I bet if those sitting in their vehicles waiting in line in that right hand driving lane were cited/fined every once in a while, word would get out and that would put an end to this misuse of a traffic lane. OP Please don't pay attention to those who tell you you're "bellyaching" (how lame) or that you are in the wrong for pointing out something which is not right to begin with. I am glad you brought this up. Something needs to be done and those who have been wagging their fingers at you deserve to be ignored.

x01660 Oct 08, 2018 05:23 PM
Why is there no traffic enforcement at Chick-fil-A?

The "bellyaching" comment had more to do with the obvious bias this person has towards a company. And the fact that they seem to be just complaining, instead of actually seeking a solution to the problem. As 420722 put it, if you are driving a car in that area at that time, guess what? You're part of the problem! I hate traffic, and all these cars on the road. So you know what? I ride my motorcycle. Saves time, gas, the enviornment, and my aggravation. If you don't like the situation, either ask for guidance or do something about it! Quit your bellyaching! When you live in a 3rd world country and don't have safe drinking water, that's something to complain about. Hell, you don't even have to go to a 3rd world country; look at Flint, MI..... Ok, off the soapbox now. :p

a-1544923958 Oct 08, 2018 04:07 PM
Why is there no traffic enforcement at Chick-fil-A?

I boycott them, so I've never eaten at one, but I have seen the line. Fortunately, I was able to change lanes and go around the log jam. I was surprised at how popular Chick-a-fil is.

SantaBarbaraObserver Oct 08, 2018 02:47 PM
Why is there no traffic enforcement at Chick-fil-A?

Not much difference between an MTD bus stopping to pickup / drop off some riders and a few cars waiting to enter a parking lot... They both block the lane for a few minutes causing the need to (gasp) merge into the other lane! This is even less of an issue if you factor the very common need to allow pedestrians to walk across a crosswalk or driveway on occasion forcing the right lane to wait a few minutes for the road to clear... Maybe the OP should get out of SB once in a while. It sounds like they may have a little confusion over what is a problem and what is a very minor everyday annoyance.

80593110 Oct 08, 2018 02:43 PM
Why is there no traffic enforcement at Chick-fil-A?

Since they were allowed to start making the drive they mess, may some do not block areas would help the existing businesses. I listened to a Rusty’s pizza driver having to honk to get someone to let them out of the parking lot. It would help if they added order takers but they would probably have to stand in the Hitchcock cross walk to be of any help. Look at the size of the parking lot and drive thru at In and Out and they still have issues. Just wait for Target to move in! (Thankfully I can walk there)

ginger1 Oct 08, 2018 02:32 PM
Why is there no traffic enforcement at Chick-fil-A?

Step 1: Call police to request traffic enforcement. Each time you witness the violation. Step 2: If you do not see police enforcement, present your concern to city council in writing or, if so inclined, go there during public comment period. The reality is that the line-up on State Street, besides blocking traffic, creates an unsafe situation as people try to merge into the second lane. I did observe an employee directing people to NOT stop and wait in traffic lanes the other day. They are aware of the issue. Whether or not you can get the police interested is another story. They simply do not enforce traffic violations around here. Which is unfortunate considering how much money is not being made and the reality that their negligence puts the rest of us in danger from the stupidity of drivers.

a-1544923958 Oct 08, 2018 04:55 PM
Why is there no traffic enforcement at Chick-fil-A?

GINGER1 - Do you honestly believe the police have nothing better to do than to take a report "each time" someone sees a line of cars there? Please, get over yourself. The rest of the city has serious issues to address.

Bodyboarder73 Oct 08, 2018 01:39 PM
Why is there no traffic enforcement at Chick-fil-A?

Boo boo. The downtown Ralph’s so be closed because traffic backs up often around De La Vina onto Carrillo causing people to lose a precious few minutes or even less usually. Why don’t you just avoid the area during peak hours or leave earlier if you must drive that way?

nope Oct 08, 2018 01:36 PM
Why is there no traffic enforcement at Chick-fil-A?

In answer to your whataboutism - TJ's has two entrances and on street parking, I've never experienced 10 cars backed up waiting to get in there as a result, maybe the OP hasn't either and so it isn't a problem for them. I'll be more constructive and offer a solution for Chik fil A, make the second driveway an entrance as well as an exit then those wishing to park and order rather than clog the road can do so.

a-1544923958 Oct 08, 2018 02:09 PM
Why is there no traffic enforcement at Chick-fil-A?

NOPE - what "whataboutism?" The OP was complaining about traffic issues caused by poor planning, right? Bringing up TJs and other spots isn't really a deflection of the problem, as the term "whataboutism" implies, it's just asking why Chik-Fil-A seems to be the only target of his/her ire?

420722 Oct 08, 2018 01:01 PM
Why is there no traffic enforcement at Chick-fil-A?

I feel your pain op TJs is also mess the 99 cent store the same thing but if you’re driving a car and complaining about other people driving theirs well I find that a little hypocritical don’t you think? Anyone driving is part of the traffic problems of SB. Myself included.

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