BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - A Baton Rouge based non-profit, geared towards bike advocacy, is calling on city officials to create a short term ban that would prevent businesses from denying service to residents who may travel by foot or bicycle.
Due to current circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic in and around the capital city, more businesses are relying on drive-thrus to service their customers.
In fact, many restaurants, banks, and pharmacies across East Baton Rouge Parish have converted to a drive-thru only approach.
In an attempt to gain access to essential services such as food, medicine and even COVID-19 testing, Bike Baton Rouge has created an online petition calling on Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome and the Metro Council to ban businesses from turning away residents who do not drive.
“It was always frustrating and insulting not to be able to use drive-thrus,” says Doug Moore, President of Bike Baton Rouge.
“Prior to 2019, it was just inconvenient to have to go inside a bank or pharmacy or to not be able to get a late night bite to eat at Jack in the Box or something. But now, with many businesses offering drive-thru service only, it’s downright discriminatory. This policy is especially hard on the poor, who make up the majority of people who walk and bike for transportation,” Moore finished.
So far, the petition has gotten nearly 200 signatures.
CVS has recently expanded their COVID-19 testing, but those tests are denied to anyone who does not arrive by car.
Walgreens has the same policy, stating on their website in the FAQ section: “I don’t drive. Can I walk in for a COVID-19 test? No, Walgreens is not equipped to perform walk-in testing. Patients must arrive in a vehicle.”
Some of the of the people who have already signed off on the petition explain why they believe the service ban should be implemented.
Karen M. stated, “We are ALL in this together yet not allowing someone banking, pharmacy, etc because their only mode of transportation is on foot or biking could be crippling for them.”
Richard E. signed because, “it’s absolutely insane to ban riders and walkers from drive thru’s, especially when indoor seating is shut down.”
The petition can be found here.
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