Saturday, April 30, 2016

Goshen Traffic Commission rejects Electric Brew’s drive-up window request

Posted on April 18, 2013 at 1:00 a.m. | Updated on April 18, 2013 at 7:06 p.m.

GOSHEN — The Electric Brew’s second request for a drive-up window was denied Thursday, April 18, at the April meeting of the Goshen Traffic Commission.

After its initial request for a drive-up window was denied without representatives present at last month’s meeting, Brew owner Myron Bontrager and building owner Dave Pottinger appeared before the commission to make their case.

They still proposed a drive-up window located on the west side of the Washington Street building currently home to Better World Books. The Electric Brew plans to move into the building later this summer.

There were a few new wrinkles to the proposal this month, however, which Bontrager and Pottinger had not been able to share with the commission at the March meeting, since they had not attended.

Bontrager said that his intention was to have the window only open from 6 a.m. until 9 a.m. to serve customers heading to work or running errands in the morning.

“In the morning, people are interested in moving fast,” he stated. “So they’re not interested in sitting in line either, so there would be motivation on both sides to keep that thing moving.”

He stated that the early morning hours would not conflict with the many deliveries that take place in the alley.

Bontrager added that he would also utilize the window as a walk-up location during monthly First Fridays events, since Washington Street would be closed to traffic.

The new information did little to appease the concerns of the commission.

Assistant Operations Chief Kyle Priem of the Goshen Police Department stated his concerns about the frequency with which officers use the alley.

Priem also had traffic concerns, wondering if there was a plan in place to make sure traffic moved through quickly and wouldn’t get backed up out onto Washington Street.

Bontrager said he’d thought about having customers place orders ahead of time, either through calling, texting or a smart phone app, so that they would not have to wait to receive orders when they arrived.

The topic of snow removal also came up as an issue.

At the March meeting, the commission noted that the Street Department would push snow to the sides of the alley in order to create a clear street. The snow, however, would be pushed against the side of the building where the window was located, meaning unless a Brew employee would go out in the morning and shovel away the snow, customers would not even be able to reach the window.

Pottinger suggested the commission approve the window for a trial run, saying some questions would likely not be answered until they were actually encountered.

He also said little details, such as the drive-up window, had helped the city get to where it is today.

“One of the reasons Goshen has gained a reputation of being more progressive and things happening here where they aren’t in other towns, is that little things like this that we look at,” Pottinger said.

Despite his and Bontrager’s best efforts, though, the commission stood by its original decision and declined the request.

Bontrager and Pottinger have the option of taking their idea to the Board of Public Works, but stated they wouldn’t likely choose to do so.

Another option would be to install a window and use it exclusively as a walk-up for First Fridays. The two said they may investigate whether or not that option would be worth the project cost. Pottinger added that he would also have to go through the process of getting the installation of a window approved in what is considered a historic building.