In an act of legal symmetry, sort of, the city of Baldwin Park has declared a moratorium on any new drive-through fast food restaurants. Why symmetry? Because Baldwin Park is where it all started, when In-N-Out opened in 1948 as the nation's very first drive-through. Baldwin Park now has 17 drive-through restaurants to serve the town of about 80,000 and, well, anyone who drives through it. The city council, citing health and traffic concerns, has extended the ban on more of them for the next nine months. The ordinance took effect this past weekend.
Mayor Manuel Lozano said that the ban was originally planned for 22 months, and was to have included all drive-throughs, including those at banks and pharmacies, but that they reconsidered, shortened the ban and limited it to fast food restaurants. Said Baldwin Park resident Thomas Cary, who spoke in opposition of the ban, “I just don't see a need for putting a stop to drive-throughs entirely. It originated here. It seems kind of self-defeating… to kill it right here.” Or, depending on your point of view, completely fitting.