COVID19: Drive Thru Only Services Must Provide Access to People Who Cannot Drive

Sign that says "Yes we're open, Drive Thru Only"
Photo: Brian P Hartnett Jr/Shutterstock

 

Update – April 27, 2020: King County has opened two walk-up COVID-19 testing sites in downtown Seattle and Rainier Beach

Here is information about how to get a ride to a COVID-19 testing in King County. For regional emergency transportation options, RARET provides weekly COVID updates. 

For other drive-thru services, many businesses in Seattle are accommodating walk-thru customers. If you are refused service at a drive-thru only location, let us know at [email protected] 

 

April 8, 2020

 

Dear Mayor Durkan and Members of City Council, 

As a result of many businesses converting to drive-thru only, transit-dependent people, in particular members of the disability community who are blind and low-vision, aren’t able to access services. Many drive-thru only establishments refuse to serve people walking, biking or rolling, excluding those without access to cars or those who cannot drive. This is particularly critical to consider in the case of drive-thru COVID-19 testing facilities. 

This issue has received coverage on KOMO News last week, and was highlighted by the National Federation of the Blind in a press release Friday

Our communities are facing unprecedented challenges at this moment – challenges that are complex or incredibly difficult to address. This, however, is a problem that is easily resolved. 

In 2018, Portland started requiring all drive-thrus to serve people walking and rolling. Seattle should immediately adopt similar guidelines to ensure that people without access to cars still can access food, healthcare and other critical services. 

Sincerely, 

Alex Hudson, Executive Director, Transportation Choices Coalition

Alice Lockhart,  350 Seattle, Transportation Team

Alison Eisinger, Executive Director, Seattle/King County Coalition on Homelessness

Anna Zivarts, Rooted in Rights/Disability Rights Washington

Bree Boyce, Hopelink Mobility Management

Brittney Bush Bollay, Sierra Club Seattle Group

Dorene Cornwell, Vice Chair, WA Council of the Blind Advocacy Committee

Esther Handy, Interim Executive Director, Puget Sound Sage

Gordon Padelford, Executive Director, Seattle Neighborhood Greenways

Ivanova Smith, Chair of Self Advocates in Leadership SAIL

Katie Wilson, General Secretary, Transit Riders Union

Keith Kyle, Seattle Subway

Kimberly Meck, MRC, CRC, CDMS, Executive Director, Alliance of People with disAbilities

Marci Carpenter, President, National Federation of the Blind of Washington

Michael MacKillop, Acting Executive Director, Department of Services for the Blind

Mike McGinn, Feet First

Vicky Clarke, Cascade Bicycle Club

Anna Zivarts is the program director of Rooted in Rights and a low-vision mom who can't drive. She joined the Rooted in Rights team from Time of Day Media, a digital media cooperative she co-founded in 2010. At Time of Day, Anna produced digital video for the Innocence Project and Fight for 15, and lead searches for the ACLU in Kansas and Wisconsin to find citizens disenfranchised by voter ID laws. Twitter: @AnnaZivarts

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