Tolland Dunkin' Donuts Makes Case for Adding Drive-Through

The Planning & Zoning Commission discussed a traffic assessment of Dunkin' Donuts and Route 195, completed by Bubaris Traffic Associates.

The Planning & Zoning Commission got a glimpse of how a Dunkin' Donuts drive-through could affect traffic on Route 195, courtesy of a traffic study completed for the business by Bubaris Traffic Associates.

According to the study's conclusion, a drive-through operation could increase traffic in the area by 20 to 30 percent. The total amount of estimated car trips with the addition of a drive-through breaks down to :

  • 240 trips during weekday a.m. peaks (7:15 a.m. to 8:15 a.m.)
  • 70 trips during weekday p.m. peaks (4:45 p.m. to 5:45 p.m.)
  • 214 trips during Saturday mid-morning (10 a.m. to 11 a.m.)

The study states that the area's Levels of Service, based on unsignalized traffic intersection criteria, would be unchanged, with the exception of the Dunkin' Donuts' weekday peak outbound traffic, which would downgrade from a Level C "average delay" to a Level D "long delay."

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The estimates were created using data from other donut and coffee businesses, as well as fast food restaurants, taken from the Trip Generation Manual, used by the Institute of Transportation Engineers.

The study also found from the most recent CT DOT data, there were no recorded crashes at the Dunkin' Donuts driveway, although there were accidents at other adjacent driveways along Route 195.

PZC member Bill Eccles expressed concern that the study did not seem to account for potentially increased traffic from I-84, with drivers taking Tolland's exit for the convenience of the drive-through.

"Reflecting on Route 195 as a stretch of road in itself is invalid, in my view," Eccles commented.

The commissioners also noted that the study did not factor for a proposed connector road to Cider Mill Road with a traffic signal. The connector road is part of Tolland Village Area concept plans.

Dory Famiglietti, representing Dunkin' Donuts franchise owner Mario  Nevas, said that that her clients were asking the PZC to consider amending Tolland Village Area regulations, allowing restaurants to apply for a special permit for drive-throughs.

According to Town Planner Linda Farmer, Tolland placed a prohibition on all drive-throughs, except for banks, back in 1987, when McDonald's applied to build a restaurant and drive-through near Rockville Bank's current location.

Chairperson Marilee Beebe said that the commission would review prior meeting minutes dealing with the drive-through issue and would invite Dunkin' Donuts back for further discussions.

The traffic study can be seen in the PZC meeting agenda.

Jim G. January 17, 2013 at 12:34 AM
Electric Blue has a drive-thru? For... um... what? :)
peter anderson January 19, 2013 at 01:11 AM
Dear Mark, what do you do to be sooo ? As a small business owner, I see that you obviously don't know how hard it is to do business in Tolland. Linda Farmer controls the ins and outs and if you don't conform you are in the outs group. The town needs to hear what small business has to say and not pass over their concerns. Sorry Mark this IS a problem that needs to be brought into the 21st century. We like convenience but refuse to help our citizens get it in our town. We would rather send them to Vernon's Lafyette Square to buy their COFFEE! That's just WRONG!
R Tavolacci January 19, 2013 at 02:04 AM
Peter, You hit another nerve point, yes some of us go to Vernon's lafayette square where a drive thru was just INSTALLED, and no additional drama was added to make it happen. Yet I hear names like Linda Farmer still having a handcuff on this town----ridiculous! Given the choke hold she and others have put on businesses, we should embrace businesses that want to expand like DD. And we should do so as a win-win proposition. Get rid of those folks that want NO PROGRESS for Tolland. Tolland needs to get on with the real world or close its borders because the world is progessing at a an even faster pace than before, yes that terrible Tolland word--progress.. Tolland's citizens simply want conveniences that were conceived in the last century and the remark that some of them want to "be like Avon or W Hartford" is simply stuffy old New England nonsense. What else do we have to build the tax base on besides residents? Its time to get on with free enterprise and stop this draconian mindset of "no change/no growth". Get that drive-thru approved and going ASAP!
mark bradnan January 22, 2013 at 01:14 AM
Dear Peter, I do own a small business ( electrical contracting) and have lived in town 26 years and I know it can be frustrating at times dealing with town officials. Whether or not a drive-through is built at a "small business" like Dunkin' Donuts probably won't affect its bottom line or create more revenue for the town. And drive to Vernon for a cup of coffee? Please, that's dumb. On another note I've always wondered why McDonalds was never allowed to build across from Andersons auto back in the early 90's? Does anyone know?
Jim G. January 22, 2013 at 02:12 AM
Maybe because nothing says quality like a McD's sign on the way into town.


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