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Murrow College of Communication at WSU

Pullman’s Cougar Country drive-thru leading to traffic violations

PULLMAN, WASH. (Murrow News 8) – Ah yes, Pullman’s classic Cougar Country Drive-In. We all love it right?

“It’s the first place I bring my family and friends when they come to visit,” said Lauren Cook, an avid Cougar Country lover and Washington State University student.

Odds are though, if you love its burgers, you most likely despise Cougar Country’s drive-thru.

“It’s a pain,” Cook said.

If you live in Pullman and drive past Cougar Country daily, you’ve most likely seen traffic backed up on Grand Avenue when the drive-thru is filling up.

Unfortunately, the infamous diner’s drive-thru can only fit three cars max, until the last car pulling in is still half-way in the lane.

Whether drivers decide to stop on the road and wait to pull into the drive-thru, or they attempt to pull in and their bumper is still blocking traffic on the right, they can now be fined $139 by the Pullman Police Department.

“We’ve received a lot of complaints from our community that we needed to address this,” Officer Jake Opgenorth said.

In response to these concerns, Pullman PD worked with the city to put up a traffic sign on the road, in front of Cougar Country, that says “NO STOPPING OR STANDING.”

Before this sign was put in place, officers were unable to ticket drivers who blocked traffic while waiting for the drive-thru to clear up; but now, they have free game and are beginning to patrol the area more often.

“If our officers do see a problem, they have that ability to stop somebody and issue them a ticket for failure to obey a traffic control device,” Opgenorth said.

Opgenorth also said officers have contacted people who have violated this law, but so far only warnings have been given to drivers, as Pullman PD continues to educate the public on this issue in the community.

For people like Cook, who want their Cougar Country meal and don’t want to make life harder for other drivers on the road, the drive-thru remains frustrating.

“It’s kind of annoying when you want to go through the drive-thru, and the only way you can go through is by blocking traffic,” Cook said.

If you run into this problem at Cougar Country, good advice is to either circle the block and wait for the drive-thru to clear up, or park and go inside for dine-in or take-out.

“All I want is my Cougar Country burger,” Cook said.

So, stay safe on the road and be patient, you’ll have your burger soon enough. And if you listen to Pullman PD and don’t block traffic at the drive-thru, you can avoid making your meal $139 more expensive.



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