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Time to move the donuts across Cleveland Circle

The owner of the Dunkin' Donuts franchise in Cleveland Circle hopes to move the outlet to space on the other side of Beacon Street, where it would share space with a convenience store.

At a meeting with neighbors tonight, franchisee Alex DiPietro said the new outlet, on Beacon Street at Ayr Road, would be for take-out customers only - and would include a window for people who had put in their orders via the Dunks app in advance.

Unlike the current outlet, the new one would have no dedicated parking spaces, but DiPietro said that and the lack of tables is fine because most of his customers are T workers and nearby residents, who walk to get their morning cup or donuts. In fact, he said, he's long had a problem with people using the current store's parking lot for appointments at nearby offices, rather than to get a coffee.

Also, since most of Cleveland Circle's shops are on that side of the street, he said the move would make it easier on people who maybe get something at one of the other stores now and then have to decide whether or not to cross all those lanes of traffic and the trolley tracks to get what Dunkin' has to offer.

The main bone of contention tonight seemed to be how an 18-wheeler Dunks truck would make its weekly or semi-weekly drop off of coffee, foodstuffs and other supplies. DiPietro said having the trucks pull alongside the shop on Ayr Road would be ideal, because there's a door there leading to where the store's refrigerators will go. But residents who already watch smaller moving trucks get stuck on the narrow Ayr and Orkney roads worried what would happen with 18-wheelers. DiPietro said he would be fine with the truck pulling in front on Beacon Street - like the delivery trucks for the Starbucks and other stores along that block. And he said the drivers are well used to the urban environment and would move their truck if doing so blocked in any of the cars parked along Beacon.

"As you know, being a New Englander, we're on every street, on every corner in every neighborhood so [the drivers] see it all," and are used to making adjustments at each location they stop at.

One resident, Eva Webster, said she was particularly concerned about the condition of the rear of the building, which she called an unspeakable horror show of trash, graffiti and rats, some of them dead.

"It would be an insult to a Third World country if I said it's like a Third World country," she said of the space. DiPietro said he would talk to the landlord about the space, which he is not renting.


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We could outlaw 18 wheeler delivery vehicles and he could get his donuts by transport van...which could navigate Ayr Road just fine.

Voting closed 28

Sign them up for the Boston e-cargo bike delivery pilot

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A fleet of smaller vans would need more employees and in total travel far more miles and consume more fuel in total. They might have to make deliveries more often.

What would the environmental and monetary trade off be to switch Dunkins to Ford Transit vans from whatever large trucks they use now? I'd like to see a formal study, not speculation. (I don't care about Dunkin's profit margin, but would still be interesting to know how much more expensive, if at all, it would actually be.)

Socially, I don't know if it's better to have fewer large vehicles or more smaller vehicles. A large truck is less safe but that's countered by more trips with the smaller vehicle.

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It would be interesting to have more information, for sure. I will say I'm often shocked, looking into the back of some of these large trucks as I'm stuck in traffic they're creating by being semi-double-parked or blocking visibility. Lots of half-empty trailers. I guess it's worth it because they only have to pay for one guy to drive it around, whether they're using all the space or not? Not sure why they couldn't downsize to some 10-12 foot uhaul style trucks, but again, probably worth it for the companies because then on the occasional day they do have huge amounts to move they don't have to play musical trucks to allocate resources.

I'm not 100% sold on who will win the the bigger trucks / more vans argument but I do think there is a reliance on the particularly massive trucks out of convenience and corporate penny pinching and there's probably less disruptive changes (again, smaller trucks) that wouldn't impact the companies too much but would still be a big benefit for everyone else in the city.

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More employees, but none of which who need a CDL (the lack of which is actually choking the shipping industry right now). Also, nothing says they have to be employees of Dunkin' as they can do the same as Amazon, etc. and contractor to lots of drivers who spend the rest of their day driving other goods for other companies.

The mileage will depend on location. Some of these trucks drive convoluted routes to hit all their stops in one go and using only the roads they're allowed to take. Having individual vans hitting 2-3 proximal stops means they can take far more direct routes from the hub and use all roads.

Environmentally, cargo vans get ~3x better fuel efficiency and burn unleaded, not diesel. There's also a MUCH bigger push to electrify cargo/delivery vans than tractor trailers.

The scientific literature indicates that the size reduction of the vehicles (and likewise capacity) used for last mile deliveries in urban areas as a more sustainable and efficient alternative for this type of operation. It is noteworthy that pressures imposed on traffic, due to aspects related to land use, such as restrictions on truck movement and geographic/historical aspects, have made the operation of last mile deliveries, traditionally done by trucks, a challenge. For this reason, the observed frequency of references suggests that deliveries should be done by bicycles/tricycles/motorcycles (42%) or light commercial vehicles (58%).


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Again, I’m not defending DD’s use of the big trucks but I’d like to see a case study with someone who has access to their internal data. If smaller trucks would save them money they’d already be using them. That’s not saying big trucks are socially good (I’m not defending them) but sometimes things are not as obvious as they seem.

But if we’re speculating, I suspect the real reason they use big trucks is so they can transport 5’ tall wheeled racks on vehicles with lift gates. That makes it easy for a single person to fairly quickly unload the truck and takes up minimal floor space in the restaurant. Smaller delivery units would require more labor to move and increase the chances something is dropped or misplaced.

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I gave you a meta-study that analysed a lot of other studies.

You now want Dunkin's data? Go fuck yourself. They're not special.

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Someone's being awfully grouchy.

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They're not delivering daily from the bakery?

Also, isn't the proper way to do things here just to open a second Dunkin instead of moving?

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