Charity Millar and her family of five have been car-free for several years. (Photo courtesy Charity Millar)

B.C. mom, kids on bike turned away from Tim Hortons drive-thru

Car-free for years, Charity Millar ‘felt gross’ being denied service

Charity Millar promised her children a Tim Hortons donut in order to help them through the flu vaccine experience.

Once they’d finished up at the West Shore Health Unit, Millar steered her family over to the Wale Road Tim Hortons’ drive-thru. Upon attempting to order their doughnuts, they were turned away because they were on a bike.

Millar’s family of five has been car free for several years. She opted for the drive-thru after the flu shots because the bike lock-up at the mall isn’t good a option – the bikes block the sidewalk.

She “felt gross” upon being denied service at Tim Hortons and her three-year-old was upset about not getting a doughnut. They ended up going through the Save-On-Foods drive-thru for a treat on the way home as bike traffic is permitted.

Millar doesn’t understand why cyclists wouldn’t be allowed through the drive-thru because they ride with cars on the road all the time. She also emphasized that it’s tough for parents who cycle to disembark and take their children and bags inside as they can’t simply lock a door to protect their items.

Millar noted that the issue isn’t with Tim Hortons but rather “a systemic problem” as others in her circle have run into the same issue.

Millar doesn’t use social media, so her friend and fellow cycling parent Elise Cote took to Twitter on her behalf and asked Tim Hortons to explain.

A spokesperson for Tim Hortons told the Saanich News that the company’s drive-thru policy states that “only vehicles licensed under the relevant motor vehicle legislation can be served at the drive-thru windows.”

READ ALSO: RCMP snag suspected thief with bait bike

The spokesperson explained that cars, trucks, vans and motorcycles can go through, but that for safety reasons, bikes are not permitted. McDonald’s Canada has the same policy on bikes.

Cote feels that ‘safety issue’ is code for insurance concerns because unlike drivers, most cyclists aren’t insured. However, she pointed out that someone could get injured in the parking lot or while locking up their bike too.

Little inconveniences pile up and stop people from choosing alternate modes of transportation, Millar said. The act of biking isn’t the drawback for most people, it’s the lack of infrastructure and the safety concerns.

She hopes that Saanich will encourage new businesses to consider cyclists – especially when it comes to drive-thrus as idling cars create a lot of emissions.

Cycling isn’t just for recreation, some families are replacing their minivans, Cote said. She hopes to bring the issue to council have have new businesses accommodate cyclists.

READ ALSO: Bike polo players flock to Victoria for Winter Mixer tournament

Giving people options that make them feel catered to and safe – like the Dobosala Cantina & Ride Thru on Pandora Street – will “make good decisions easier,” Millar said. “If you build it, they will come.”

Coun. Zac de Vries is a cyclist and has never owned a car. He referred to banning bikes from drive-thrus as “unfair ” and “a lost opportunity.”

“We’re going through a transportation renaissance and our urban form and services should reflect that.”

Coun. Ned Taylor, a fellow cyclist, agreed and emphasized that he sees no problem with bike drive-thrus.

“I consider riding down Shelbourne Street [on a bike] to be a bigger risk than riding through a drive-thru,” said Taylor, pointing out that speeds are quite low in drive-thrus.

Taylor encourages residents to speak with businesses and council about the issue.


@devonscarlett
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

devon.bidal@saanichnews.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Highway 97 to be repaved in 100 Mile House following complaints

‘It’s been over a month now since those holes have been developing’

South Cariboo piano students see success at online exams

‘I like learning new songs and then actually getting to play them well’

12 year old makes public musical debut at the farmers market

‘I was not as nervous as I thought I’d be’

Provincial COVID-19 data can now be used for B.C. to prepare for a second wave

In the past week, B.C. has seen a slight spike in daily test-positive case counts

Sheryl Fremlin celebrating her love for horses this month

‘I really hope they enjoy it and feel some sense of joy’

QUIZ: Are you ready for a summer road trip?

How much do you really know about roads, motor vehicles and car culture? Take this quiz to find out.

Beverly Hills 90210 star’s family selling Vancouver Island Beach Resort

You can own Jason Priestley’s Terrace Beach Resort in Ucluelet for less than $5 million

Genetic detectives begin work to trace spread of COVID-19 in Canada

The kinds of genetic technology being used for this project did not exist when SARS hit Canada in 2003

Sports fishers protest Fraser River Chinook closures

Public Fishery Alliance wants hatchery fish open for harvest

Amber Alert for two Quebec girls cancelled after bodies found

Romy Carpentier, 6, Norah Carpentier, 11, and their father, Martin Carpentier, missing since Wednesday

B.C. man prepares to be first to receive double-hand transplant in Canada

After the surgery, transplant patients face a long recovery

Grocers appear before MPs to explain decision to cut pandemic pay

Executives from three of Canada’s largest grocery chains have defended their decision to end temporary wage increases

Bringing support to Indigenous students and communities, while fulfilling a dream

Mitacs is a nonprofit organization that operates research and training programs

Northern B.C. First Nations call for reversal of grizzly bear hunting ban

Growing grizzly populations have led to fewer ungulates and increased fear of attacks says Chad Day

Most Read