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

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

Saanich mom on a bike turned away in 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: Proposed drive-thru for Saanich closer to opening

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: Saanich councillor ponders potential for drive-thru ban, gets met with mixed reactions

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

BC Coroners Service is currently investigating a death at Canoe Cove Marina and Boatyard in North Saanich. (Black Press Media File)
Drowning death in North Saanich likely first in B.C. for 2021

Investigation into suspected drowning Monday night continues

Located at 9750 West Saanich Rd., this North Saanich mansion is on the market for $10.25 million. (Realtor.ca photo)
Located at 9750 West Saanich Rd., this North Saanich mansion is on the market for $8.65 million. (Realtor.ca photo)
The five most expensive homes for sale in Greater Victoria

A roundup of luxury estates currently on the market

The Greater Victoria School District and two retired teachers are named as defendants in a lawsuit alleging that a student was sexually abused in the early 2000s. (Pixabay photo)
Former Saanich student files sexual abuse lawsuit against school district, retired teachers

Lawsuit claims student was groomed, abused by retired teacher

(Black Press Media file photo)
Mechanical issues blamed for Saanich car fire

‘Nothing untoward’ suspected, no injuries reported, firefighter says

Sidney's Beacon Wharf
Pontoon company piqued at prospect of public-private partnership around Sidney wharf

Seagate approached to submit proposeal for public-private partnership

Toronto Public Health nurse Lalaine Agarin sets up for mass vaccination clinic in Toronto, Jan. 17, 2021. B.C. is set to to begin its large-scale immunization program for the general public starting in April. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
B.C.’s COVID-19 mass vaccinations expected to start in April

Clinics to immunize four million people by September

Terry Keogh, an RDN Transit driver, used his paramedic skills the morning of Jan. 22 after coming across an unconscious woman along his route in downtown Nanaimo. (RDN Transit photo)
Nanaimo transit driver stops his bus and helps get overdosing woman breathing again

Former EMT from Ireland performed CPR on a woman in downtown Nanaimo on Friday

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam speaks during a daily briefing in Ottawa. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld)
31 cases of COVID-19 variants detected in Canada: Health officials

Dr. Theresa Tam made announces 13 more variant COVID-19 cases in Canada

Daily COVID-19 cases reported to each B.C. health region, to Jan. 20, 2021. Island Health in blue, Northern Health green, Interior Health orange, Vancouver Coastal in red and Fraser Health in purple. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate stays stable with 508 cases Friday

Vaccine delivered to more than 110,000 high-risk people

Black Press file photo
Investigation at remote burned-out Vancouver Island cabin reveals human remains

Identity of victim not released, believed to be the owner of an SUV vehicle found parked nearby

Angela Waldick is the new team photographer for the Nanaimo NightOwls. (Nanaimo NightOwls photo)
Half-blind photographer will help new Island baseball team look picture-perfect

Nanaimo NightOwls say legally blind team photographer is making history

School District 57 headquarters in Prince George. (Mark Nielsen, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter)
Prince George school district settles with sexual abuse victim

Terms were part of an out-of-court settlement reached with Michael Bruneau, nearly four years after he filed a lawsuit

Surrey provincial court. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
New COVID-19 protocols set for provincial courthouses

The new rules were issued on Jan. 21, and took effect immediately

Dog owners, from left, Marlyn Briggs with Nayla, Marjory Sutherland with Effie and Mick, and Christina Godbolt with Conon walk their pets frequently at the Chemainus Ball Park but are growing increasingly concerned about drugs being found discarded in the area. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Puppy rushed to emergency 3 times after ingesting drugs in Chemainus public spaces

Dog owners walking in Chemainus parks urged to take caution

Most Read