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

Just Posted

Swanwick Ranch in Metchosin, featuring an award-winning home on 67 acres of property overlooking the ocean, recently sold for a record-setting, yet undisclosed amount. (Sotheby’s International Realty Canada photo)
Sale of oceanfront property in Metchosin yields new record for Greater Victoria

Listed at $14.1 million, Swanwick Ranch sold to an undisclosed buyer

The price of gas is way up in many parts of Greater Victoria after a Monday afternoon surge sent it to 162.9 cents per litre. (Black Press Media file photo)
Gas prices surge to 162.9 cents a litre at some Greater Victoria stations

Prices jumped up more than 10 cents Monday afternoon

The number of skilled trades workers available is not enough to fill the current construction boom in Greater Victoria. (Black Press Media file photo)
Influx of skilled tradespeople falling behind Greater Victoria construction boom

Thousands of positions will be needed by 2030, despite flow of Camosun trades students

Research into the city of Victoria’s economic recovery through the pandemic shows things to be moving in the right direction. (Photo courtesy City of Victoria)
Data shows Victoria experiencing gradual economic recovery

Statistics for early 2021 show promising returns as Victoria 3.0 begins to take hold

By protesting uninvited in First Nations’ territories, conservationists are acting in a neocolonial or paternalistic manner, says Huu-ay-aht Chief Robert Dennis. Photo by Heather Thomson
A closer look: do Vancouver Island First Nations support the war in the woods?

First Nations/environmentalist old growth alliance uneasy, if it exists at all

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
VIDEO: Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

Paul Bernardo is shown in this courtroom sketch during Ontario court proceedings via video link in Napanee, Ont., on October 5, 2018. Teen killer and serial rapist Paul Bernardo is set for a parole hearing today. The designated dangerous offender, has been eligible for full parole for more than three years. Bernardo’s horrific crimes in the 1980s and early 1990s include for kidnapping, torturing and killing Kristen French and Leslie Mahaffy near St. Catharines, Ont. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Greg Banning
Killer rapist Paul Bernardo faces parole hearing today; victim families opposed

Designated dangerous offender has been eligible for full parole for more than three years.

People look over the damage after a tornado touched down in Mascouche, Que., north of Montreal, Monday, June 21, 2021. Dozens of homes were damaged and one death has been confirmed. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
One dead and extensive damage as tornado hits Mascouche, Que., north of Montreal

Damage reported in several parts of the city, and emergency teams dispatched to sectors hardest hit

Chilliwack secondary school’s principal is apologizing after a quote equating graduation with the end of slavery in the U.S. was included in the 2020-2021 yearbook. (Screenshot from submitted SnapChat)
B.C. student’s yearbook quote equates grad to end of slavery; principal cites editing error

Black former student ‘disgusted’ as CSS principal apologizes for what is called an editing error

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross. (Photo by Peter Versteege)
BC Liberal leadership candidate condemns ‘senseless violence’ of Okanagan church fires

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross says reconciliation isn’t about revenge for past tragedies

A coroner’s inquest will be taking place at the Capitol Theatre in Port Alberni for the next week. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Teen B.C. mom who died following police custody recalled as ‘friend to many’

Police sent Jocelyn George to hospital after intoxication had gone ‘beyond the realm’ of normal detox

FILE - In this Nov. 29, 2020, file photo, Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib leaves the field after an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons in Atlanta. Nassib on Monday, June 21, 2021, became the first active NFL player to come out as gay. Nassib announced the news on Instagram, saying he was not doing it for the attention but because “I just think that representation and visibility are so important.” (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)
Nassib becomes first active NFL player to come out as gay

More than a dozen NFL players have come out as gay after their careers were over

Penticton Indian Band Chief Greg Gabriel speaks to the Sacred Hearts Catholic Church burning down early Monday morning, June 21, 2021. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Penticton band chief condemns suspicious burning of 2 Catholic churches

Both Catholic church fires are deemed suspicious, says RCMP

COVID-19 daily cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day moving average to June 17, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections drop to 90 on Sunday, 45 Monday

Pandemic spread dwindles as 77% of adults receive vaccine

Most Read