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

Nanaimo doctors asking for donations of masks and gloves during COVID-19 fight

Nanaimo Division of Family Practice co-ordinating efforts to collect supplies

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: COVID-19 symptoms must be taken seriously

Plausible pandemic scenarios could prove catastrophic for community, says letter writer

Nanaimo MLA part of historic near-empty legislative sitting that passed COVID-19 measures

A dozen MLAs alter Employment Standards Act, approve $5-billion spending package

B.C. Ferries passengers staying away, as asked, during COVID-19 pandemic

Ferry corporation says ridership down 70-80 per cent over the last week and a half

Food program available for Nanaimo youths during COVID-19 pandemic

Nanaimo Youth Services Association offering food initiative on Thursdays

B.C. is seeing the highest rate of COVID-19 recovery in Canada, and there’s a few reasons why

British Columbia was one of the first to see rise in COVID-19 cases, and has also switched up testing

Nanaimo couple caught aboard cruise ship with four dead and COVID-19 present

Four ‘older guests’ have died on Holland America’s Zaandam, cruise line confirms two COVID-19 cases

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Nanaimo hospital staff say lives depend on stopping spread of COVID-19

President of medical staff association, chief of staff at NRGH asking for community’s best efforts

RCMP, prime minister warn of text scam related to COVID-19 relief

Text message alerts about $,1375.50 deposits should be ignored or deleted, Nanaimo RCMP say

Home-schooling about to become the rule, not the exception, in Nanaimo-Ladysmith

Suspension of in-class instruction to take effect in Nanaimo-Ladysmith school district March 30

Experts weigh in on best handling of groceries during COVID-19 pandemic

Study suggests the virus can live for up to 24 hours on cardboard and up to three days on plastic

Sewers stitch masks to free up supplies for front-line health-care workers

“We have little old ladies sewing up a storm,” said Joan Davis

COVID-19 world update: Enforceable quarantine in NYC?; France orders 1 billion masks

Spain warns EU’s future at stake; New York governor calls Trump’s idea ‘federal declaration of war

Most Read