While the Saanich Official Community Plan discourages new drive-thrus due to emissions caused by idling cars, there are no bylaws prohibiting bike ride-thrus. (Black Press Media file photo)

Lack of ‘ride-thrus’ in Saanich a missed opportunity, as ‘cyclists run on calories’

Councillor notes no Saanich bylaws prohibit bike drive-thrus

Fast food chains like McDonald’s and Tim Hortons don’t allow bikes through drive-thru, but cyclists like Saanich Coun. Zac de Vries don’t see why they shouldn’t be allowed.

On Monday, Saanich resident Charity Millar attempted to go through a Tim Hortons drive-thru on her e-bike to get her children a treat after getting their flu shots. She was turned away and restaurant staff explained that it’s the company’s policy to not allow bikes to ride through the drive-thru for safety reasons.

This sparked a conversation about why bikes can ride on the road with vehicles but are not allowed in drive-thrus. Saanich doesn’t have any bike-friendly ride-thrus.

READ ALSO: Saanich mom on a bike turned away in Tim Hortons drive-thru

Collisions happen on the road, said de Vries, so he feels it’s odd that there’s an emphasis on having not having bikes in drive-thrus – where cars are driving slowly.

He’s been turned away from several drive-thrus in the District for trying to ride his bike through which he said is disappointing because restaurants often close their seating areas and only operate the drive-thru at night.

There are a few ride-thru restaurants in Greater Victoria, de Vries noted, but none are in Saanich. He sees this as a lost opportunity and would like to see existing companies review their policies and new businesses consider catering to cyclists.

“Cyclists run on calories,” de Vries said, noting that pit stops for food are common and asking cyclists to carry security apparatus just to grab a coffee or a snack doesn’t make sense.

He also emphasized that while the Official Community Plan discourages new drive-thrus due to emissions caused by idling cars, there are no Saanich bylaws prohibiting bike ride-thrus. This means that barring other issues, council would likely approve a restaurant’s request for a bike-thru, de Vries said.

The councillor noted that bike-thrus would take up less space than traditional drive-thrus, wouldn’t involve idling or traffic pattern changes and wouldn’t create risks for pedestrians crossing through.

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

While he doesn’t see bike-thrus becoming required for new businesses, de Vries feels businesses looking to set up shop in Saanich should consider “grab and go” drive-thrus for cyclists and pedestrians.

Saanich’s Active Transportation Plan (ATP) emphasizes improving road safety for folks who choose alternate modes of transportation. While many residents already choose to walk, bus or cycle, the plan is to make the road safer, said de Vries, which will in turn encourage more people to try cycling, busing or walking.

“We need to build bridges even though some of us are comfortable on a tight rope.”

He’d like to see the ATP steps be accelerated to meet the needs of the growing group of people who choose “more efficient ways to get around.”


@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

Faulty janitorial equipment likely caused Saanich school fire

Saturday morning fire damaged roof of Strawberry Vale Elementary

Greater Victoria records highest unemployment in history with 11 per cent

Past peak was 7.8 per cent more than a decade ago, according to South Island Prosperity Partnership

Garth Homer Society in Saanich turns lemons into lemonade with online programs

Victoria disability organization sets up online programs and learning tools in wake of COVID-19

Human behaviour likely to deter birds from Esquimalt Lagoon, survey suggests

More Great Blue Herons spotted, fewer mallard ducks seen

Sidney’s Mary Winspear Centre to host a trio of acts

Aaron Pritchett, Alex Cuba and Valdy will each play four shows

Islanders want BC Ferries to follow order that lets residents board before tourists

For ferry-dependent communities, ferries are often the sole practical lifeline to work, school or medical appointments.

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

B.C. Ferries increasing passenger capacity after COVID-19 restrictions

Transport Canada 50-per-cent limit being phased out, no current plans to provide masks

Shellfish industry get funds to clean up at Island sites and beyond

Businesses can apply to cover half of costs to clean up so-called ‘ghost gear’

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

Most Read