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’ a missed opportunity as ‘cyclists run on calories,’ B.C. councillor says

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

Petition to install safety barriers on Hwy 97 garners over 500 supporters

Yesterday a fatal collision on Hwy 97 claimed the life of one individual

Oliver Health Centre celebrates expansion of ER

Minister of Health was in Oliver for the official opening of the improved emergency department

ALERT and Penticton pilot team up to talk about Australian wildfires

Mike Bridson has been fighting the fires in Australia, and returns to help more later this month

Harlem Globetrotters’ Hops Pearce is pumped to bring show to Penticton

Less than two weeks to get your tickets to see Globetrotters’ high-flying stunts

Okanagan health care community mourns loss of long-time hospital director

Ken Jarrard dedicated his life in Penticton to health care; he passed away today at age 92.

Older Canadians highlighted in Kelowna film project to fight ageism

The project is part of a campaign to combat ageism

Closed mills, housing surge support a positive forecast for lumber industries

B.C. lumber producers have closed mills accounting for 18% of province’s capacity, RBC report says

Good Samaritan pays part of rent for B.C. woman facing eviction in can-collecting dispute

Zora Hlevnjak, 76, supplements her pension by collecting cans and receiving public donations

Princeton – a Prince Town in waiting?

The Town of Princeton has been waiting 160 years for a Royal… Continue reading

Group builds shelters for Vernon’s stray cats

Twenty insulated cat shelters were constructed by volunteers and delivered around town

UBCO partners with Boeing to test new anti-ice coating technology

The coating could one day be applied to all airplanes to prevent ice buildup

Revelstoke already double last year’s snowfall

The city is just below halfway to the snowiest winter on record

True Stories: Okanagan memoir-writers, reading

Reading with local North Okanagan writers Art Dalton, Patti Shales Lefkos, Raven Dahl, Janelle Hardy

Kelowna’s last video store, Leo’s Videos, to remain open despite failed sale

Kelowna’s last video rental store will remain open and under its namesake’s ownership

Most Read