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)

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

Island Health chief medical officer Dr. Richard Stanwick receives a first dose of Pfizer vaccine, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
COVID-19: Vancouver Island in a January spike while B.C. cases decrease

Island’s top doc Dr. Stanwick breaks down the Island’s rising numbers

The Pacific Rim Whale Festival is breaching for a COVID-safe return in March. (Poster photo by Owen Crosby)
Pacific Rim Whale Festival aims for virtual return in March

Educational celebration scheduled to arrive in Tofino-Ucluelet on March 15.

JJ Belanger is running for mayor in Tofino’s March 6 byelection. (Photo courtesy of JJ Belanger)
Belanger enters Tofino’s mayoralty race

Belanger is former chair of Tourism Tofino and current general manager of Crystal Cove Beach Resort.

The Pacific Rim National Park Reserve is urging visitors to stay on designated trails after a hiker became injured in an unsanctioned area last week. (Westerly file photo)
Injured hiker rescued in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve

“Safety is everyone’s responsibility.”

People skate on a lake in a city park in Montreal, Sunday, January 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
The end of hugs: How COVID-19 has changed daily life a year after Canada’s 1st case

Today marks the one year anniversary of COVID-19 landing in Canada

Dr. Penny Ballem, a former deputy health minister, discusses her role in leading B.C.’s COVID-19 vaccination program, at the B.C. legislature, Jan. 22, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C. holds steady with 407 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday

14 deaths, no new outbreaks in the health care system

Shown is Quality Foods at 319 Island Highway in Parksville. The Island-based grocery chain announced on Jan. 25 it made a $2-per-hour pay premium, implemented during the COVID-19 pandemic, permanent. (Mandy Moraes photo)
COVID-19: Quality Foods makes $2-per-hour employee pay premium permanent

Island-based grocery chain had extended increase twice in 2020

A Cessna 170 airplane similar to the one pictured above is reported to be missing off the waters between Victoria and Washington State. Twitter photo/USCG
Canadian, American rescue crews searching for missing aircraft in waters near Victoria

The search is centered around the waters northeast of Port Angeles

The North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP have arrested a prolific offender who is now facing more than 40 charges. (Black Press file photo)
‘Priority offender’ arrested in Cowichan Valley faces more than 40 charges

Tyler Elrix, 37, had a history of evading police; was ordered not to be in Vancouver Island

Jonathon Muzychka and Dean Reber are wanted on Canada-wide warrants. (Courtesy of Victoria Police Department)
Convicted killer, robber at large after failing to return to facility: Victoria police

Dean Reber, 60, and Jonathon Muzychka, 43, may be together

B.C. Premier John Horgan listens during a postelection news conference in Vancouver on Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
30% of B.C. recovery benefit applications held up in manual review

The province says 150 staff have been reassigned to help with manually reviewing applications

Adam Dergazarian, bottom center, pays his respect for Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna, in front of a mural painted by artist Louie Sloe Palsino, Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Kobe Bryant’s presence remains strong a year after his death

Tuesday marks the grim anniversary of the crash that took their lives

Surrey RCMP are investigating after a pedestrian was struck and killed at 183 Street and Highway 10 Friday night. (File photo)
Modelling of predicted transmission growth from the B117 COVID-19 variant in British Columbia. (Simon Fraser University)
COVID-19 variant predicted to cause ‘unmanageable’ case spike in B.C: report

SFU researchers predict a doubling of COVID-19 cases every two weeks if the variant spreads

Most Read