In the summer things really heat up around BEST and this year we’ve been sizzling just like a burger on the barbie. And you can read all about it in our newsletter! Keep reading and you’ll learn about The Bicycle Valet’s record-breaking Canada 150+ and all the great events we'll be at in August, the recent Living Streets charette in Surrey, and the Bus Co-op’s expansion into Metro Vancouver. You’ll also hear about Parkbus’ trip to spectacular Joffre Lakes, and, in our Multi-Modal Musings column, some revolutionary new models of bikesharing. Last but not least, we have a profile of one of our fantastic volunteers, Finn, who before departing on his next excellent adventure agreed to take our BEST Volunteer Questionnaire.
We hope you enjoy our newsletter. Happy reading everyone!
The Bicycle Valet: A record-breaking month!
Four- and two-legged friends celebrate a record-breaking
The Bicycle Valet's summer so far has been nothing short of enthralling -- and the excitement shows no signs of stopping! To kick things off, on Canada Day we broke our own record by parking 2,437 bikes across 8 different locations! We’ve also been particularly busy at Whitecaps games at BC Place -- breaking another single-game record early in the month by parking 318 bikes during the match against New York City.
Canada 150+ at Ocean Concrete on Granville Island.
We’ve done so many exciting things in July -- and we’ve got plenty more planned. Our seasonal Granville Island valet is going strong -- visit us there any day of the week to register your bike with Garage 529 (#endbiketheft). Coming up in August you will find us at these amazing events:
Aug. 1 - Summer Cinema Series in Stanley Park: Beauty and the Beast SING-A-LONG
Aug. 2 - Celebration of Light
Aug. 5 - BC Lions home game
Aug. 5 - Celebration of Light
Aug. 5 to 6 - Powell Street Festival at Oppenheimer Park & on Alexander Street
Aug. 6 - Vancouver Pride at Sunset Beach Festival & King George Secondary
Aug. 8 - Summer Cinema Series in Stanley Park: Jaws
Aug. 11 to 12 - SeaWheeze Start/Finish Line
Aug. 12 - Vancouver Mural Festival
Aug. 12 - SeaWheeze Sunset Festival
Aug. 12-13 - Fun City Festival
Aug. 12 - Cypress Challenge
Aug. 15 - Summer Cinema Series in Stanley Park: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Aug. 18 - BC Lions home game
Aug. 19 - Whitecaps home game
Aug. 19 - YVR Community Chill Out
Aug. 20 - Garlic Fest in Richmond
Aug. 22 - Summer Cinema Series in Stanley Park: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
Aug. 23 - Whitecaps home game
Aug. 26 - Port Coquitlam Canada 150: Celebrate Our Journey
We’re always adding new events and details, so check our calendar to stay up to date!
For more information on anything Bicycle Valet, please contact Anita at email@example.com or (604) 767-3393, or sign up now if you’d like to volunteer.
Massive crowds parked their bikes at the Granville Island tennis courts
on Canada 150.
The Bus Co-op: Expanding to Metro!
The Bus Co-op is North America's first bus sharing organization and, thanks to Seniors on the Move, it's expanding to Metro Vancouver! Founded by three senior-serving organizations in Langley, two of whom had a bus and one who didn't, the Bus Co-op allows organizations to keep seniors active by using the bus when they need it -- and sharing it when they don't.
Seniors on the Move recognizes that a range of transportation options are needed to keep seniors healthy and connected, and is excited to announce that Burnaby Community Services, Share Family Services Tri-Cities and Collingwood Neighbourhood House now have access to a 12-person shuttle bus, and plan to use it!
If you know of an organization who may be interested in joining the Bus Co-op and having access to a shuttle bus in Metro Vancouver, email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on how it works.
This beautiful 12-seat shuttle bus helps seniors stay active.
Living Streets: Exploring Guildford and Surrey Central
Living Streets had a busy month in July as BEST staff and volunteers explored areas in Guildford and Central Surrey, with help from community groups from S.U.C.C.E.S.S. and the YMCA. Participants identified many areas in need of improvement, including cracked and discontinuous sidewalks, dangerous intersections, and bus stops in need of rain shelters. However, they also noticed a lot of positive street features like separated bike lanes, transit-oriented development and other interesting uses of urban design. Our recent charrette event with the City of Surrey at the Bing Thom-designed City Centre Library highlighted these positive changes, which seemed to signal Surrey’s transition into more of an urban centre in BC’s Lower Mainland.
Some examples of good and bad street features that were noticed during our street audits with S.U.C.C.E.S.S. and the YMCA.
Living Streets has a few more audits scheduled for August. If you would like to get involved or participate in an audit, feel free to reach out to Jacqueline at email@example.com.
Park Bus: Joffre Lakes trip a spectacular experience
The trip to Joffre Lakes features breathtaking sights and glacial-fed lakes.
Thinking of travelling to one of Parkbus’ destinations up the Sea-to-Sky Corridor this summer? Parkbus volunteer coordinator, Nick Luelo, took the trip to Joffre Lakes on July 15, and what an experience it was!
With over 50 people attending, the trip was a resounding success among volunteers and clients alike. The glacial-fed lakes located at different stages of the hike have always been considered unique, and rightly so. Each turquoise-coloured lake offers scenic vistas of surrounding mountains and landscapes, which only adds to the lakes’ beauty. This turquoise colour is the result of ‘rock flour’ or glacial silt from the surrounding mountains draining into the lakes. Just remember that even though the lakes are beautiful they are chilly – as some clients and volunteers found out!
Interested in knowing more about the trip to Joffre Lakes? Check out Janice Ho’s experience with Parkbus.
Wondering how you can get involved with Parkbus and see these awesome sights? Parkbus is always looking for volunteer Parkbus Ambassadors, and by providing some logistical help volunteers get to ride for free and enjoy a day out at one of the parks we service – in addition to Joffre Lakes, Parkbus goes to Garibaldi, Stawamus Chief, Alice Lake, Shannon Falls and Cypress.
If you would like to join Parkbus as a volunteer in our Parkbus Ambassador Program, check out the program at https://parkbus.ca/pas. For any questions, please email Nick at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To see our full schedule and seat availability, visit here – seats are selling fast, so we recommend you book well in advance.
Multi-Modal Musings: The future may be dockless
Dockless app-based systems have taken off in China.
(Photo: Johannes Eisele/AFP/Getty Images)
While technology can be a game-changer for transportation, the real innovations are not what many think. Forget the Hyperloop, driverless cars and electric vehicles for a moment. The real revolution is more a renaissance of what has always worked in cities: walking and cycling. With city infrastructure to match, technology has allowed the advent of bikeshare programs, such as our own Mobi bikeshare. But as technology increases, new models of bikeshare are being tested.
While Mobi users have to return bikes to docking stations, dockless bike shares rely on GPS in the bikes to allow bikes to be returned anywhere, and picked up anywhere (generally in a prescribed zone). Kind of like car2go and Evo for carshare. As you might expect, this model can prove challenging for cities when the volumes get high (like in some Chinese cities, where piles of bikes have been found). A nearer example to watch will be in Seattle, where two new companies just began operations, after Pronto, a traditional bikeshare operation, failed.
The European Cycling Federation just released a paper on dockless bikeshare which is worth a read. Main takeaway? Transportation, regardless of the technology it uses, needs to work with the city to ensure it works within the rest of the system.
Volunteer Profile: Finn
At BEST we are fortunate to have volunteers from all over the world working with us. Volunteers might help at The Bicycle Valet or one of our other programs or around the office – whatever they do, we are enriched by their participation. This month we asked Finn, who is from Germany, to answer our BEST Volunteer Questionnaire.
What were you doing in Germany before you came to Canada?
I finished high school in July 2016 and basically didn't do anything after that as I had no idea what exactly I wanted to do.
Why did you want to come to Canada, and Vancouver in particular? How long are you here for?
Canada just seemed like a great place to work (and live) and it was the best option out of all the other countries on the list, even if it was just for 3 months.
How did you come to volunteer at BEST?
I was in contact with an organization that helped me book my flight, find a homestay etc. They found BEST and told me about it.
What are you doing for BEST?
I am mainly working with The Bicycle Valet helping out at events, but I do have some office days too where I count tips and help out with various other things.
What have you learned / how have you benefited from your volunteer work with BEST?
Since I started working with BEST (especially with The Bicycle Valet) I got a lot more confident in talking to people and striking up conversations. I learned how to best organize myself and I’m much better with managing stressful situations.
What would you say to somebody thinking of volunteering?
I’d say go for it! It’s the best way to figure out what you want to do with your life in the long run. With BEST I met so many different people who really inspired me and helped me with finding out more about myself.
Finn (right) checks in bikes at The Bicycle Valet.
THANK YOU TO OUR SPONSORS:
Thank you for your continued interest in BEST!
To advance the transformation to sustainable transportation
Vibrant, healthy communities built around sustainable modes of transportation
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