Seasonal greetings everyone! In this our last newsletter for 2016 we have stories about The Bicycle Valet’s big bump in bikes parked; the sizzling BEST-HUB holiday party; gift ideas for that sustainable-transportation-oriented person on your list; mobility issues being addressed by BEST’s Seniors on the Move initiative; the vote in favour of the 10-Year Transit Plan; and completion of the Evergreen Extension. We are also pleased to have a guest editorial dealing with the ongoing delays on the West Coast Express, and their big-picture implications.
This newsletter also brings to an end our 25th Anniversary Year. Thank you to everybody who helped us celebrate – it was wonderful to reconnect with old friends and to meet a whole bunch of new ones. Slowly, slowly, with your support we will continue to move towards our vision: vibrant, healthy communities built around walking, cycling, public transit, and car shares!
The Bicycle Valet: Celebrating another great year
Happy cyclists know their bikes will be safe --
whether they're on the Eastside Culture Crawl or at the Kits Winter Market
It's been an amazing Bicycle Valet season! With an extremely successful Eastside Culture Crawl, parking 50 percent more bikes than last year, November was no exception. This brings us up to 149,597 bikes parked since 2006. Will we get to 150,000 in 2016? Only time will tell... we're still talking to a few events about December, so check back to our calendar soon to see where we'll be next!
Interested in volunteering or having us out to an event? Know of an event where you’d like to see us? Want to be a sponsor? Have random questions about The Bicycle Valet? Get in touch with Sinéad Stinson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 604-669-2860 ext. 207 for more information.
BEST-HUB Holiday Party radiates good cheer
In early December BEST gathered with our friends at HUB for our 4th annual Holiday Party. Once again a smashing time was had by all, what with gifts, games, excellent food & drink, and sparkling conversation. Thank you to our sponsors, Richards Buell Sutton and Steam Whistle Brewery, and to the many BEST and HUB members who helped put this event together.
Give the gift of sustainable transportation!
As readers of our Newsletter will know, BEST has been up to a lot this year in its work to advance the transformation to sustainable transportation. Wondering how you can help, while taking care of holiday shopping at the same time?
Well you are in luck, we have the answer! Donate to BEST today to help support our amazing programs! What a great a tax-deductible gift for all your friends and family members who, like you, want to support the transformation to sustainable transportation!
Any questions about donations or memberships? Get in touch with Sinéad Stinson at email@example.com or 604-669-2860 ext. 207 for more information.
Some seasonal transportation!
STAR: Keeping seniors mobile
It is clear that Canadian seniors need access to affordable and appropriate transportation options if they are to maintain their health and overall quality of life. However, as is equally clear, it will become increasingly difficult to meet seniors’ mobility needs as our largely car-dependent population ages.
A new report by the Conference Board of Canada addresses this challenge. In Managing Mobility: Transportation in an Aging Society, researchers conclude that the lack of transportation alternatives open to seniors is preventing some from giving up their cars, even when it is no longer safe for them to drive. Seniors are a diverse group and meeting their transportation needs will require policies and strategies that address the challenges of driving cessation, improve and expand transportation options, and find ways to transform the built environment.
For an example of how these issues play out in real life, check out this article in the Toronto Star. In the article, Toronto senior Kathleen Willing continues to drive, take transit and ride her bike, while her husband had to give up his license after he was diagnosed with dementia.
BEST’s STAR program has been working with senior serving agencies since 2010 to advance, innovate and improve transportation for seniors. BEST is now partnering with five senior-serving agencies on Seniors on the Move, a three-year initiative to improve transportation for seniors and reduce social isolation.
For more information about BEST’s STAR program and Seniors on the Move, contact Stephanie Williams, firstname.lastname@example.org, 604-669-2860, ext 212.
Guest Editorial: WCE delays need to be addressed
The recent delays facing Westcoast Express (WCE) riders due to conflicts with freight trains on the track is an issue that needs to be addressed sooner rather than later. Indeed, as the volume of freight moving through the Port of Vancouver continues to grow, there will be additional scheduling conflicts which will continue to delay WCE trains.
In the long term, this does not bode well for our region’s only commuter rail line. The key aspects of any successful transit system are frequency, reliability, and convenience. As the WCE already operates on a limited basis (single direction at peak hours only), the line cannot reach its full potential as a realistic alternative to the automobile.
The recent delays (reported to be anywhere between 30 to 50 minutes) are already forcing commuters to choose their cars. As one WCE monthly pass holder stated in a Vancouver Sun article on the issue, “I actually drove in two days because I had appointments in the morning that [I] couldn’t miss, and I’m a monthly pass holder.” (Commuters Frustrated with CP, Translink – Vancouver Sun, November 25, 2016). This sentiment, on the aggregate, will result in WCE losing passengers.
The only sustainable long term solution, albeit an expensive one, is for the WCE to run on its own dedicated tracks. This would enable the service to run in both directions all day, every day, ensuring a frequent, reliable, and convenient service.
- Christopher Wilcott - MCIP
TransLink and Mayors move forward with Plan
On November 23 TransLink board of directors and the Mayors Council on Regional Transportation voted in favour of Phase One of the Mayors’ 10-Year Transit Plan, to begin in January 2017.
Highlights of the $2 billion plan include cycling and pedestrian infrastructure improvements, a 10 per cent increase in bus service, 20 per cent more SkyTrain service, a new SeaBus, more West Coast Express trains, and a 15 per cent increase in HandyDART service.
Also included in Phase One are pre-construction planning on two light rapid transit lines in Surrey, the proposed Broadway subway in Vancouver, and a replacement for the Pattullo bridge.
Metro Vancouver and TransLink will pay the bulk of the cost for the plan, with the federal government providing $370 million and the province $244 million. A new development fee expected to bring in $20 million a year still requires approval and legislative changes from the province.
BEST is delighted that this multi-modal, regional infrastructure program is now moving forward. In a fast-growing region like Metro Vancouver an innovative, integrated plan like this is essential!
No joy here: Vancouver's traffic congestion is now
on par with Los Angeles' (Photo: canada.com)
Evergreen Extension opens early
Skytrain’s Millenium Line Evergreen Extension opened on December 2 to much fanfare. The long-anticipated line brings 11 km of new track and 6 new Skytrain stations (Lafarge Lake–Douglas, Lincoln, Coquitlam Central, Inlet Centre, Moody Centre, and Burquitlam), connecting Coquitlam and Port Moody to VCC–Clark Station. As it was not expected to be finished until July 2017, citizens of the Tri-Cities could consider this an unexpected seasonal gift!
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To advance the transformation to sustainable transportation
Vibrant, healthy communities built around sustainable modes of transportation
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