Ah summer, ’tis a fleeting thing. While the days continue to be warm and sunny the unmistakable “nip” of autumn is in the air. But as you will read in our newsletter, BEST is still offering plenty of opportunities for sustainable transportation, be it to an event attended by The Bicycle Valet or a trip to one of the beautiful parks up the Sea-to-Sky Highway with Parkbus. As it is the traditional beginning of the school term, we also have stories in a more educational vein – learn where you can see the informative street audits prepared by Living Streets and the YMCA Digital Media Camp; sign up for a transit training session for seniors put on by Seniors on the Move and TransLink; register for the SFU/Surrey “Transportation Talks” program; and find out about the on-line programs and tools for school travel created by HASTe. Also in the interests of informing our readership, we have a story about the invention of “jaywalking” – a timely topic in these days when “distracted pedestrians” are increasingly vilified.
Happy reading and keep on walking everyone!
The Bicycle Valet: A rainbow of events
* * *
The Pride Parade and Mural Festival were two of the mythic events
August was a colourful month for The Bicycle Valet - a beautiful way to wrap up the summer season.
that we attended in August.
(Photo credit (right): Darko Sikman (@darkoroom on Instagram))
The month kicked off with us parking 904 bikes across three locations during the fabulous Pride Parade. Then we had a big challenge during the Mural Festival - our setup was intended to hold 100 bikes, but with some good ol’ sweat and teamwork, we parked 262! The Mural Festival was truly a wonder to behold, and we were delighted that you shared our enthusiasm.
If you’ve been around downtown, you might have seen us at Howe and Georgia in front of Pacific Centre. Thanks to Cadillac Fairview we’re able to be there from 7:30am to 6:30pm every weekday throughout the summer so that Cadillac Fairview employees working in neighbouring office buildings can ride to work and leave their bikes with us. Commuting to work in the summer is no sweat when you have a quick, easy, and safe way to park your bike each day!
Our seasonal Granville Island valet is still going strong - visit us there any day of the week until the end of September to register your bike with Garage 529 (#endbiketheft).
Additionally, this is a reminder to please check the “junk” folder in your e-mail if you’ve entered the Earnest Ice Cream draw. We’ve contacted a number of winners but have received very few responses, and we want to make sure delicious prizes can be claimed!
Coming up in September you will find us at these amazing events:
Sep 1st - Guns N’ Roses at BC Place
Sep 8th - BC Lions home game
Sep 9th - Whitecaps home game
Sep 13th - Whitecaps home game
Sep 16th - YVR Shoreline Cleanup at Iona Park/Beach
Sep 16th - Eastside 10k
Sep 16th - Whitecaps home game
Sep 22nd - BC Lions home game
Sep 23rd - Whitecaps home game
Sep 24th - Langley BC Rivers Day
Sep 29th - Coldplay at BC Place
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or (604) 767-3393, or sign up now if you’d like to volunteer.
And now, in the 'sad and glad' news department:
This month we are saying farewell to Sinead Stinson, who has been co-ordinating The Bicycle Valet since 2014. Sinead will be greatly missed by one and all but we wish her the best of luck as she pursues Masters studies at SFU. Joining us as our new Bicycle Valet Co-ordinator is Anita Man. Anita has a BComm in Hospitality and Tourism Management from Ryerson and worked with Sinead over the summer. We know she will do a fantastic job in her new position -- in fact she already is! Anita can be contacted at email@example.com, 604-669-2860, ext 207. Welcome to BEST, Anita!
Parkbus: There's still time to hit the trails!
The trip to Joffre Lakes features jawdropping mountains
and glacial-fed lakes.
Over the past month Parkbus has been busy getting people in touch with nature as we travelled to a range of locations up the Sea-to-Sky Corridor – including Joffre Lakes, Garibaldi, Cypress, and Alice Lakes. Passengers and volunteers alike had a blast on the trips, and even during the fires this August we saw some amazing sights, as many of the locations we visited were spared the smoke. Awesome people from different walks of life shared stories on the hikes – making for some truly memorable experiences.
All that being said, September is coming up, and with it the end of the season. But don't worry, adventurers! Even as our beautiful summer comes to an end we still have things planned for all our passengers! Parkbus will still be providing trips to Garibaldi, Cypress, Alice lakes, Golden Ears and more, so we hope to see you.
Head to our website, or check out our Instagram, and don't let the chance to have an adventure slip by!
Are you interested in joining Parkbus as a volunteer and experiencing the outdoors? To check out our volunteer program please visit
For any questions about Parkbus in BC, please email Nick at
Wrapping up Living Streets for 2017
Living Streets is wrapping up another successful season! Over 200 community members participated in audits this year and we are now in the process of organizing and mapping street data so it can be sent to the City of Surrey. Engineers and municipal planners at the City will use the data to make improvements to the pedestrian landscape of local neighbourhoods across Surrey.
|Photos of street features and audit participants taken during the 2017 Living Streets season.
We recently received footage of a few of the street audits we did with the YMCA Digital Media Camp in the Surrey Central neighbourhood. It is inspiring to see teens and adolescents become engaged in the built environment, as well as to get their feedback on how cities can become more walkable and sustainable. Check out two of the audits we did with the YMCA here and here.
My term at BEST comes to an end in September as I will be returning to school. I would like to say a huge thank you to the dedicated Living Streets volunteers and BEST staff. I’m extremely grateful for everything I’ve learned during my time here!
- Jacqueline Hunter
Seniors on the Move offers transit training
Knowing how to negotiate the transit system can make
a huge difference to seniors' lives.
Seniors on the Move is teaming up with TransLink again to offer two more transit training sessions for seniors this September. Topics will include Compass cards, security, Millennium Line Evergreen extension, zone structures and fare prices, Next Bus texting, and online trip planning.
If you or someone you know is interested in taking part in these free sessions, see details below:
Date: Monday, September 25
Location: Collingwood Neighbourhood House, 5288 Joyce St, Vancouver
RSVP: Suzanne Liddle, Sliddle@cnh.bc.ca
Date: Wednesday, September 27
Location: Burnaby Community Resource Centre, 2055 Rosser Ave, Burnaby
RSVP on Eventbrite here.
The invention of "jaywalkers"
An American poster from the 1930s ridicules walkers.
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Here at BEST we have long been advocates for the rights of pedestrians. Our vision of healthy communities calls for pedestrians being able to move safely and unobstructed through their neighbourhoods. Currently, our Living Streets program identifies barriers to walking (as well as cycling and public transportation) in Surrey and Vancouver. And walkable communities play a big part in our conversations in Seniors on the Move.
Being able to walk comfortably through our communities seems like a reasonable thing to ask, right? Even if, on a given day, you may be guilty of being a little “distracted.” So you may be wondering: When did being a pedestrian start becoming such a tough row to hoe? Here’s part of the answer.
Back in early 20th century America, at a time when the U.S. auto industry sought to redefine roads as places where cars could travel unhindered and pedestrians did not belong, the term “jaywalker” was born.
In the first decades of the 1900s the automobile was becoming more common and pedestrians were increasingly being struck and injured or killed. A pivotal event came in 1923 when, alarmed by the number of pedestrians being struck by automobiles, a petition was signed by 42,000 citizens in Cincinnati calling for the limiting of car speeds mechanically to 40 kph. The petition failed, but the auto industry went into high gear in an effort to shift the blame for pedestrian casualties from drivers to walkers.
The word “jay” referred to a ‘rube’ or a ‘country bumpkin’ – a jaywalker was basically somebody from the countryside visiting the city who was so dazzled that they kept getting in the way of automobiles and other pedestrians.
The use of the term jaywalker to ridicule pedestrians took off. Local car firms organized boy scouts to hand out cards to pedestrians explaining that this was a new era and jaywalking was dangerous and old fashioned. As well, clowns, were used in parades or pageants to portray jaywalkers as throwbacks to rural, uneducated, pre-automobile ways.
Analysis of newspaper coverage in the U.S. shows that a shift in favour of drivers occurred quickly – in 1923 they were blaming drivers for accidents, but by late 1924 they were blaming jaywalkers.
Car lobby groups also began to take over school safety education, stressing to children that streets were for cars and children should not go on them. By the late 1920s jaywalking laws had been put into place in many cities, and they became the norm in the 1930s.
In the following decades, as the car continued its relentless journey to cultural dominance, an overriding goal of city planners and engineers became to allow traffic to circulate unhindered and to limit walkers’ access to roads.
The effects of the automobile industry blaming the victim is alive and well today, as evidenced by Honolulu recently passing a law to ban pedestrians who are crossing the streets from checking their phones. While there are numerous problems with taking this approach to reducing pedestrian fatalities, perhaps the most salient is: What happens when kids are distracted or seniors take longer crossing the street, without a cellphone? Distracted pedestrians are only a problem for the car culture that deems it so.
To learn more about why BEST supports walking and what we are doing to encourage it, visit our website. And to watch a terrific little video on the invention of jaywalking, see Why Jaywalking Is A Crime.
SFU/Surrey "Transportation Talks" return
(Photo credit: City of Surrey)
The popular Transportation Talks Program returns for another year beginning on September 5. A partnership between the SFU City Program and City of Surrey Engineering Department, this 9-session program is a comprehensive introduction to transportation in the Lower Mainland with a particular focus on Surrey.
Transportation Talks offers the opportunity to learn how concepts of community, walkability, accessibility, mobility, impact the way transportation is planned. Included is a field trip to see transportation in Surrey first hand. Participants will also be able to share their ideas in a group project that identifies a transportation-related problem or involves research on a transportation-related issue.
Program speakers include senior staff of the City of Surrey, TransLink, the SFU City Program, and the City of Vancouver.
Transportation Talks will be of interest to transportation planners, advocates, planners, lawyers, interested citizens, and many others. Several BEST staff members have taken the program over the years and we can highly recommend it.
For more information and to register visit the City of Surrey website.
HASTe: Taking action to reduce school emissions
(Photo credit: Sustrans)
Kids are starting back to school this month, which makes it a good time to remind readers of the great work being done by our friends at HASTe – the Hub for Active School Travel.
HASTe’s vision, enthusiastically supported by BEST, is of more kids walking and cycling to school and fewer cars idling around the schoolyard. They have loads of on-line tools and programs available to help students, parents, and teachers take action to reduce emissions. The iSchoolTravel calculator helps students and educators calculate, track and reduce school-related transportation emissions, while the online Route Planning Tool helps students and their parents figure out the best way to walk or cycle to and from school. And there’s lots more!
For more information, visit the HASTe website, or contact their office at 778.883.7962, firstname.lastname@example.org.
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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