It’s been a busy fall so far and in this month’s newsletter we have a ton o' exciting news to pass along. The Bicycle Valet is still parking bikes after record-smashing successes this summer and has some great results to report from Project Rudy – the initiative to fight bike theft on Granville Island. We also have stories about the BC Seniors Advocate’s call for BC municipalities to increase safety initiatives for senior pedestrians; an upcoming MEC Club Night; where the Arbutus Greenway is at; upcoming meetings about the NE False Creek redevelopment; BEST’s participation at the recent Pro Walk/ Pro Bike/ Pro Place Conference; as well as a tip of the hat to Poetry in Transit’s 20th Anniversary. Whether you are cycling, walking or rolling through the crunchy leaves of fall, we hope you enjoy reading our newsletter!
The Bicycle Valet: 24,000 and counting!
At the Pro Bike/Walk/Space Conference with Mobi!
What an incredible summer for The Bicycle Valet! Over 24,000 bikes were parked with us at events across Metro Vancouver so far, and there’s more to come! Also, for the first summer ever we collaborated with Garage 529 registering bikes to end bike theft in Vancouver. Our efforts at Granville Island had amazing success and we parked more than 10,000 bikes at that location alone, and registering over 1,400 bikes with Garage 529 shields. After four months of combined efforts with Operation Rudy on Granville Island there was a 60% decrease in reported bike theft when compared with 2015! (For more on Operation Rudy, read the story below).
Although the summer has come to end, The Bicycle Valet is still busy parking bikes. This fall we’ll see you at:
Sunday October 2nd - Whitecaps vs Seattle Sounders
Wednesday October 12th - Bike to Work Week Launch & Fashion Show
Saturday October 15th-Sunday 16th - Apple Fest at UBC
Saturday October 22nd - Kitsilano Autumn Fair
Sunday October 23rd - Whitecaps vs Portland Timbers
Sunday October 30th - Bike to Work Week Party
Sunday November 13th - Hyde Creek Salmon Festival
Saturday November 19th-Sunday 20th - East Side Culture Crawl
… and more to come! For an updated list, check out our calendar here.
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.
Operation Rudy slashes bike theft on Granville Island
The broad-based partnership program Operation Rudy, established to cut down bicycle theft on Granville Island, has had stunning results. The multi-faceted program has reduced bike thefts on the Island by 60% over the summer months, with an astounding 80% drop in the month of August alone.
Developed by BEST, CMHC – Granville Island, Project 529, Vancouver Police Department, and several Island businesses, Operation Rudy's key strategies were to provide The Bicycle Valet, free and secure bicycle parking, seven days a week, free registration with Garage 529, improve cyclists’ security habits through information and loaner locks, apprehend bicycle thieves through the VPD Bait Bike program, position more racks in the open to deter thefts, and build awareness on bike theft and proper locking techniques.
The initiative’s successes include:
The initiative also included educational signs posted on bike racks throughout the Island, reminding cyclists to lock their bikes properly.
- More than 10,000 bikes were parked with BEST’s The Bicycle Valet, which operated seven-days-a-week, June 11 through Labour Day.
- 1,400 bikes were registered with Project 529’s modern, easy, free bicycle registration service, Project 29/Garage, operating in conjunction with The Bicycle Valet.
- More than 100 people per month borrowed top-of-the-line ABUS Bordo folding locks (free of charge) through the Loaner Lock program created by Project 529 and lock manufacturer ABUS. Granville Island businesses supporting the ongoing Loaner Lock program include: Cats Social House, Granville Island Brewing Taproom, Off the Tracks Café, A Bread Affair, False Creek Community Centre, and The Keg.
- The VPD’s Bait Bike program on the Island resulted in six arrests.
- 64 new bicycle spaces were created in higher visibility spots outside the Public Market for safer bike parking.
“Granville Island reported a bike theft nearly every day in August of 2015, and this August experienced only one bike theft each week,” says J. Allard of Project 529. "We are thrilled with these results and feel that this represents a real sea change for bicycle security on Granville Island.”
STAR: Senior pedestrians at higher risk
BC Seniors Advocate Isobel Mackenzie is calling on municipal governments to consider pedestrian-focused enhancements to help ensure the safety of seniors.
Ms. Mackenzie points to a recent report by Provincial Health Officer Dr. Perry Kendall that indicates that the fatality rate for pedestrians 76 and older is more than twice the rate for pedestrians 66-75, and that overall those over 76 had the highest rate of fatalities per 100,000 people. Dr. Kendall’s report identifies a number of factors contributing to these accidents, including pedestrian error or confusion, pedestrian or driver distraction, alcohol, driver failing to yield the right of way, and speed.
Pedestrian-focused enhancements suggested by the Seniors Advocate include mechanisms to decrease crossing distances, increased crossing times, improved pedestrian lighting, modification of intersections, and appropriate speed limits.
To view Ms. Mackenzie’s letter in full, visit here.
BEST’s STAR program is dedicated to helping seniors continue to be contributing, healthy citizens in their own communities and fully supports the work of the Seniors Advocate to improve pedestrian-focused enhancements. For more information on STAR contact Stephanie Williams, email@example.com, 604 669 2860, ext 212.
Photo credit: Brooklyn Daily News
MEC Club Night: Time to stock up!
Another MEC Club Night is coming up at the end of October, and BEST members are invited! At Club Nights members of BEST/MEC receive 10% off regularly priced in-stock items – which makes this a great opportunity to purchase the clothes and gear you will be needing this winter.
Date: Thursday, October 27, 2016 from 7:00pm – 9:00pm
Location: MEC Vancouver, 130 West Broadway
Participants need to be members of both BEST and Mountain Equipment Co-op in order to make a purchase. If you are not yet a member of BEST or need to renew, you can join at our website, or contact our office at 604 669 2860. New members of BEST will receive a copy of our fantastic 25th Anniversary Zine, which contains stories about the early days of BEST by the people who were there, as well as one of our famous “One Less Car” stickers. If you are not yet a member of MEC, you may purchase a $5.00 membership on the evening of the Club Night.
To attend, please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org. We hope to see you there.
Arbutus Greenway update
The Arbutus Greenway project office has now been set up to undertake planning and design for the new 9 km transportation greenway.
Construction on a temporary pathway began earlier in the summer so that people could walk, cycle and roll along the corridor while work on the long-term project got underway. A broader public engagement process for the Arbutus Greenway, which runs from False Creek to the Fraser River, is expected to begin in late fall 2016.
BEST supports a temporary path that is accessible to all active transportation users, including seniors with walkers, strollers, wheelchairs, rollerbladers, and cyclists.
Citizens are encouraged to visit the greenway website and sign up for the newsletter to be notified of upcoming opportunities for engagement on the greenway’s future.
The future of NE False Creek: Get involved!
The City of Vancouver is looking at making major changes to NE False Creek, and they are looking for your help. Participate in events, online surveys, and provide feedback as they develop an area plan to guide the development of this new district. A big focus will be on streets and connectivity for all modes of transportation. With the Georgia and Dunsmuir viaducts coming down, this creates some amazing new opportunities for sustainable transportation!
Open houses are coming up on October 15th & 18th, so save the date as we wait to find out more details about time and venue!
For more information, check out the City's website.
Pro Walk/Bike/Place Conference covers ground
By Stephanie Williams, BEST GM
Feeling fortunate to receive a scholarship to the Pro Walk / Pro Bike / Pro Place conference, this year happening in Vancouver, I hopped on my bike to check out what it was all about. While promoted as an active transportation conference with placemaking thrown in, there were sessions that included everyone’s favourite topic of autonomous vehicles as well as marketing campaigns for transit, along with specialized topics such as bicycle parking, and designing public spaces for seniors.
One of my favourite sessions was an eye-opening, data-driven discussion around how Memphis calculated its current and future need for sidewalk construction and repair, finding the city would need to spend $1 billion simply to keep up with current need. Using the goals of the city, the team came up with a plan to prioritize spending over the next twenty years. While not ideal, it showed the reality of their infrastructure debt after decades of neglect, and a concrete plan to address some of it. I wonder how much Metro Vancouver would need to spend?
Between catching up with fellow sustainable transportation advocates and meeting new ones, on Wednesday afternoon I decided to get out into the glorious weather and joined a mobile bike tour that looked at our recent work at Granville Island. Telling the story of how Operation Rudy came to be a partnership between Granville Island, Project 529, the Vancouver Police Department, BEST and businesses on the island, our attendees from across the U.S. confirmed that bike theft was a large problem in their cities as well, one that is a real barrier to increasing the use of active transportation. After the tour we celebrated our 60% reduction in theft on the island, a transformative success, and headed back on the protected bike lanes of Burrard Bridge and Hornby Street.
The best locked bike on Granville Island; the mobile bike tour celebrates a 60%
reduction in theft on the Island!
Poetry in Transit: Celebrating 20 years
If you have spent any time on local transit you have likely enjoyed reading the work of local poets, placed in the advertising space by the people at Poetry in Transit. This year, in celebration of the project’s 20th anniversary, SkyTrains and buses throughout BC will feature the work of 20 poets from BC. On September 25, as part of the Word on the Street Festival, Poetry in Transit arranged for a B-Line bus to park beside Library Square, where it displayed this year’s poetry cards and served as a venue for the public to listen to the work of some great local poets.
Poetry in Transit is sponsored by the Association of Book Publishers of BC, BC Transit, and the City of Vancouver.
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