Fall is officially upon us and we are into one of our region's most beautiful times of year. In our newsletter this month we invite you to read about what BEST is up to in these changing times. Our review of goings-on in The Bicycle Valet-land looks at the various events that are taking advantage of this gorgeous fall and we celebrate one of our amazing volunteers, Marianne Quat. Also in our newsletter we review the highlights of the Parkbus 2017 season; explore how Seniors on the Move continues to move forward; comment in our Multi-modal Musings column on the strange case of the local father who taught his children to use transit; and look at some of the fun and educational events surrounding I Love Transit Week.
Happy reading everyone, and enjoy those crunchy leaves under foot and wheel!
The Bicycle Valet: Making the most of the fall
RiverFest (l) was a new event this year; at Eastside 10K
The kids are back in school and the summer is fading into fall, but that sunny biking weather is sticking around long enough for us to soak in the last bits of sunshine!
we parked 2x as many bikes as in 2016.
September was a month of new beginnings for The Bicycle Valet as we were at many events for the first time this year, all across Metro Vancouver: Tsawwassen Community Rides in Langley, Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup in Richmond (thanks YVR!), Southlands Country Fair in Vancouver (thanks TransLink!), FarmAde at the UBC Farm, and RiverFest in New Westminster (thanks TransLink!). We are ecstatic to be branching out and promoting sustainable transportation options at all of these new (to us) venues.
This year we were back at the Eastside 10K race, where we parked twice as many bikes as we did last year. Go team! Our seasonal valet at Granville Island stayed open later this year, finishing the season on October 1st. Stay tuned next month for an update on how we did!
Ride your bike down to all these exciting events we’ll be at in October:
October 1st - Granville Island (the last day of the seasonal valet!)
October 3rd - HUB’s Bike to Work Week Launch Party
October 5th - Can Vancouver Go Dutch? – An Evening With the Dutch Cycling Embassy
October 7th - BC Lions at BC Place
October 14th - Diwali Downtown Vancouver Festival at Roundhouse Community Centre
October 14th & 15th - Apple Festival at UBC
October 15th - Whitecaps at BC Place
October 21st - BC Lions at BC Place
October 27th - HUB’s Bike to Work Week Halloween Party
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.
Bicycle Valet Volunteer Profile: Marianne Quat
Every year The Bicycle Valet is fortunate to have a team of fantastic volunteers who keep things running at events around the Lower Mainland. These volunteers have all different backgrounds and ages but share an enthusiasm for The Bicycle Valet and its mission. One such volunteer is Marianne Quat, and this is her story.
When did you first get involved with The Bicycle Valet?
In late spring of 2016.
How did you first get involved?
Out of guilt really. I thought I would volunteer after using the valet many times over the years.
What’s your role with The Bicycle Valet?
I’m a volunteer, so whatever I can do to help, but mostly valeting bikes.
What’s the best part about volunteering with us?
Meeting other volunteers and getting into fun events. Shifts go by really quickly most times. VIP seats and dinner at the Summer Cinema in Stanley Park is a pretty good perk.
When not working and volunteering, what do you do with your time?
In the summer you might find me taking in one of the many festivals or exploring our amazing city. There is always something interesting and fun to do and eat. The city/region is getting more and more accessible by bike and transit. In the other seasons I’d usually be exploring the rest of the world. There is so much to see out there.
What field do you work in or study in?
I’m a geologist in the federal public service.
Parkbus: A wrap on an outstanding season
Garibaldi Lake was one of the many beautiful destinations
Parkbus headed to this season.
After an extremely successful summer, Parkbus BC had its last run of the season on September 30, with a trip up to Joffre Lakes. Like last year’s pilot runs, the response to the offering of express bus service to BC Provincial Parks has been outstanding, with most trips being sold out! With so much success, we look forward to expanding again in 2018. Highlights from our 2017 season include:
- 6 trips to Alice Lake, Stawamus Chief and Shannon Falls
- 7 trips to Garibaldi
- 15 trips to Joffre Lakes
- Successful pilot trips to Golden Ears and Cypress
- 1130 people on Parkbus
A big thanks to all the Parkbus volunteers, Nick, our 2017 Parkbus Coordinator, and partners MEC and BC Parks!
Seniors on the Move: Helping seniors stay active
A few participants in the transit training workshop in Burnaby.
As a Collective Impact project under Allies in Aging, Seniors on the Move is working with as many seniors transportation stakeholders as possible. On September 21 we teamed up for a Seniors Advisory Committee meeting with the Office of the Seniors Advocate, who is preparing a report on transportation in the province. Gathering at ICBC in North Vancouver, seniors from across Metro Vancouver had the opportunity to share their experiences using different transportation modes and to discuss potential solutions to improving and increasing options.
On September 26 and 27, Seniors on the Move once again partnered with TransLink to offer transit training sessions for seniors at Collingwood Neighbourhood House and Burnaby Community Services. Recognizing that many older adults are new to using public transit in Metro Vancouver, participants were encouraged to help others in their lives plan their trips and try out public transit options in their communities. Burnaby Community Services will be offering a workshop on HandyDART on October 25.
Seniors on the Move is currently looking for volunteer drivers and volunteer Transit Ambassadors. If you are interested in getting involved in helping seniors remain active in their communities, please visit our website and follow the links.
Teaching our children well
Our "Multi-Modal Musings" column focuses on issues related to sustainable transportation around the Lower Mainland. This month Margaret Miller takes a look at the remarkable tale of a father who taught his children how to take the city bus, and those who tried to stop them.
Adam Crook's 4 oldest children -- all set for their bus adventure.
(Photo credit: Adrian Crook)
Many readers of the BEST newsletter will be familiar with the recent case of the Vancouver father who taught his 4 oldest children to take the city bus to school, only to have the Ministry of Children and Family Development tell him they couldn’t.
To recap: For 2 years Vancouver father Adrian Crook coached his 4 oldest children (now aged 7-11 years) how to travel on public transit. He said “I’ve done this not because I’m too lazy to drive them or too cheap to own a car (we’ve been car-free for two years now), but because I aim to raise capable, independent humans who prioritize sustainability and safety above the perceived convenience of cars.” Mr. Crook accompanied them on their trips and only after a year allowed them to take any part of the trip alone. It was 1.5 years before he let them take the whole trip without him.
In April 2017 he was notified by the Ministry of an anonymous complaint. After a 2 month investigation he was informed that his children could not travel on their own til oldest was 12.
BEST thinks this seems like an unfortunate case of bureaucratic overreach and that instead of being punished this father should be commended for his efforts to educate his children around the value and advantages of sustainable public transportation and for promoting in them a healthy spirit of independence.
As Mr. Crook points out in support of his position, bus travel is 24x safer than any other transportation mode, including cars. And while fearmongers will say that independent bus travel puts children at risk of violence, statistics show there is an extremely low likelihood that children travelling by bus will be victims of crime – in fact, they are much more likely to be harmed in a car collision than experience criminal violence.
(On a personal note, this columnist began travelling on her on by bus when she was 11, and is none the worse for wear – in fact the experience set her up for a lifelong appreciation of public transit and multi-modal transportation, not to mention an independent spirit).
Mr. Crook is currently raising money through gofundme to take the province to court – it is his hope that a positive outcome will ensure that his own and all children will have the right to travel on transit. We wish him every success.
There’s lots going on during TransLink’s annual I Love Transit Week, coming up October 2-6.
Various activities will be of interest to K-12 teachers and students, including free bus travel for K-12 students from October 2-6, a DayPass contest, and an I Love Transit Camp contest for Grades 3-12. (Apropos to the previous story, what a great way to get students using -- and enjoying using -- transit from an early age!)
For everyone else, a variety of contests, opportunities, and events are planned for the week, including a pop-up event on October 5 with the Transit Museum Society and the TransLink Community Outreach Bus. Transit users will be invited to enter the I Love Transit contest to win a Monthly Pass on their Compass Card, transit stories will be featured on the Buzzer blog, there will be a colouring contest, and a special event is planned on a vintage bus.
The theme of this year’s I Love Transit Week is Beyond – the future of transportation in Metro Vancouver.
For more information on I Love Transit Week and how you can get involved, go here.
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