Back to School... With the NFB?

A new school year was supposed to begin today in British Columbia. But they're having some, ah, unforeseeable and unavoidable delays. No one is happy about the current state of affairs at BC schools; but some parties are working hard to keep things fun.

For example, today I noticed that half of the short films on the National Film Board's homepage are about cycling. Coincidence? Maybe. Or maybe the NFB is trying to subtly send visitors messages about how to, or not, to get to school - or wherever you're headed this week.

Click here to get schooled by the NFB.

Back In My Day...

We've all heard it before: adults regaling children with stories about how much harder or different things were when they were kids.

Image by Motor City Radio Flashbacks

The notion has become something of a cliche, but that doesn't make it any less true. It is often hard to reconcile the way adults remember the world and their lives, and the way children experience things today.

Earlier this summer, Slate magazine published results of a survey that asked respondents "What were you allowed to do as a kid?" One of their most interesting findings related to when children were allowed to walk to school. Learn more after the break.

Slate journalists looked at the answers their survey received - over 6000 people responded! - and broke them down by decade.

Vancouver's Awards of Excellence

Last night, HASTe staff joined 131 other nominees at the Vancouver Playhouse theater for the City of Vancouver's inaugural Awards of Excellence event.

The room was packed with the City's best and brightest, people and organizations working to make Vancouver a better city for all. HASTe was nominated for our work with Vancouver's schools in the category of Greenest City Leadership.

How did we do? Find out after the break.

Judy Graves and Jimmy Pattison were awarded the "Freedom of the City" for their life-long efforts on the City's behalf, and dozens of youth, individuals and organizations were recogni

The Future of Transportation in Metro Vancouver

With our work on schools and communities, HASTe doesn't often get to focus on the BIG picture. But in this case we'll make an exception, because something happened recently that will shape how people move around their neighborhoods, and the region, for years to come.

The Mayor's Council recently released its vision for the future of transportation investment and funding in Metro Vancouver. We have an overview of the highlights, and links to the details, after the break.

The investment plan developed by the Mayor'd Council will form the basis of a provincial referendum, scheduled for the Fall, on the future of transportation investment and funding in Metro Vanc

Cross This Way

New York City's Department of Transportation recently dropped a fun video meant to teach children about pedestrian safety in a clear and engaging way. But beneath the catchy music, good intentions and excellent structure, there's a not so subtle message that we think kids shouldn't be learning.

We'll dissect the DOT's video, and discuss whether it backs up the claim that "everybody on the street deserves respect" after the break.

Scenario 1 shows a young woman using a crosswalk while looking at her phone. Now, crossing the street while distracted is clearly a bad idea.

New HASTe BC Newsletter: Spring 2014

The latest edition of the HASTe BC newsletter dropped yesterday, with exciting news about our provincial funding, updates on our recent work on Bike to School Week and building local capacity for School Travel Planning on Vancouver Island, and more.

Read the full newsletter here, and/or sign up to make sure you don't miss out on future newsletters - we generally send out a new one every couple of months, and they're always chalk full of school active-travel goodness!

Bike to School Week 2014

Bike to School Week 2014 is a wrap! Thanks to all the students, families, teachers and staff who participated.

We hope everyone had a great time riding and rolling to school - and keeps it up until the end of the year. Don't forget to tell us about your week and let us know how many students, teachers and staff rode their bikes. Every school that enters their results is eligible for extra prizes: $20 gift certificates to MEC for the school's BTSW coordinator!

HASTe School Travel Planning in Oak Bay

Last week HASTe staff hosted a School Travel Planning (STP) Workshop in Oak Bay, Victoria BC.

This 3 hour workshop is designed to help communities learn more about School Travel Planning, and how it can help solve their seemingly never-ending school traffic congestion problems. Learn more about the HASTe STP workshop and how to bring it to your community after the break.

Oak Bay Councilor Michelle Kirby sees the value in a School District 61 School Travel Planning process.

Pilot Project Moves Speed Signs to the Middle of the Road

Last summer, a pilot project in the City of Ottawa moved reduce speed-zone signs to a new and unexpected location - the middle of the road - in an effort to get motorists to take more notice the signs and, hopefully, obey them.

Learn more about this new strategy after the break.

The pilot project tested the signs as a low-cost way of keeping drivers from speeding through low-speed zones. The yellow signs stand about a meter and a half tall.

Vancouver School Board Busts the Myth, and Expectation, of Free Parking

As the title of this post suggests, there's no such thing as free parking. Construction, maintenance, enforcement - parking spots, whether they're on street or in a garage, cost money, and someone has to pay for them. Yet many of us are so used to being able to park our cars for free that it seems more like a right than a subsidized privilege.

In an effort to cut costs, find efficiencies and inspire staff to look at more sustainable alternatives when traveling to and from schools, the Vancouver School Board has decided to charge teachers and staff for parking on-site at schools starting next September.

HASTe applauds the board for this bold step and effort to promote sustainable transportation to and from its schools. But we hope that there will be some carrots - subsidized bus passes, better bike parking and end of trip facilities, car share membership, etc. - offered to Vancouver teachers to go along with this stick.

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