Omar's blog

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.

Hal Grades Your Bike Locking Skills

Hal Ruzal became something of an internet celebrity a few years ago for a video he did with Streetfilms in New York, in which he graded riders' efforts to lock and secure their bicycles on the street. He's back for 2014 with a new video on the subject with the same humor and personality, same eagles eyes and invaluable advice... and same socks?

Lakewood Ohio: Where Everyone Can Walk to School

Note to developers and municipalities: more suburbs like this, please!


HASTe is back!

No April fooling.

Stay tuned, more to come.

The (Trans)Link Between Bikes and Better Health

Last week, HASTe staff attended the 2nd Annual Cycling Action Forum, hosted by TransLink in New Westminster, BC.

The theme for this year's forum was "Cycling – Prescription for a Healthy Mind, Body and Region." Cycling proponents - planners, advocates, researchers, health specialists, etc. - from communities across Metro Vancouver came together for an afternoon of ideas and discussions. The goal: to understand the many health benefits that can be gained from cycling - both by individuals and their communities - and forge partnerships between transportation and health sectors to better communicate these benefits.

Learn more about the forum and what transpired after the break.

School Travel Champion Profile: Deanna Tan-Francoeur

The connection between health and transportation has long been overlooked, and Deanna Tan-Francoeur, a Community Health Specialist with Fraser Health, is out to change that.

With so many of our health problems resulting from a lack of activity, the choice to walk or cycle can bring us back to the basics. By teaching healthy active travel habits to our kids, we can help them prevent possible health problems later in life.

Learn more about Deanna's work making the connection between active travel and health after the break.

While education is important in bringing change, Tan-Francoeur notes that it is just one piece of the puzzle.

International Walk to School Week 2013

iWalk (International Walk to School Week) is just around the corner: October 7th to 11th, 2013.

Has your school registered? It's not too late!

School Travel Champion Profile: Jonina Campbell

by Kristi Hendricks

On her 10th birthday, Jonina Campbell bought herself a 10 speed bike with the money she received. While she remembers the joy and freedom of biking as a youth, she did not foresee becoming an active transportation advocate. Yet, when this teacher saw the congestion around her school, she was drawn into action, and became one of her community’s school board trustees.

Learn more about how Jonina is working on transportation in her school district after the break.

Campbell knows that walking is more than a safe way to travel to and from school.

Welcome Back!

After a summer to remember, another school year has officially started here in BC. As usual, a lot of ink is being spilled urging motorists to keep the areas around school safe for students and walking families: drive slowly, obey posted speed limits and signs, and above all watch out for kids!

But how much of an issue is traffic safety in the school zone? Find out after the break.

HASTe recently helped engineering staff at the City of Vancouver prepare for an Active Transportation Conference in Montreal, Quebec, with a strong focus on school transportation safety.

What if big marketing companies made adds for buses?

Narrated in Danish, the add speaks in the universal language of the cool. Put it on HD, turn up your speakers and watch in full screen.

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