Bike to School Week Champion – Liz Cramb

To gear up for Bike to School Week this year (May 30 – June 3) we’ll be profiling a number of “Bike Champions” who we think have taken bike advocacy for kids to the next level. Our first profiled Champion is a teacher at Buckingham Elementary in Burnaby, Liz Cramb.

Liz Cramb is a Grade 5/6 Teacher at Buckingham Elementary in Burnaby. She knows the benefits of cycling, and tries to instill a sense of understanding of the importance of active transportation in her students as well. All too often she sees students being driven and dropped off, leading to parking and congestion issues including decreased safety for all. Organizing Bike to School Week is Liz’s tool for getting kids out of cars and onto their bikes.

Liz coordinated Bike to School Week for the first time last year and approached it as a leadership opportunity for her students. This came from the social studies curriculum in which senior elementary students are meant to implement a plan of action to address a community issue, which in this case is both health of individuals and safety. Her students made posters and gave presentations in other classes to promote Bike to School Week. Greeters from her class welcomed students who biked to school each day by helping lock them up and place a sticker on the Bike to School Week poster to show that they had biked to school. Liz says that the student leadership style of running Bike to School Week is important because “the older kids need to feel needed, wanted, and able to contribute”.

This year Liz hopes to have a temporary bike rack installed at the school so there will be more parking spaces for bikes. She also hopes to have more prizes donated from local businesses and maybe have bike tune-ups the week before Bike to School Week so everyone’s bike is ready to go. Liz’s advice to other schools? Get the students involved in organizing and running Bike to School Week so they feel needed and wanted, and take ownershili>of the event.

Stay tuned for more profiles over the coming weeks and follow the links to register for Bike to School Week 2016.

Registration for Metro Vancouver schools.

Registration for schools outside of Metro Vancouver.

Ernette Hutchings-Mason

The Myth of the Urban Revival?

The ascendance of cities has become something of an axiom recently: we’re told that everyone is moving to the city — it’s the place to live. But a recent article by Jed Kolko based on American census data suggests otherwise: not only are suburbs still growing faster than cities, but the kinds of demographic growth that cities are seeing is a bit unbalanced.

Jed crunched the numbers and found that cities are indeed growing: they’re growing whiter, richer and older. Not quite the bold new urban future we were promised. Read his fascinating article here.

Street Fight Webcast

Janette Sadik-Khan, former transportation commissioner of New York City, will be in Vancouver on March 22nd to talk about her new book Street Fight, which documents her efforts to transform the Big Apple into a walking- and bike-friendly City.

If you’re like me, and you a) would love to attend and b) totally spaced on buying a ticket (the event is sold out) you’re in luck: the event will be webcast live. Find out more and register here.

The Pedestrian Crossing Flag Debate Heats Up

The District of West Vancouver recently initiated a pilot Pedestrian Crossing Flag program at a crosswalk near a local elementary school. CBC’s The 180 took a look at the program and how it is being received by the neighborhood and, or course, the twitterverse.

Hoist The Black, Er, Orange Flag!

Over the past year or so, there has been a rapid rise in interest in pedestrian crossing flags. The video below takes the idea behind the flags to its very funny but logical conclusion, asking the question: just how visible is visible enough?

We here at HASTe are still ambivalent about this scheme, as it seems to put even more responsibility on pedestrians to “stay safe” while doing nothing to address issues like vehicle speed and distracted driving. Apparently we’re not the only ones!