Last weekend I went to the Pemberton Music Festival, to work with the Bicycle Valet, which provided free, safe bicycle parking for people spending the day at the music festival. It was a great gig - I met a beautifully eclectic group of people, all passionate for providing friendly, convenient service for those who choose to use active transportation.
At Uproot, we pay homage to organizations that have paved the way for active transportation in BC's Lower Mainland. BEST (Better Environmentally Sound Transportation) has been at it since 1991 and they have been running the Bicycle Valet since 2006. Their mission is “to advance the transformation to sustainable transportation” and their vision is “vibrant, healthy communities built around walking, cycling, public transit and car shares.”
BEST launched Vancouver’s first do-it-yourself bike shop, Our Community Bikes on Main Street in 1993. I’ve visited this cycle hub several times to fix my bike, learn from others and enjoy a community of people passionate about their ride. BEST also coordinated Ride for the Environment events during National Environment Week, back when bicycling was still a fringe mode of transportation.
In 2001 BEST was awarded the first one million dollar grant from Vancity, used to develop and leverage funding for the Central Valley Greenway: a 20 km long regional urban trail from Vancouver to New Westminster, a trail I enjoy everyday on my commute across town.
More recently, BEST has focused on building viable social enterprises based on offering services to encourage and enable sustainable modes of transportation. These programs include STAR, Seniors Transportation Access Resources; Living Streets, a unique model of engaging recent immigrants to affect change to the pedestrian experience in their neighbourhood; Commuter Challenge, a free one week national initiative encouraging sustainable commuting; and The Bicycle Valet, free and safe bicycle parking for events.
At Uproot we are happy to support BEST and its stand for our health, community and planet!