Above: Bike valet at a community event on Granville Island. Photo: Modo
City of North Vancouver council voted to take concrete steps to ensure people who come to local events have access to bike valet service.
The city plans to do so by encouraging such services but also amending policies to make bike valets available during events. In January this year, Councillor Tony Valente brought forward a motion to explore such a service in the city. This month, the staff brought forward some practical ideas that could get organisers to provide bike valet service.
According to a report presented to the council on April 1, staff will actively seek partnerships with local businesses who may be interested in sponsoring bike valet services at events in the City.
Transportation planning staff also plans to support and encourage the provision of bike valet services through some policy changes the city hopes to implement before summer.
As of now, event organisers who apply for permits are asked about estimated number of attendees, details on zero waste plan, but the city doesn’t make any request on transportation. That would change now.
The city will also amend its event application form to require the applicant to describe their approach to encouraging sustainable modes of transportation in order to encourage bike valet services.
The city also plans to use street permits to help event organisers in providing bike valet when space is constrained.
Staff also plans to update the Shipyards and Foot of Lonsdale Events Policy and its parks and open spaces event policy to require promotion of active transportation modes, as well include guidelines that will allow applicants to give detailed information about bike valet services.
The city is also open to working with organisers to identify funding and partnership opportunities that will improve the financial viability of the bike valet service.
The City of North Vancouver hosted 46 regional events at its facilities and public spaces last year, and staff believes the predictable strain those events placed on transportation would be eased by alternative options such as bike valet service.
City staff, however, acknowledge that space is often limited and it would direct event organisers to public spaces such as street right of way or City-owned sites that may be suitable for hosting a bike valet.
When space at Shipyards Night Market is very limited, nearby Cates Deck may serve as an adequate location for bike valet services with proper temporary signage to direct cyclists.
At present, no municipalities in Metro Vancouver require bike valet services at events, regardless of event size. However, some encourage bike valets in various ways through policy or partnerships.
The City of Vancouver encourages the use of bike valet services, while the City of Richmond operates a bike valet service called “Wheel Watch” with local volunteers.
If the City is successful in encouraging more bike valet services, it may explore making bike valet service mandatory as well as explore the possibility of developing a municipally-operated bike valet service.
Councillor Tony Valente lauded the staff and said the service will also benefit families leaving strollers or anyone using any people powered device.