A joint initiative aimed to put the brakes on bike thefts on Granville Island is set to switch into gear this Saturday, June 1.
The program, which includes a free bicycle valet and bike registration service, has helped slash bike thefts in the area by almost one-third since 2015, according to officials.
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While checking their bike in with the valet service, cyclists also have the opportunity to register their bikes with Project 529 for free.
Project 529 is a Vancouver-born initiative that now has more than 930,000 registered bikes worldwide. Since launching Project 529 in Vancouver four years ago, city-wide bike thefts have dropped 30% and on Granville Island, bike thefts have dropped from about three per day to about one per week, according to the Vancouver Police.
“Like all cities across Canada, we’re heading into our peak season for bicycle theft,” said VPD Const. Rob Brunt. “We want to continue to tackle bike thefts on Granville Island and show the world how much impact this program is having.”
A total of 56 bikes were stolen in Granville Island in 2017 – the most recent figures available – compared with 151 in 2015. More than 12,000 cyclists used the Granville Island valet service in 2018, marking a 350% increase since 2015, when just 2,620 people took advantage of the complimentary service.
“As more people turn to sustainable transportation options, Granville Island visitors are increasingly coming by bicycle,” said Granville Island planner Bethany Dobson. “The complimentary Bike Valet we sponsor each summer, and our partnerships with the VPD and Project 529, have been instrumental in decreasing bike theft and encouraging cycling on the Island.”
The Granville Island initiative (aka Project Rudy 3.0) includes:
- The free Bike Valet, sponsored by Granville Island, which is open every day from 10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., from June 1 to Sept. 2. It’s located in Ocean Artworks on Johnston Street, west of Ocean Construction;
- Free loaner bike locks which are available at The Granville Island Brewery, The Keg, A Bread Affair, and False Creek Community Centre.
- Bait bikes which will be placed by the Vancouver Police Department to discourage thieves.