Omar's blog

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.

School Travel Champion Profile: Luciana Moraes

by Kristi Hendricks

Former City of Surrey Transportation Planner Luci Moraes knows that not only does it generally take the same length of time to walk or drive to schools, but actively commuting to school results in children arriving at school alert and happy to have spent some quality time with their parents. With this knowledge, she was able to take a proactive approach to her planning work, implementing plans which encourage active transportation, such as participating in school travel planning.

Read more about Luci and the City of Surrey's work promoting active school travel after the break.

As a part of the Safe and Active Schools program, Moraes was able to identify potential improvements for infrastructure upgrades to increase the safety and comfort of active travel routes.

Happy Bike to School Week!

That's a wrap folks: Spring Bike to School Week 2013 is officially over. Please click on the button below to submit your school's participation results. Your numbers help us build the case for supporting cycling to school in your community, and qualify your school and riders for a host of great prizes!

If your school missed Bike to School Week, you can still hold your own event using our online resources.

2013 Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth

Active Healthy Kids Canada is a national organizations with a pretty clear mission (hint: its in their name). Every year they put out a Report Card that provides a comprehensive assessment of the current state of physical activity among Canadian children and youth.

This year's Report, entitled "Are We Driving Our Kids To Unhealthy Habits?" has a strong focus on active transportation. Active Healthy Kids Canada gives the country a D (down from a D+ last year) on the current state of active transportation activity for kids, but emphasizes that it is a key area in which quick gains can be made and long term impacts realized.

Learn more about this year's report after the break.

Like past reports, the 2013 version provides an excellent overview of the current state of physical activity for Canadian children at all levels.

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