Omar's blog

Sticky: Bike to School Week

Bike to School Week is a chance for Schools throughout BC to encourage and celebrate students and their families cycling to school. This year, HASTe BC and HUB are teaming up again to provide more resources and support to help schools coordinate their Bike to School Week efforts.

Register your school today to receive a free resource package and compete with schools across BC for sweet prizes!

Rollin' Down the Stairs Too Tired To Move

Participaction has released their 2016 Report Card on physical activity for children and youth, and once again, the news isn't great.

For the first time, the report writers looked at the connection between sleep and physical activity. Their conclusion seems counter-intuitive: our children's lack of physical activity may be making it difficult for them to get the amount of sleep they need. But the evidence supports their assertion, and is (along with the rest of the report card) definitely worth a read.

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!

I'm Just Going to Leave This Here

(click to embiggen)

Cars Vs. Bikes (Again)

Interesting piece on the CBC earlier this week, on the old "Cars vs. Bikes" canard. Could the whole conflict really be nothing more than a failure of the imagination? Definitely worth a listen:

A Culture of Fear

HASTe works in a field called Active and Safe Routes to School. We try to balance our efforts to keep kids safe on their daily journey, with encouragement to make that journey an active, and therefor healthy, fun and green, one. When something like this comes along, it's disappointing, because it tips the balance past the promotion of safety, and into the promotion of fear.

Find out more about this misguided new infographic after the break.

In less than fifty years, walking to school has gone from a normal, everyday occurrence, to a controversial act that is either courageous or questionable, depending on your perspective.

HASTe Goes off to College

HASTe staff were invited to teach a special topics course on active school travel at Langara College in Vancouver. This was an exciting opportunity, because although the longform of our name includes that catchall "SCHOOL", it's not often we get to work in a post-secondary environment.

The course was attended by students and faculty from the Applied Planning Program and focused on the benefits of active transportation and how it applies to planning for communities, campuses, and cities. Learn more about HASTe's approach to these topics after the break.

Of course, we were most interested in what students thought of the transportation situation at Langara, so we spent the afternoon in breakout groups discussing issues related to active travel to an

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