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Bike theft on Granville Island reduced dramatically thanks to community efforts

From 120 bikes stolen in 2015 to fewer than 40 this year

Photo: Aimax17, – via the Wikimedia Commons.

The flip side to the popularity of Granville Island, a globally-renowned entertainment and tourism destination on the waters of Vancouver’s False Creek, is that such popularity isn’t lost on thieves, either—particularly bike thieves. Between May and September of 2015, for example, there were more than 120 reported incidents, making it a hotbed for bike theft on British Columbia’s Lower Mainland.

According to Metro News, however, that’s happily not the case in 2017.

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Thanks to the Granville Island Bicycle Culture and Security Program, joining the efforts of the City of Vancouver, the Vancouver Police Department, Project 529, Better Environmentally Sound Transportation, and Granville Island itself, instances of bike theft have been dramatically reduced this year. Through the program, cyclists are offered free, secure bike storage and valet service, seven days a week, during the busy months between June 26 and October 1. More than 11,000 cyclists reportedly made use of the service this summer, and in addition to that, 900 riders also registered their rides through Project 529’s anti-theft measures. As a result, theft, authorities say, was slashed by 70 per cent during what would be a Granville Island thief’s hottest months.

“The reduction in bicycle theft over the past two years, and the positive impact our efforts have had on the cycling community,” said Vancouver police constable Rob Brunt, “speak to the success of Granville Island’s program.” Bait bikes were another measure taken by police to reduce theft, along with signage to point out where bike parking facilities were located, and how cyclists can better lock up their rides.

In 2016, Metro reports, there were a little more than 60 stolen bikes compared with 2015’s 120, and fewer than 40 this year.