October 10, 2016

Loaner Locks and Bait Bikes

In August 2015, nearly a bike a day was reported stolen on Vancouver's Granville Island. Thanks to Operation Rudy, however, August 2016 saw only a theft a week. 

A collaboration between Granville Island, Project 529, the City of Vancouver, the Vancouver Police Department, Better Environmentally Sound Transportation, and several Island businesses, Operation Rudy is "a multi-spoked approach that addresses easy bicycle storage and registration, cyclists’ security habits, theft deterrence, and physical site design."

Given the success of the initiative, other jurisdictions may want to consider implementing some of its components. The program 
  • offers bicycle valet service free of charge seven days a week (at least during the summer months);
  • encourages bike registration with 529 Garage;
  • makes loaner locks available to cyclists willing to leave a photo ID at one of the participating businesses;
  • uses bike rack signage to educate riders about proper locking technique;
  • employs bait bikes to catch thieves (six arrests this summer!); and
  • prompted the installation of bike parking structures in high-visibility (and thus safer) areas.
Heartened by this summer's decrease in Granville Island thefts, Vancouver officials are already hoping to take Operation Rudy to Olympic Village, another of the city's bike theft hotspots.

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