The broad-based partnership program Operation Rudy, established to cut down bicycle theft on Granville Island, has had stunning results. The multi-faceted program has reduced bike thefts on the Island by 60% over the summer months, with an astounding 80% drop in the month of August alone.
Developed by BEST, CMHC – Granville Island, Project 529, Vancouver Police Department, and several Island businesses, Operation Rudy’s key strategies were to provide The Bicycle Valet, free and secure bicycle parking, seven days a week, free registration with Garage 529, improve cyclists’ security habits through information and loaner locks, apprehend bicycle thieves through the VPD Bait Bike program, position more racks in the open to deter thefts, and build awareness on bike theft and proper locking techniques.
The initiative’s successes include:
More than 10,000 bikes were parked with BEST’s The Bicycle Valet, which operated seven-days-a-week, June 11 through Labour Day.
1,400 bikes were registered with Project 529’s modern, easy, free bicycle registration service,Project 29/Garage, operating in conjunction with The Bicycle Valet.
More than 100 people per month borrowed top-of-the-line ABUS Bordo folding locks (free of charge) through the Loaner Lock program created by Project 529 and lock manufacturer ABUS. Granville Island businesses supporting the ongoing Loaner Lock program include: Cats Social House, Granville Island Brewing Taproom, Off the Tracks Café, A Bread Affair, False Creek Community Centre, and The Keg.
The VPD’s Bait Bike program on the Island resulted in six arrests.
64 new bicycle spaces were created in higher visibility spots outside the Public Market for safer bike parking.
The initiative also included educational signs posted on bike racks throughout the Island, reminding cyclists to lock their bikes properly.
“Granville Island reported a bike theft nearly every day in August of 2015, and this August experienced only one bike theft each week,” says J. Allard of Project 529. “We are thrilled with these results and feel that this represents a real sea change for bicycle security on Granville Island.”