Join Colin Stein online as he explores the factors, individuals and movements that made Vancouver one of the best places to get around on two wheels.
In his forthcoming book “Vanbikes: Vancouver’s 30-Year Fight for Transportation Equity & Smart Growth Communities“, Stein chronicles the efforts of advocates inside and outside of local and regional government to make the bicycle a reasonable and supported mode of transportation. Stein brings into the spotlight the people, the cultural change, and the events that led to progressive transportation policies and infrastructure, as well as community cycling programs.
Stein describes the cast of characters among the early bicycle advocates. They included “oddballs handing out flyers on bike paths, the lone ‘greenies’ in city committee meetings, and the ‘table-pounding, eye-rolling’ activists blocking roads and bridges.” They were mostly anonymous, sometimes representatives of cycling groups and non-profit organizations, and almost always volunteers. He also tells the story of the government staff and elected officials who helped initiate these changes – allies of the environmental movement, of smart growth, and of community consultation.
Stein argues that the failure to deliver on new mobility in one era may have inadvertently opened the door to the active transportation of another and to an entirely new kind of social activism.