Bicycle theft is one of the many crimes the Oceanside RCMP deal with on a regular basis.
And it’s a concern for many cycling enthusiasts in the Parksville Qualicum Beach Area. Among them is Parksville councillor and Regional District of Nanaimo director Adam Fras, an avid cyclist.
Fras now wants a secure bicycle storage to be set up at Oceanside Place and Ravensong Aquatic Centre. He presented a notice of motion at the RDN’s Oceanside Services Committee meeting on June 27, directing staff to provide a report on a variety of secure bicycle storage options with related costing for potential installation at both locations. It was unanimously endorsed by the committee.
Fras said bike theft was hot topic during Bike Week celebrations held at Ravensong and at Springwood.
“If you want to commute, if you want to go to any restaurants, you want to go swimming, if you want to do anything, there’s nowhere to put your bike and know that it’s going to be there when you come back as well as all the accessories.”
Fras pointed out other communities like Victoria that have started a program that will provide a safe place for bicycles where users can also leave lights, helmets and panniers securely attached.
“I think you would see more people commuting by bike and this is a starting point of it,” said Fras. “So I think Ravensong particularly, you’d have the people that like to recreate, ride their bike and can go for a swim then wheel their bike home at the end of the day.”
Parksville director Ed Mayne said it’s a timely motion as they’re seeing a high number of bicycles being stolen in the region.
“It just increased dramatically over the last few years,” said Mayne, who pointed out that even with the bikes secured with chains and other anti-theft devices, the many accessories and stuff attached remain insecure and are easy targets by thieves.
“I’d like to find out at least what it’s going to cost, how we would do it and if we can do it and so on,” said Mayne. “Let’s just get a quick report from staff in and hear what they’ve got to say. And let’s narrow it down to those two areas for now so that it can almost be like a test.”
OSC chair Brian Wiese said he supports the motion as he also owns a couple of bicycles.
“Everytime you go somewhere director Fras you’re chaining your wheels, your frame and you’re taking your seat with you,” Wiese said. “You have no choice.”