Bike valet returns five days-a-week

May 16, 2024

After a successful pilot last summer, the Bike Valet program is returning to downtown Kelowna on an annual basis for longer hours and more days. From May 18 until Sept. 2, residents and visitors can safely and conveniently park their bikes for free between the hours of 9 a.m. and 9 p.m.

The program will run Thursday through Monday at the same location as last year, the intersection of Bernard Avenue and Mill Street.  

“Delivering on Council Priorities on Crime and Safety and Transportation, the Bike Valet has become an effective response to residents’ bike safety concerns while also offering a convenient amenity in our downtown that encourages sustainable and active transportation,” said Mayor Tom Dyas. “I hope residents and visitors are excited to be able come downtown to shop, connect, and eat out, knowing that their bike is safely secured as this innovative program returns and expands even further this summer.” 

The pilot initiative last summer was driven by RCMP data indicating an increase in bike theft in 2022. The Bike Valet is one of the programs the City implemented to create a more secure environment for those who bike and scoot, including the Loan-a-Lock program which is also available at Parkinson Recreation Centre, and the new bikeep smart racks that can be found around Kelowna. These programs also align with the City’s Transportation’s Master Plan, which aims to connect people with places, support sustainable modes, and quadruple trips by bike by 2040.  

“The success of the program in 2023 was measured by the number of users, survey feedback and a significant decrease in bike theft downtown,” said Broc Tracey, Community Safety Advisor. “We will be collecting feedback from users of the valet throughout the summer so we can continue to adapt and improve the service on an annual basis.”  

This year, Bike Valet staff will be available to register bikes with Project 529, a tool offered by Garage 529 intended to assist law enforcement with identifying and recovering stolen bikes. Users of the Bike Valet are invited to fill out a survey after using the service and can be entered to win a $500 gift card at a local bike store.    

Learn more about bike parking across the city by visiting kelowna.ca/bikeparking.