Last Saturday was the second Ciclovia of the year for New Brunswick, NJ! Between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., many downtown streets were opened to walkers and cyclists as car traffic was re-routed. As the organizers described:
During Ciclovia, the streets become temporarily car-free for 5 hours for families to run, walk, skate, ride bikes, enjoy active events along the route, and explore the city streets.
The event was part of the global Ciclovia movement, which has seen towns and cities across the world set aside days when non-motorized transportation takes priority. In Princeton, we held our own Ciclovia on May 4 this year (which unfortunately clashed with the first New Brunswick Ciclovia of the year...oops!)
The event drew many people from New Brunswick neighborhoods out into the streets. There was participation from all ages and a really great turnout from all sections of the community. There was a report in NJ.com earlier today with lots more nice photos and interviews with the organizers. The route was an impressive 3.2 miles of downtown and neighborhood streets. While it was amazing to walk on George Street with no traffic, there were maybe more participants in the neighborhoods, where kids just went right outside and started playing soccer or riding their trikes right in the street.
The organization was really impressive. I had wondered how the organizers could close down so much of the downtown in a busy city like New Brunswick, but I found that the disruption was reduced by having 'Ciclovia Crossings' (like that pictured above) where police and volunteers would regularly allow cars to pass.
By luck I bumped into Karen Jenkins of the New Jersey Bike & Walk Coalition, who was involved in setting up the New Brunswick Ciclovia. She encouraged us to come to their next Ciclovia later this year, which will be happening on October 12. I think it's well worth making the trip, because the atmosphere was really great. It was great for one day for bicycles and people traffic to take over a busy city! If you can't make it to New Brunswick, don't forget to check out our Princeton Ciclovia next year! You can see some photos of our first Ciclovia at our Facebook page by clicking here!