Safe Routes Scoop

Walks and Bikes News Briefs

conditions. As of today, there are only three blocks of bicycle lanes in the entire city and none are of optimal width or offer connections.

 

The information gathered through the audit rides will help BCBC achieve another goal, drafting a bicycle plan that will help create a functional bicycle network throughout the city. The BCBC will prepare the plan in phases, with the first due to be completed by Spring 2010. One of the first issues to be identified will involve bicycle parking, because few options exist in the city. BCBC recognizes that bicycling for transportation can not happen if riders are unable to securely park bikes near their destinations.

 

Thus far, the BCBC has been very successful in garnering support from city leaders. Mayor Cory Booker accepted an invitation from the BCBC to ride with the group on its inaugural bike ride this summer. Also, East Ward Councilman Augusto Amador has expressed interest in making Newark a bicycle-friendly city. Amador’s support, along with that of the Ironbound Business Improvement District, was critical in the success of the BCBC’s Halloween Bicycle Scavenger Hunt, held in the Ironbound.

 

To keep its agenda moving along, the BCBC is sharing the message with city officials and community stakeholders alike that supporting bicycling and creating safe and viable

options for riders offers numerous benefits. As explained by BCBC member Zoe Baldwin, biking offers local residents a different understanding of their city and helps to improve the sense of community. A bikeable city increases options for affordable mobility for all residents and contributes to the economic and social revitalization of downtown areas.

 

When reliance on the car is reduced, urban areas can improve air quality, reduce CO2 emissions and encourage green living. In addition, when people can bike to their destinations, the need for off-street car parking can be reduced, thereby freeing up new space for commercial and residential uses. BCBC members also cite the health benefits of bicycling as it helps combat obesity, which is often prevalent in urban areas.

 

In little more than six months, the BCBC has risen to prominence in New Jersey bicycle and pedestrian advocacy. The group is eager to encourage more residents and commuters to get involved in making Newark a more bikeable city, so that riders can safely and successfully enjoy biking throughout this urban community and beyond.

 

For more information on the BCBC, access their website at: http://www.brickcitybikecollective.org/

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