NJAIM attended eight events during the first two weeks of outreach activities. Ambassadors attended five on-street outreach events (three in New Brunswick and two in Edison), two event outreach activities, and one governmental outreach and technical assistance event. Additionally, ambassadors completed Traffic Skills 101, which was taught by the New Jersey Bike & Walk Coalition. Below is a list of each activity and a brief description of the event.
1. New Brunswick Train Station, New Brunswick
NJAIM engaged as many people as possible at the busy New Brunswick Train Station until outreach was cut short due to thunderstorms in the area.
2. Suydam Street and French Street, New Brunswick
Ambassadors distributed educational literature in both English and Spanish to approximately 100 people at this location. They also stopped by Kim’s Bike Shop on French Street to spread the word about NJAIM and provide bicycle safety literature for distribution to customers.
3. Suydam Street and Livingston Avenue, New Brunswick
NJAIM educated approximately 80 people at this intersection, including both English- and Spanish-speakers.
4. Edison Train Station, Edison
Ambassadors reached roughly 175 people while performing outreach at the Edison Train Station. While there were few cyclists at this location, there were many pedestrians that were interested in the safety pamphlets.
5. Menlo Park Mall, Edison
NJAIM took a new approach to on-street outreach by stationing themselves at the Menlo Park Mall. They reached 100 people at this event and encountered more children there than during previous outreach activities, many of whom were very interested in the safety pamphlets.
Watchung Elementary School Bike Rodeo, Middlesex (May 22nd)
NJAIM’s first outreach activity as a group was assisting with the Watchung Elementary School Bike Rodeo, conducted by Keep Middlesex Moving (KMM) Transportation Management Association (TMA). Ambassadors and other volunteers assisted 2nd and 3rd graders as they moved through the seven different stations, including helmet fitting, safety skills, and a snail race. A total of 36 children participated in the Bike Rodeo. The event focused on creating a general interest in bicycling but also addressed safety skills, such as helmet fitting, stopping at intersections, and proper braking.
New Brunswick Bike Exchange Open House (May 30th)
NJAIM attended the New Brunswick Bike Exchange’s open house at their warehouse space at the Puerto Rican Action Board. Volunteers at the Bike Exchange collect underused bikes to repair and resell at affordable prices to promote a healthy, active lifestyle. While at this event, ambassadors interacted with attendees, distributed educational literature, and raised awareness of the New Jersey Ambassadors in Motion program. For more information on the New Brunswick Bike Exchange, please visit their website.
Governmental Outreach and Technical Assistance
Walkability Audit, Elizabeth (May 23rd)
NJAIM served as subject matter experts at a walkability audit in Elizabeth. This event was a joint effort by the YMCA of Eastern Union County, the Alan M. Voorhees Transportation Center, New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT), and Michael Baker Jr., Inc. Six major transportation corridors in Elizabeth were examined and evaluated based on comfort, safety, sidewalk conditions, ADA compliance, existence of crosswalks, presence of pedestrian signals at intersections, width of roads, vehicle speeds, and turning habits of drivers. Participants were split into three teams, each of which evaluated two corridors. The session concluded with a discussion of each segement and recommendations for improvement. Ambassador Andrew Bomberger presented the findings of his team’s assessment, which can be seen in the image on the right.
Stay tuned for more bi-weekly updates as NJAIM continues to conduct outreach across the state. Throughout the next two weeks, ambassadors will attend events in Woodbridge, Elizabeth, Newark, and Hamilton.