On Sunday, April 24, 2016, New Brunswick will hold the first of four Ciclovía events this year. The New Brunswick Ciclovía opens the city’s streets to pedestrian and bicycle traffic to encourage active modes of transportation, community engagement, and healthy living. Pedestrians will be free to run, bike, walk, skate, dance, or amble the Ciclovía route between 11:00 AM and 4:00 PM. Aside from exploring the route, participants can take advantage of many free activity stations, including dance lessons, a skateboard park, basketball, and art.
Ciclovía, which translates as “cycle-way” in Spanish, started as a temporary closure of streets in Bogota, Colombia in 1974 in order to increase physical activity, build community engagement, promote public spaces, and encourage active transportation. The event has been hugely successful: Bogotá now closes 73 miles of streets every Sunday and public holiday to create “street parks.” The concept has spread worldwide, with at least 100 cities implementing a Ciclovía or other similar event (such as Summer Streets or Open Streets), including New Brunswick.
New Brunswick first opened its streets to Ciclovía in October 2013, attracting approximately 4,000 people to a combination of active transportation and outdoor events. Since then, New Brunswick Ciclovía has been held two to four times each year. Past Ciclovías have included a free rock climbing wall, street basketball, a bouncy castle, Zumba and yoga classes, and live music.
New Brunswick Ciclovía is a three mile car-free route that traverses New Brunswick via Joyce Kilmer Avenue, Bayard Street, George Street, Hamilton Street, and College Avenue. Participants can stroll down these normally busy streets and enjoy the shops and restaurants without cars. The Ciclovía will also host a variety of free community events along the route, including a free Zumba class at the Center for Latino Arts and Culture at Rutgers University. Attendees can walk, bike, take the train, or park at the Robert Wood Johnson’s Wellness Center garage.
Ciclovía is run by by Johnson + Johnson, New Brunswick Tomorrow, the City of New Brunswick, and Rutgers University.