Cory Booker Joins Fledging Bike Collective for a Ride Around Newark

booker_bike.jpgNewark Mayor Cory Booker pedaled with the Brick City Bike Collective on its inaugural ride. Photo: Moiz Kapadia.

Via Mobilizing the Region, here's some more mayoral bike news, this time from across the Hudson. Newark's Brick City Bike Collective launched earlier this summer, bringing a new voice for safe streets to a city that sorely needs it. After just those first few months, they managed to woo Mayor Cory Booker to come along for their first organized ride. The Tri-State Transportation Campaign's Kyle Wiswall reports:

Since the middle of the last century, Newark has been an autocentric place that is hostile to cyclists. Wide roads like McCarter Highway bisect communities and encourage speeding, while broken glass and potholes increase the chances of a crash.  The Collective is working get more Newarkers out on bikes, make drivers more aware of bikers and encourage city planners to implement bike-friendly policies and infrastructure. So far, the group has 60 members.

At its inaugural ride, the Collective traveled up Beaver Street through Branch Brook Park, ending at Independence Park in the Ironbound.  Members got the unique opportunity to chat with their Mayor in an informal setting.

“Enjoying Newark on two wheels is a vision I share with many others, and Newark has the potential to be a truly green, bike-able city,” BCBC member Elizabeth Reynoso told TSTC staffer Zoe Baldwin during the ride. The Brick City Bike Collective taps into that, giving riders a voice and building a community that will encourage more and more people to get around the city by bike."

BCBC is putting on monthly rides and bike repair nights. They also have an event that sounds really cool planned for Sunday, August 23: A "biking audit" where participants will document the state of the streets so they can tell the city what to fix. Given their high-placed contacts, we expect to hear more from them soon.