Cyclists from Bike JC, Newark Community Cycling Center and Other Groups Statewide Unite for a 58-Mile Bicycle Ride to New Jersey’s Capital and a Rally on the Steps of the State House
NORTHERN NEW JERSEY & TRENTON, NJ – On September 26, Bike JC and the Newark Community Cycling Center, with the support of the Essex-Hudson Greenway Coalition and the East Coast Greenway Alliance, will lead Bike2Trenton, a mass cycling ride from the City of Newark to New Jersey’s capital of Trenton in support of the proposed Essex-Hudson Greenway.
For riders, there will be wheels down in Newark at 7 a.m., with multiple meeting points along the way for those who would like to join for part of the ride. The event concludes with a support rally on the steps of the New Jersey State House at 2 p.m.
Registration for this event is already underway at www.bike2trenton.org. Riders who register will be given a free t-shirt when they reach Trenton.
For cyclists, along with walkers, runners, hikers and others, the proposed Essex-Hudson Greenway would create nearly nine miles of linear park, connecting Montclair, Glen Ridge, Bloomfield, Belleville, Newark, Kearny, Secaucus, and Jersey City. The Essex-Hudson Greenway Coalition consists of the Open Space Institute (OSI), the New Jersey Bike & Walk Coalition (NJBWC) and the September 11th National Memorial Trail Alliance.
“On September 26, we need everyone to ride with us from Newark to Trenton to create a huge and active statement to the Governor and his staff that we want this project to get over the finish line,” said Patrick Conlon President of Bike JC. “This project needs our support now more than ever. The window is closing quickly for the State to join forces with the Essex-Hudson Greenway Coalition, and community-based groups like ours, to make this project a reality. If the sale is not finalized soon, then the railroad will have the right to sell off the land in pieces to developers. Once that happens, the possibility of the Greenway will be gone forever.”
From its start in Newark, Bike2Trenton will proceed south through Elizabeth, with a 7:30 a.m. meet-up at Warinanco Park at the East 3rd Avenue and Park Street entrance. The ride will then proceed to Bound Brook with a 9:30 a.m. meet-up at the Bound Brook Train Station (East Main Street, Bound Brook). The ride proceeds to Princeton with a meet-up at the Princeton Battle Monument, where riders are expected to arrive at 11:30 a.m. At 12 Noon, the ride will leave for Trenton and the William Trent House (Stockton Street, Trenton) for a projected arrival around 1 p.m. At 1:45 p.m., all the cyclists will ride together to the support rally on the steps of the State House at 225 State Street, Trenton. The peaceful rally, meant to be a show of support for this once-in-a-lifetime project, will feature speakers from various organizations and other VIPs supporting the Greenway, as well as a photo opportunity not to be missed.
“The Essex-Hudson Greenway would bring new opportunities for biking, walking and other recreation to one of the most populous regions of the state and an area that is traditionally forgotten when it comes to important transformational projects like this,” says Derrick Washington, Partner and Industry Specialist for the Newark Community Cycling Center. “We know that this project is larger than a single group, but there is strength in numbers. Bike2Trenton is an opportunity for bicycle enthusiasts across the state to join us in support of this project. With many voices we can truly help bring this project to fruition.”
For decades, local community leaders have been calling for the creation of a linear park on the former rail line property to create a safe, off-road trail to ride a bike and walk; ease traffic and offer active transportation options; create alternate commuting options; provide close-to-home, easy access to the outdoors; and bring much needed green space to urban communities.
In January 2020, OSI secured a time-limited purchase agreement with Norfolk Southern for the purchase of the former Boonton Line. Having already secured one extension to finalize the deal, time is running out to complete the purchase of the property. Under terms of the $65 million purchase agreement, the property transfer deadline is quickly approaching.
The Greenway spans an average of 100 feet or more in width throughout its route, and has the potential to reduce traffic congestion and help mitigate storm water issues that plague the region around the proposed linear park. In light of the September 1 storms that ravaged significant parts of New Jersey, the project represents a strong response the demands of state and federal elected officials that we address issues related to severe weather and climate change.
The project will also improve transportation options for residents, and allow for improved infrastructure connectivity for things like broadband and emergency response. Work has already begun on the in terms of planning, surveying, environmental assessments, and more.
For more information on Bike2Trenton, visit www.bike2trenton.org.
For more information on the Essex-Hudson Greenway Project, visit www.essexhudsongreenway.org.
About Bike JC
Bike JC is a citizen-based advocacy organization that aims to make Jersey City streets safe and welcoming for bicyclists, by promoting traffic law enforcement, bicycle lane creation, additional bicycle rack placement, education, and group rides. They are bicyclists, commuters, parents, BMX riders, business people, planners, and advocates for the full potential of Jersey City.
About Newark Community Cycling Center
The Newark Community Cycling Center (or NewarkCCC for short), is a division of the Newark Community Sports Center, a non-profit charitable organization dedicated to bringing unique sporting opportunities to the youth of Newark. The NewarkCCC is focused on using the bicycle as our tool of choice for bringing people together, finding common ground, and engaging in an active lifestyle, all while choosing a clean green form of transportation.
About Open Space Institute
Founded more than four decades ago, the Open Space Institute (OSI) has partnered in the protection of 2.3 million acres across eastern North America from Quebec to Florida. Over the past 16 years, OSI has worked to protect more than 21,000 acres of New Jersey farms, forests, and local parkland within the Highlands, the Pinelands, the Bayshore, and the heavily developed northeastern suburbs. In addition to the Essex Hudson Greenway, OSI’s current projects include efforts to help protect land and improve water quality in the Delaware River Basin and provide public access to the 1,200-acre Jersey City Reservoir in Boonton and Parsippany.
About New Jersey Bike & Walk Coalition
The New Jersey Bike & Walk Coalition (NJBWC) is the only statewide advocacy organization for bicyclists and pedestrians and provides a collective voice for everyone who believes that a more rideable and walkable New Jersey means a more livable, equitable, and sustainable New Jersey. NJBWC officially adopted the Essex Hudson Greenway Project in 2014 and has been a leader in building the advocacy campaign to make it a reality.
About the September 11th National Memorial Trail Alliance
The September 11th National Memorial Trail is a 1,300-mile system of trails and roadways that links the National September 11 Memorial and Museum in New York, the National 9/11 Pentagon Memorial in Arlington, Virginia, and the Flight 93 National Memorial in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. The route serves as a symbol of national resiliency and character and as a tribute to the fallen heroes who perished on September 11, 2001, and the many heroes who have committed themselves to the response for their country.