You can call it a social network on wheels that’s going on in Passaic, New Jersey thanks to a new initiative called Passaic Pedal EA. In order to help various members of the community and ethnic groups integrate into the city in order to unite everyone into a community.
According to their Twitter account, Passaic Pedal EA is an “urban Bike collective for community building, social responsibility and progress.” Similar projects where bikes have been used to connect members of a community are seen in San Francisco all the way to Paris.
“We’re not just Latinos, Mexicans, Dominicans or Peruvians. We want to unite everyone who lives in Passaic, no matter what their race or language, in order to exchange ideas, meet new people, get to know the local landscape, and above all, to bring bike-lovers together,” said Ali Toxtli, one of the members who formed this project.
With the political climate regarding immigration becoming quite intense, initiatives like Passaic Pedal EA can help immigrants living in Passaic or even around the country participate with local citizens and ease transition and bridge a connection to the new culture they are assimilating into.
Also, the interaction between non-immigrants and immigrants would allow for an open gateway to communication. Initiatives organized by either people or government that require people of different backgrounds or lifestyles to communicate with one another could benefit in quelling any social issue that may exist.
For Julio Salcedo, a Peruvian man, the initiative allows him the chance to not allow practice back riding but connect and make new friends.
“It motivates you to ride a bike again. We meet new friends and we can go to the park and ride through the streets with them. There are incredible places to take pictures at. We have to discover our city,” said Rosa López, who describes how riding around the city has allowed her to see places that she didn’t imagine existed.
In-addition to the benefit of social networking, the initiative allows people to become more active by getting them out more. By getting out there you not only become more healthy, but you may expose yourself to things you did not once see.
Since the start of last month, participants in the Passaic Pedal.EA have been meeting every Thursday at 330 Passaic Street in front of the main building of city hall at7 p.m. There is no registration that needs to be filled, and all you need is a bike to ride around on.