NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—The city government has been working for months to develop a plan that would close several miles of streets to auto traffic for five hours this October, and open them to cyclists, walkers, skaters, and the general public.

Yesterday, the city government posted a photograph on its Facebook page taken at a “Ciclovia” committee meeting, where stakeholders heard from Ben McRoberts of Transportation Alternatives.  That group, a non-profit, helped convince New York City to close Park Avenue to auto traffic on three consecutive Saturdays every summer.

New Brunswick’s first-ever Ciclovia is currently slated for Saturday October 6 from 10am to 3pm.  The program is aimed at promoting public health and physical activity, as well as a sense of community for those who participate.

Ciclovia, Spanish for ‘bike path,’ originated in Colombia, where cities like Bogotá close off over 70 miles of public roads every Sunday.

In Bogotá, stages are set up in city parks that offer free aerobics and yoga classes, as well as musical performances for all ages.

The idea of Ciclovia has since spread worldwide, with cities like Paris, Ottowa, Melbourne, Portland, Chicago, and many others setting up similar bike routes.