EAST ORANGE, NJ — East Orange City Council 5th Ward members Alicia Holman and Mustafa Brent joined forces with the owners of the Urban Cyclery Shop bicycle store on Central Avenue, East Orange and the Historical Society of East Orange to organize the All Ward Tour on Saturday, June 30.
The All Ward Tour began and ended at Elmwood Park in the 3rd Ward. In between, cyclists, including Mayor Ted Green, Orange-Maplewood NAACP President Tom Puryear, Geoffrey Burbage of the HSEO, members of the East Orange Police Division bike patrol, the East Orange Fire Division and others rode 10 miles across the city, stopping at historical sites along the route.
“We’re doing a citywide all-ward bike tour across the city. We’re going to be stopping by or riding past historical sites. We’re also going by the development that we’re having today and just bringing the city together, and just going through the wards and having a good community day,” said Holman on Saturday, June 30. “We have our health department out here doing screenings in the corner, and we also have a collaborative in our police force today. We have officers here from Fairfield, Bloomfield, Irvington, Verona; we’re all joining forces today.”
Although Holman is no longer chairwoman of the council’s Public Safety Committee, she said public safety will always be near and dear to her.
“Our EOPD has a bicycle unit that patrols the parks, and what have you, so it’s okay every day,” Holman said. “It’s all about being community partnership and having a community force in the police department. We have rest stops going across the entire city. We’re starting off in the 3rd, going to the 4th, to the 5th, to the 1st, coming through the 2nd, then back to the 3rd.”
Burbage said the All Ward Tour was also about promoting the city’s rich history by revisiting historic sites that people normally walk or ride by without recognizing their significance. He also said it was a healthy activity.
“The course is 10 miles. We start at 10 a.m., we figure it’s going to be about two hours, with all the stops that we have along the way. Mom is going to be out on the site along the tour, waving to us and encouraging us along when we come across Arlington Avenue to Hoffman Boulevard, in between Rutledge and Springdale Avenue, where the oldest house in the city is located.”
The East Orange City Council agreed the All Ward Bike Tour was all about making the city one, in line with the mayor’s mantra of “one city one community with one goal that equals progress.”
“I am very grateful to be here and I thank Councilwoman Holman, Councilman Brent and our bike shop here in the city of East Orange and the Historic Society for making this possible,” said Green on Saturday, June 30. “This is a good thing for the city. It’s a beautiful day. I was excited about it. I know everybody here was excited about it, so we’re going to have a great time today. We have a wonderful city and one thing, we’re kind of driving in the city and our charge in the city is one city one community. We have one goal that’s progress and this is part of the progress, so I’m happy to be here today.”
Ozzie Hansen, the owner of the Urban Cyclery Shop, said he was glad so many came out for a ride in the city.
“it was an idea of mine. I modeled it after the Jersey City Ward Tour and I wanted to duplicate that here in the city of East Orange and I thought we had the ability to do so,” he said Saturday, June 30. “So I approached Councilwoman Holman and she made it happen.”