The New Brunswick Ciclovía is held several times a year in New Brunswick, New Jersey, and while the event has proven successful, attendance by Rutgers University faculty, staff, and students has been lower than expected. To further understand why, and to develop strategies to increase attendance by Rutgers University faculty, staff, and students, the Alan M. Voorhees Transportation Center (VTC) undertook a study to develop strategies to increase attendance at and involvement in planning the Ciclovía. The study consisted of two surveys and two focus groups. VTC distributed online surveys to Rutgers University faculty, staff, and students who work or study on the New Brunswick, New Jersey campus. The objective was to understand the extent to which they have attended the New Brunswick Ciclovía, why those who have not attended have not done so, and what would make them want to attend future Ciclovías. Additionally, VTC conducted two focus groups with New Brunswick residents: one with only Hispanic participants and one with only Black participants. During the focus groups, all participants were asked about their familiarity with the Ciclovía, their reasons for attending or not attending, their perceptions on the outreach effort, and their opinions on the activities offered along the route. Using this information, the project team developed recommendations on changes to marketing strategies, outreach and information dissemination, event planning, and activity offerings to improve attendance at and involvement in the New Brunswick Ciclovía by the Rutgers-New Brunswick community and New Brunswick residents.

Recommendations to attract Rutgers students, faculty, and staff to the New Brunswick Ciclovía fall into three categories: 1) outreach and information dissemination, 2) activities, and 3) event management. Outreach and information dissemination should focus targeted advertisements to outlets that Rutgers faculty, staff, and students are likely to see, such as Rutgers official communications, social media, and emails and social media resources of partner organizations within Rutgers. Secondly, activities should include those that survey respondents and focus group participants expressed interest in, such as competitions and family-oriented activities. Rutgers student organizations should be involved whenever possible. Interested faculty, staff, and students should be involved in the planning and organization of the New Brunswick Ciclovía. Finally, the New Brunswick Ciclovía Advisory Committee should add route wayfinding to clarify where the route ends and where activities are located.

Read full report: Survey of Rutgers Community & New Brunswick Residents (2016)