NEW YORK (AP) A group of young immigrants in New York’s Central Park will have their first opportunity to ride motorcycles on the streets in a city where the city is struggling to attract more immigrants.
A committee of residents and park board members approved the move Wednesday to build the Pagans Motorcycles Club at the park.
The committee, which is composed of residents of the Central Park neighborhood and a park board member, decided on the proposal after years of debate and the death of a 26-year-old woman who died in a car crash in the neighborhood.
The board will be the first major group of immigrants to ride on the city’s streets.
In the past, immigrants have been allowed to ride bikes in Central Park but they are restricted to the park’s bike lanes and not allowed to leave the park, where they face harassment and abuse.
The city and community groups have tried to create a new group of riders who would bring the city back to its past but have faced opposition.
In a community meeting last week, a group of women said the women they spoke to were being bullied by some of the park board’s members, according to the New York Post.
The Pagans will be based in Queens.
It will have no affiliation with the Pagas, a Greek-based motorcycle club with more than 30,000 members in Greece.
The group will be funded by donations and sponsorships, said the park boards committee member, Elizabeth J. Chinn.
The park board has a history of creating diverse groups, including groups that support immigrant rights and work with youth in their communities, Chinn said.
The group will have an emphasis on diversity and inclusivity.