Download Bike Battles: A History of Sharing the American Road by James Longhurst PDF

By James Longhurst

ISBN-10: 0295994681

ISBN-13: 9780295994680

Americans were driving motorcycles for greater than a century now. So why are such a lot American towns nonetheless so ill-prepared to address cyclists? James Longhurst, a historian and avid bike owner, tackles that question through tracing the contentious debates among American motorbike riders, motorists, and pedestrians over the shared road.

Bike Battles explores the various ways in which americans have considered the bicycle via well known songs, advantage badge pamphlets, ads, movies, newspapers and sitcoms. these institutions formed the activities of presidency and the courts after they intervened in motorbike coverage via court cases, site visitors regulate, street construction, taxation, rationing, import price lists, safeguard schooling and motorbike lanes from the 1870s to the 1970s.

Today, biking in American city facilities is still a problem as urban planners, political pundits, and citizens proceed to argue over motorbike lanes, bike-share courses, legislations enforcement, sustainability, and public safeguard. Combining interesting new learn from quite a lot of assets with a real ardour for the subject, Longhurst indicates us that those battles are not anything new; actually they are easily a continuation of the unique conflict over who is―and isn't―welcome on our roads.

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Extra resources for Bike Battles: A History of Sharing the American Road

Sample text

The draconian sweep of this action was tempered only by the fact that there were few bicycles in the state at the time. North Carolina passed a state law in 1885 allowing some turnpike operators to effectively ban bicycles from their privately owned roads, and a similar prohibition was in effect on a turnpike near Hannibal, Missouri. 24 It took until 1884 for lobbying efforts, the increasing popularity of cycling, and legal decisions to overturn most of these prohibitions, and it was not until the end of the decade that a New York statute ended the ban on bicycles in Central Park.

The Battle over the Public Roads in America, 1870–1900 T here’s a lot of history in twenty-four silent seconds. In jerky black and white, a parade of cyclists rolls slowly down a treelined New York City street in a stately procession, their upright posture and dazzling bicycle-club uniforms drawing a surging crowd of onlookers. The mostly male bicyclists are showing off their status, health, and wealth through public spectacle; their clothes and demeanor reflect the origin of cycling as high-status recreation.

The physical form further confused matters: a single rider sat astride a bicycle much as a rider rode a horse, but a horse wasn’t a vehicle, while a bicycle was. Even though the horse and the bike could both carry people and things, a horse was not a carriage, but a bike might be. Idiom made things worse: A horse-drawn carriage was operated by a driver, but both horses and bicycles had riders, implying that a bicycle wasn’t like other carriages. And walking and cycling were both Get out of the Road!

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