Bike Battles: A History of Sharing the American Road

Bike Battles: A History of Sharing the American Road

by James Longhurst

Paperback

$23.94 $24.95 Save 4% Current price is $23.94, Original price is $24.95. You Save 4%.
View All Available Formats & Editions
Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for guaranteed delivery by Tuesday, July 23

Overview

Americans have been riding bikes for more than a century now. So why are most American cities still so ill-prepared to handle cyclists? James Longhurst, a historian and avid cyclist, tackles that question by tracing the contentious debates between American bike riders, motorists, and pedestrians over the shared road.

Bike Battles explores the different ways that Americans have thought about the bicycle through popular songs, merit badge pamphlets, advertising, films, newspapers and sitcoms. Those associations shaped the actions of government and the courts when they intervened in bike policy through lawsuits, traffic control, road building, taxation, rationing, import tariffs, safety education and bike lanes from the 1870s to the 1970s.

Today, cycling in American urban centers remains a challenge as city planners, political pundits, and residents continue to argue over bike lanes, bike-share programs, law enforcement, sustainability, and public safety. Combining fascinating new research from a wide range of sources with a true passion for the topic, Longhurst shows us that these battles are nothing new; in fact they’re simply a continuation of the original battle over who is - and isn’t - welcome on our roads.

Watch the trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WNleJ0tDvqg

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780295742663
Publisher: University of Washington Press
Publication date: 07/05/2017
Pages: 306
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

James Longhurst is associate professor of history at the University of Wisconsin–La Crosse and author of Citizen Environmentalists.

Table of Contents

Preface

Introduction
1. Get Out of the Road!
2. The Right Sort of People
3. The Rules of the Road
4. Victory Bike Battles
5. 1950's Syndrome
6. Bikes Are Beautiful

Conclusion
Acknowledgments
Note on Citations and Sources
Abbreviations
Notes
Select Bibliography
Index

What People are Saying About This

Elly Blue

James Longhurst gives us a whole range of new ways to look at those moments of confusion, uncertainty, and rage experienced by anyone who has spent much time on roads shared by cars and bicycles. Bike Battles is academically rigorous but easy and fun to read. This is really my kind of nerdiness. I recommend it for anyone who feels stuck in polarized conversations about how we use our roads.

From the Publisher

"Bike Battles offers a significant contribution to both the growing literature on the history of American bicycling and the immense, well-established literature on urban policymaking. It is scholarship written by a sophisticated historian who draws on sources ranging from the traditional to the wonderfully unusual in order to shed light on the changing history of bicycling's place in American cities."—Christopher Wells, author of Car Country

"Bike Battles is masterly in its treatment of public policy toward the 'roads as commons,' and has given new depth to our understanding of cycling in America. I envy the light and easy style of the author."—Glen Norcliffe, author of Ride to Modernity

"Bike Battles is a thoroughly fascinating history of the competing claims and conflict between cyclists and motorists for space on our public roads. Spanning the fields of law, politics, public policy, and pop culture, Bike Battles is essential reading for everybody from cyclists, advocates, and lawyers, to urbanists, students, researchers, planners, and policy and decision-makers, and is destined to become a classic in the field."—Bob Mionske, author of Bicycling & the Law

"James Longhurst gives us a whole range of new ways to look at those moments of confusion, uncertainty, and rage experienced by anyone who has spent much time on roads shared by cars and bicycles. Bike Battles is academically rigorous but easy and fun to read. This is really my kind of nerdiness. I recommend it for anyone who feels stuck in polarized conversations about how we use our roads."—Elly Blue, author of Bikenomics

"James Longhurst documents the century-long story of a common, indeed ubiquitous device, the bicycle, which has never been satisfied to stay between the lines of modernist culture. First too fast, now too slow, once too elite, now too plebian, it has always been the square peg in the round hole of urban social order. The 'battle' in Bike Battles isn't between cars and bikes; it's between individuals and the infrastructure state."—Bruce Epperson, author of Bicycles in American Highway Planning

Bruce Epperson

James Longhurst documents the century-long story of a common, indeed ubiquitous device, the bicycle, which has never been satisfied to stay between the lines of modernist culture. First too fast, now too slow, once too elite, now too plebian, it has always been the square peg in the round hole of urban social order. The ‘battle’ in Bike Battles isn't between cars and bikes; it's between individuals and the infrastructure state.

Bob Mionske

Bike Battles is a thoroughly fascinating history of the competing claims and conflict between cyclists and motorists for space on our public roads. Spanning the fields of law, politics, public policy, and pop culture, Bike Battles is essential reading for everybody from cyclists, advocates, and lawyers, to urbanists, students, researchers, planners, and policy and decision-makers, and is destined to become a classic in the field.

Christopher Wells

Bike Battles offers a significant contribution to both the growing literature on the history of American bicycling and the immense, well-established literature on urban policymaking. It is scholarship written by a sophisticated historian who draws on sources ranging from the traditional to the wonderfully unusual in order to shed light on the changing history of bicycling’s place in American cities.

Glen Norcliffe

Bike Battles is masterly in its treatment of public policy toward the ‘roads as commons,’ and has given new depth to our understanding of cycling in America. I envy the light and easy style of the author.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews