Regulating Inclusion: Spatial Form, Social Process, and the Normalization of Cycling Practice in the USA

  • Stehlin J
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Abstract

Abstract In recent years, bicycle infrastructure has been emerged as a valued part of urban development policy in many American cities, and a process that depends on the normalization of cycling practice in three respects. First, the various ?less confrontational? mutations of Critical Mass have redefined the politics of cycling in cultural and consumerist terms. Second, this ?bike culture? is mediated through Internet networks that generate concepts of proper cycling practice. Third, both spatial models and standards of ?correct? ridership circulate through these networks, linking ?bike culture? to institutional networks of implementation. While positive from the standpoint of increased ridership, this may reinscribe the exclusions that are constitutive of the contemporary American city and may limit cycling?s egalitarian potential. In recent years, bicycle infrastructure has been emerged as a valued part of urban development policy in many American cities, and a process that depends on the normalization of cycling practice in three respects. First, the various ?less confrontational? mutations of Critical Mass have redefined the politics of cycling in cultural and consumerist terms. Second, this ?bike culture? is mediated through Internet networks that generate concepts of proper cycling practice. Third, both spatial models and standards of ?correct? ridership circulate through these networks, linking ?bike culture? to institutional networks of implementation. While positive from the standpoint of increased ridership, this may reinscribe the exclusions that are constitutive of the contemporary American city and may limit cycling?s egalitarian potential.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Critical mass
  • Cycling
  • Gentrification
  • Infrastructure
  • Neoliberalism
  • Subjectivity
  • Urban development

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Authors

  • John Stehlin

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