Bicycles in American Highway Planning

The Critical Years of Policy-Making, 1969–1991


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SKU: 9780786494958 Categories: , , , ,

About the Book

The United States differs from other developed nations in the extent to which its national bicycle transportation policy relies on the use of unmodified roadways, with cyclists obeying the same traffic regulations as motor vehicles. This policy—known as “vehicular cycling”—evolved between 1969, when the “10-speed boom” saw a sharp increase in adult bicycling, and 1991, when the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials adopted an official policy that on-road bikeways were not desirable. This policy resulted from a growing realization by highway engineers and experienced club cyclists that they had parallel interests: the cyclists preferred to ride on highways, because most bikeways were not designed for high speeds and pack riding; and the highway engineers did not want to divert funding from roadways to construct bikeways.
Using contemporary magazine articles, government reports, and archival material from industry lobbying groups and national cycling organizations, this book tells the story of how America became a nation of bicyclists without bikeways.

About the Author(s)

Bruce D. Epperson is a retired attorney who has written technical works on urban transportation planning (including bicycles) for the Federal Highway Administration, the Transportation Research Board and the Institute of Transportation Engineers. He lives in Highland, New York.

Bibliographic Details

Bruce D. Epperson
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 248
Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2015
pISBN: 978-0-7864-9495-8
eISBN: 978-1-4766-1679-7
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Introduction 1
Abbreviations 19
Chapter 1. Historical Antecedents: American Traffic Planning, 1870–1945 25
Chapter 2. Historical Antecedents: European Bicycle Planning, 1890–1990 50
Chapter 3. Early American Bicycle Planning, 1965–1975 72
Chapter 4. The Dutch Challenge: ­Third-Stream Bicycle Planning, 1967–1974 96
Chapter 5. Backlash, 1973–1977 112
Chapter 6. From “Bike Advocate” to “Transport Professional,” 1977–1994 142
Chapter 7. Unexpected Consequences, Big and Small, 1970–1983 165
Conclusions 189
Chapter Notes 201
Bibliography 223
Index 233

Book Reviews & Awards

  • “This book will both delight and inform…superb analysis”—SAH Journal
  • “Enlightening”—The Journal of Transport History
  • “Very welcome study…a must read”—Transfers