Author: Hirschberger, Erica
After more than two decades of cycling transportation planning, Vancouver’s first segregated bike lanes represent a new and perhaps temporary stability in cycling route design in the city’s dense downtown core. The 1988 Vancouver Comprehensive Bicycle Plan called for the integration of cyclists with arterial vehicle traffic via the research of John Forester (1987; 1994). However, the infrastructure for cyclists created since that time, including the city’s local street bikeway network and the new downtown segregated bike lanes, has deviated significantly from this strategy. From a social construction of technologies perspective, I argue that this shift required the recognition of a new relevant social group in the social construction of the city’s cycling infrastructure. The recognition of this group, the “near market” for cycling, helped produce the conditions necessary for more powerful relevant social groups to reconstruct the meaning of cycling routes in Vancouver to favour segregated designs.
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Thesis advisor: Druick, Zoe
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