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Title: Commonsensical understandings of everyday infrastructures for cycling in car dominated transport environments : rule-making, rule-breaking and social justification
Author: Nattrass, Michael Thomas
ISNI:       0000 0004 7965 0240
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2019
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Streets are places of transport and much else besides. This infrastructure is not, however, equally available to all. The streets of many cities in the wealthier parts of the world prioritise the movement of motorised traffic. This is a situation widely recognised by transport and urban planners. It also presents challenges if policymakers and others wish to grow the modal share of cycling. The kinds of infrastructure on streets that support high levels of cycling are well-known. The challenge in low-cycling transport environments, like that in most cities in the United Kingdom, is more about building support for these kinds of changes that alter how streets become infrastructure. This requires some understanding of how streets are being used for cycling and how all road users go about making sense of the practical ethics of this use. Empirically and conceptually this demands the development of tools that can attend to these everyday infrastructural practices. This is where ethnographies of infrastructure can help. Thinking ethnographically about cycling in car dominated transport environments involves paying explicit attention to: a) the ways those cycling use street spaces; and b) how all road users discursively go about explaining and justifying the appropriateness of this cycling and its relations to other road users. Using ride-alongs and interviews this thesis reports from a case study in Carlisle, United Kingdom - a city where people rarely cycle, if at all. There are three main conclusions. Firstly, even in car dominated transport environments, streets are spaces for sharing. Second, sharing is defined by rules (formal and informal), obligations and responsibilities. And thirdly, these rules have a commonsensical quality that follows a kind of infrastructural settlement about whose movement is prioritised. Such commonsensical understandings point to how policymakers could go about framing and justifying interventions that make streets more cycle friendly.
Supervisor: Latham, A. ; Hitchings, R. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available