Great Reframing

When the private motorcar entered American cities in the early 1900s, its speed was incompatible with traditional street use. The resulting carnage led to a backlash against motorists and tight regulation of speed. The motoring industry and motor clubs recognized that they needed to redefine the use of the street in order for their vehicles to be useful in cities.

Through political wrangling and propaganda, our streets were reframed as corridors for throughput of cars. All other users were to stay out of the way. Safety was dissociated from speed and behavior, and the roads themselves were presumed dangerous for anyone other than motorists.

Published by

Keri Caffrey

Co-founder, CyclingSavvy Executive Director, American Bicycling Education Association Through two decades of bicycling, I observed many close calls and conflicts as an individual transportation cyclist as well as a recreational group rider. Studying the behavior of both cyclists and motorists, I became convinced that the greatest challenge facing American bicycling is lack of education, coupled with the destructive belief system Americans have developed about our roads. It has become my mission to correct this problem and empower individual bicyclists to ride with the confidence and skills to reach any destination by bike. I believe we can transform our traffic culture, through education and social marketing, into one which recognizes that roads are for all people, not just the ones driving cars.