Social Justice in the Street

Our attempt to create a separated bike lane on in front of our 2018 Cambridge PARK(ing) Day pop-up.

“How do claims for rights to mobility intersect with grievances pertaining to spatial justice in the city?”

They define mobility as “socially produced motion”, immediately connecting movement to justice and illuminating how social structures and design produce different patterns of movement. For example, residents of a neighborhood served only by a bus line that runs infrequently are less able to move freely, especially if they are low income. In this way, social policies change the ways people can and do move. When looking at the politics of mobility, Neste and Sénécal urge us to look at four elements of everyday movement:

How fast does a person or thing move?

What route does it take?

How does it feel?

When and how does it stop?

All of these elements are essential to address in creating a just transportation system. Slow speed is an important issue in public bus systems that has seen renewed focus in recent years. Dedicated bus lanes attempt to address the fact that multi-occupant vehicles are often forced into traffic with single-occupant vehicles, despite the fact that they carry an exponentially greater amount of people. In regards to biking, lack of safe routes has been a major issue. Many people are calling for point-to-point, continuous bike lanes to create sensible and safe routes for active transportation. However, you can expand this thinking beyond bikes and buses. All forms of transportation can be interrogated using all four of the questions.

Janette Sadik-Khan offers a planner’s perspective on transportation.
Streetfilms’ videos are available on YouTube and Vimeo.

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