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Today, Raechel interviews Melody about her dissertation-turned-book, Bike Lanes are White Lanes: Bicycle Advocacy and Urban Planning. The book is a collection of three city-based case studies (Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Portland) that explore how bicycle events and infrastructure reflect neighborhood history, specifically focusing on race and class tensions.
More generally, Melody argues that the burgeoning popularity of urban bicycling across the U.S. is trailed by systemic issues of racism, classism, and displacement. As an urban cyclist herself, she highlights many problematic aspects of urban bicycling culture and its advocacy as well as positive examples of people trying earnestly to bring their community together through bicycling.
This interview comes on the heels of a public talk Melody did in Minneapolis about her book. Melody wrote a blog post framing the event. The public talk focused on the problem of public safety for people of color and how that intersects with bicycle advocacy projects. A Facebook event page spurred some dialogue surrounding the event.
The event was storified.
And live-streamed (now available on YouTube!).
You can support Melody by buying her book here (use checkout code 6as16 for 30% off). Many university libraries (and some public ones) have this book on the shelf. Please request it from your library (a few-minute process) if you would like to support this work in a less capitalism-based manner. 😀
W(omen)T(rans)F(emme) Power, raechel & mel xooxx
Intro song: “Top Floor” GRRRL PRTY
Mid song: “Hot Cheetos and Takis” YN Rich Kids
Outro: “My Bike” YN Rich Kids