Graduation Year

2019

Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department

Environmental Analysis

Reader 1

Char Miller

Reader 2

Lance Neckar

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© 2018 Natalie S. Quek

Abstract

This thesis explores the process of integrating cycling infrastructure into transportation networks in major cities. It starts by contextualizing the process in Copenhagen, Denmark (often called the best bike city in the world) during its cycling movement in the mid-20th Century. The findings from Copenhagen show that cycling is both viewed as a legitimate and respected mode of transportation and that the city layout, density, and topography is conducive to cycling. In the United States, this thesis explores the federal policies that have been created in support of the Complete Streets movement and makes the case that Complete Streets generally yield many benefits. In the final section, this thesis contextualizes these studies with a case study of Seattle and explores the challenges that have been associated with implementing Seattle’s Bicycle Master Plan. Although the city has made some small-scale cycling infrastructure, the number of cyclists in the city remains low and the bike network remains disconnected. There has been tremendous citizen pushback against lanes for fear of increased traffic and gentrification, and Seattle’s layout and topography presents additional challenges. While the author is in support of bicycling and cycle networks, she believes it is important to consider the opposition to implementing this infrastructure so that we can be more deliberate, sensitive, and inclusive with creating cycle networks in the future. The author proposes that cycling infrastructure may need to be done in smaller pockets before a citywide network can be successfully developed.

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