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Hackney: a cycling borough for whom?

Lam, Tiffany F. (2017) Hackney: a cycling borough for whom? Applied Mobilities. ISSN 2380-0127

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Identification Number: 10.1080/23800127.2017.1305151

Abstract

London’s internationally acclaimed “cycling revolution” was characterised by an unprecedented investment in cycling infrastructure, particularly cycle lanes manifesting as Cycle Superhighways or Quietways. Despite the hegemony of cycle lanes in London’s overarching cycling paradigm, the London Borough of Hackney has historically achieved the city’s highest rates of cycling and a long-standing reputation as a cycling borough in the absence of cycle lanes. Instead, Hackney has always opted for spatial interventions (such as filtered permeability, a borough-wide 20 mph speed restriction, and speed humps). This paper challenges Hackney’s reputation as a cycling borough and the alleged success of its spatial interventions. I argue that Hackney’s privileging of spatial fixes treats spatial interventions as apolitical and value-neutral, which ignores inequities entrenched in cycling. I also argue that Hackney has taken for granted its high rates of cycling, therefore effectively adopting a cycle-blind (akin to race-blind) and cycle mainstreaming (akin to gender mainstreaming) approach to cycling policy and interventions. Consequently, Hackney’s spatial interventions for cycling raise the profile of already-visible privileged cyclists (white, middle-class men – the middle-aged men in Lycra, or MAMILs, and the hipsters) for whom cycling is a lifestyle choice while further erasing “invisible cyclists” for whom cycling is an economic necessity. In order to be a relevant and sustainable mode of transportation for Hackney residents, equity and social justice must foreground the borough’s approach to cycling.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/loi/rapm20
Additional Information: © 2017 Taylor & Francis
Divisions: LSE Cities
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GV Recreation Leisure
H Social Sciences > HE Transportation and Communications
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Sets: Research centres and groups > LSE Cities (Cities Programme)
Date Deposited: 12 Apr 2017 10:14
Last Modified: 19 Nov 2019 13:01
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/73593

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