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Fighting Traffic – The Dawn of the Motor Age in the American City - MIT Press Scholarship Online
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Fighting Traffic: The Dawn of the Motor Age in the American City

Peter D. Norton


Before the advent of the automobile, users of city streets were diverse and included children at play and pedestrians at large. By 1930, most streets were primarily a motor thoroughfares where children did not belong and where pedestrians were condemned as “jaywalkers.” This book argues that to accommodate automobiles, the American city required not only a physical change but also a social one: before the city could be reconstructed for the sake of motorists, its streets had to be socially reconstructed as places where motorists belonged. It was not an evolution, the book states, but a bloody ... More

Keywords: automobile, city streets, children at play, pedestrians, motor thoroughfares, jaywalkers, American city, motorists, anti-automobile campaign, road hogs

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2008 Print ISBN-13: 9780262141000
Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013 DOI:10.7551/mitpress/9780262141000.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Peter D. Norton, author