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Fighting TrafficThe Dawn of the Motor Age in the American City$
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Peter D. Norton

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780262141000

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262141000.001.0001

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Whose Street? Joyriders versus Jaywalkers

Whose Street? Joyriders versus Jaywalkers

(p.65) 3 Whose Street? Joyriders versus Jaywalkers
Fighting Traffic

Peter D. Norton

The MIT Press

This chapter discusses the battle for safety on the streets, and the eventual mobilization of those promoting a new social construction of the street for the motor age. The chapter looks at pedestrian rights as well as motorist rights. The most restrictive pedestrians’ rights was that all travelers had equal rights on the highway, whereas the motorists claim on the street was very difficult to ascertain. Other aspects that were taken into consideration with regards to safety was the discovery and reinvention of jaywalking and the notion of jay drivers. The rest of the chapter discusses the battles that would ensue over the issue of who should be on the street, motorists or pedestrians, and how this war helped in further developing proper safety controls and regulations.

Keywords:   motor age, motorist rights, pedestrian rights, equal rights on the highway, jaywalking, jay drivers

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