The #MeToo Movement And Street Infrastructure

This article is about Seattle, but we can substitute: Asbury Park is working to “advance its most prominent public asset — our streets — toward a bold vision for inclusivity across gender, race, ability and class by making it safe, efficient, and intuitive for all modes of transportation to access…” every part of the city. Walking and biking offer a barometer — and a proving ground — for women’s belonging in public space.”

It’s time Seattle planners listen to women who walk and bike

by Claire Martini November 12, 2018

Siblings Aly and John Gagnon ride LimeBike using bikes near Pioneer Square in Seattle, Washington on Tuesday, August 8, 2017.
(Matt M. McKnight/Crosscut)

The #MeToo movement enables women to speak out about injustices faced behind closed doors. But injustice can also hide in plain sight, stemming from something as basic as the way streets are built.

Safety is paramount. While planners focus on delivering miles of bike lanes and sidewalks, women’s calculus is more complex: “Women and girls have to account for threats and realities of gender-based violence in public—on public transportation, in schools, in workplaces, in parks, on streets,” writes urbanist Tiffany Lam. Women, trans, femme, non-binary cyclists and particularly people of color experience racial and gender discrimination while biking (according to a study in Portland),while shouldering concerns about parenting, appearance, personal safety and harassment. Recognizing that “human infrastructure” supports would-be cyclists, many communities organize rides, skill workshops and education programs; we need leaders in access and mobility at every level of our city, from living rooms and classrooms to City Hall.

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