Call for help! Cycling research...?
I'm starting off on a paper for YAPSC, this time on transportation infrastructure. I've already started my research and I've found quite a bit of data, but I figured that asking here for some additional pointers might not be a bad idea. Besides, it's not totally off-topic -- Cycling is definitely getting a more-than-honorable mention in the "solutions" section of my work. :D
Again, I've already started on this -- I'm just looking to get as much hard data as possible. I'm not really looking for links to editorials, although they might supply me with some humorous quotes, so I'll take them anyway. Scientific studies, papers written by other people, books, and the like are what I'm looking for.
My paper is going to be written along the following lines:
Point: Many social problems today can be related to the way we have constructed our transporation infrastructure. Near-total dependence on the automobile has isolated Americans from their fellow man (or woman, as the case may be) in a multitude of ways. Freeways have not encouraged, but caused suburban sprawl, and the near-complete lack of public transportation in most American cities forces people to own a car for almost one sole purpose: Commuting to work.
Point: We are, as a society, incredibly unhealthy. Obesity, heart disease, asthma, and a horde of other problems are on the rise, with no end to the trend in sight. Doctors recommend more exercise and less stress, but this isn't feasable for someone who has to exhaust themselves to spend three hours dealing with traffic jams and smog.
Point: Many political problems today can be directly traced to our oil needs.
I plan on going into the history of why things are the way they are (Ike, national defense, oil lobbies, etc.) in addition to detailing the problems that American motorcar dependence has caused. The last few paragraphs will deal with possible suggestions on what we as individuals can do, both short- and long-term, to help alleviate these problems.
 Yet Another Political Science Class.
If you haven't already done so, try bicyclinglife.com
They have a heap of articles there, most of them editorials, but these do contain some statistics too.
Here are some good books and websites concerning sprawl (history, effects, costs, etc.). Not much about cycling, though.
- Asphalt Nation by Jane Holtz Kay
- Suburban Nation by Andres Duany
- Elephant in the Bedroom by Hart and Spivak
- Sprawl city
- Planetizen - use the search function at the top of the page; large database of articles about planning issues
- PreserveNet - tons of links
EcoCity Cleveland - lots of cycling links
I too am writing a paper on sprawl - the social inequities of suburban sprawl. Hope these sources help.
Best of luck!
You might be able to get some useful numbers and information from the DOT or DOE.
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