The Social Act of Bicycling: Designing Bicycle Facilities to Foster Social Interaction
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While sociologists and designers in the last half century have acknowledged that the pedestrian experience is a critical part of the urban landscape, it is time to recognize that the bicyclist, like the pedestrian, is an active agent in shaping the character of the city. Current best practices suggest that public facilities design has an important impact on urban quality of life. This is as true for bicycle facilities as it is for pedestrian facilities. While the importance of social interaction has been acknowledged for pedestrians and used to improve pedestrian facilities, it has gone relatively unacknowledged for bicyclists, nor used to improve bicycle facility designs. An analysis of the mechanics of public, non-verbal social interaction is conducted leading to the conclusion that bicyclists too have social interactions. A series of design interventions are then proposed to illustrate how thoughtfully designed bicycle faculties can foster indirect social interaction in the build environment.