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#1 2018-02-20 16:13:58

Registered: 2008-06-03
Posts: 46

Cyclists were first advocates for better roads--late-1800s

Recently I visited the Henry Ford Museum near Detroit, Michigan, saw an interesting display with this verbiage, accompanied by a picture of a very busy-looking road in godawful condition, unpaved, muddy, rutted:

Avid bicylists were the earliest and most vocal advocates for better roads.  Their lobbying efforts became a full-fledged movement and led to the creation in 1894 of the first federal roads agency.  As automobiles gained popularity, motorists took up the "good roads" battle cry. 

We are still at it, aren't we.


#2 2018-02-21 00:53:47

From: Austin, TX
Registered: 2008-05-26
Posts: 1,315

Re: Cyclists were first advocates for better roads--late-1800s

chavela wrote:

We are still at it, aren't we.

Yeah, the more things change...

In other ways, I'm surprised at how much things have changed.  My street here in Austin, Stafford St. (aka Cedar Ave.), wasn't paved until the mid-1960s.  The city sent my neighbor a bill for it at the time, which I recently found in his papers after he passed.  He also said that the lot my house sits on now, as well as another lot on the same street had cattle on it when he built his home in 1960.

I remember reading that after the first pedestrian death in NYC, the New York Times said something like, "This is unfortunate and let's hope it's the last time something like this happens."  Boy were they wrong on that score.  I can't find that quote now, though.


#3 2019-03-15 13:12:20

Registered: 2008-06-01
Posts: 582

Re: Cyclists were first advocates for better roads--late-1800s

Similar to what you were describing, but in the UK --

The death of Bridget Driscoll (c. 1851 – 17 August 1896) was the first recorded case of a pedestrian killed in a collision with a motor car in the United Kingdom.
The coroner, Percy Morrison, (Croydon division of Surrey) said he hoped "such a thing would never happen again."

Me too, Percy, me too.


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