TC SIdewalks Live!: PhD Defense of my Dissertation: "In Search of New Riders"

[I printed it onto paper.]
As some of you probably know, I've been in graduate school for almost as long as this blog has been operational. It's been a long haul, certainly, but I'm finally nearing the end of the road and seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.

I finished the draft of my dissertation this week, and it's a 250-page document called "In Search of New Riders: Affective Exclusions and Bicycle Planning in Minneapolis/Saint Paul."

It's all about how new riders learn to ride through the cities of  Minneapolis and Saint Paul in really different ways, depending on individual differences like age, gender, race, or class.

There were really two parts to the research. The first was a series of 'ridealong interviews' that I did with new riders, where I chatted with them about what they liked and disliked about riding a bike around the Twin Cities. Then I followed them (in a hopefully non-creepy way) with a video camera on my head. It was interesting, and I ended up with a bunch of cool video data showing how people ride in different ways.

[Pictures of a ride-along interview with Bethany.]

[Pictures of a ride-along interview with Pete.]

The second part of the project was about attempts by planners in Minneapolis and Saint Paul to design spaces for new riders. As you may know, Minneapolis received a big pot of money a few years ago that they've used to build interesting bike infrastructure in Minneapolis and adjoining cities like Saint Paul. One of the goals of the NTP project was to appeal to new riders, so I compared my interview data with some of the project results.

[Pictures of the 2011 Lyndale Avenue Open Streets.]

That's it! My big conclusion was that advocates and planners need to be very thoughtful about how differently people ride bicycles. I outlined for types of "bicycling affects", a rough breakdown of the how different people are looking for different things when they ride bikes.

Anyway, I'll be presenting my research to the public as part of my defense. The presentation will likely take only about a half-hour, so if you want to come down and see it, you're invited! After that, my committee and I will meet in private.

What: William Lindeke's PhD Defense Public Presentation
When: Wednesday December 17th at 1:00pm
Where: 445 Blegen Hall, West Bank Campus of the University of Minnesota
Why: To learn about bicycling, urban geography, and to support me!

PS. There will be a less formal celebration party at Mancini's on Friday the 19th.

[Good D fences make good deneighbors.]

1 comment:

John said...

Good luck Bill!