Cycling as a Cooperative Act: Observing cyclists' interactions with pedestrians at a zebra crossing in Stockholm
Abstract: Cycling is undergoing a welcome renaissance, especially in urban contexts. However, there are tensions, in relation to pedestrians, which could negatively affect cycling’s growth. This thesis observes the social interactions and physical reactions of cyclists when co-present with pedestrians at a zebra crossing in central Stockholm. It uses both in-person and video observations with the films being processed using an observiaire, a relatively novel, quantitative method of capturing human behaviours. The results were explored using ideas on the practice of cycling and the street as a social space. It seems that cyclist’s momentum and desire to save energy is clearly important as cyclists will do almost anything except stop for a pedestrian. However, they also seem to have an ability and wish to cooperate. This could be using waves, nods, or shouts, but also invisible and physical communication, what I term peripheral communication. Overall, the cyclists observed were constantly balancing their desire for efficiency against their consideration of pedestrians.
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