- Arrested mobility is defined as a set of transportation-related policies and practices that limit mobility, opportunity, and access for Black Americans and other people of color.
- The report provides an in-depth scan and analysis of state, local, and county laws related to walking, biking, and using e-scooters, and provides an analysis of how features of these laws make them difficult or impossible to enforce equitably and hinder the mobility of people of color.
- All 50 states, the two largest cities in each state, as well as select county and local laws, were analyzed for discrimination and inequitable enforcement of policies and policing of pedestrians, cyclists, and e-scooter users.
- Nine types of laws impacting pedestrians were found to be prone to discrimination and inequitable enforcement: crossing outside of a crosswalk, using the right half of a crosswalk, right-angle crossing, diagonal crossing, suddenly leaving the curb, playing ball, walking on highways/freeways, soliciting rides, business, employment, charity or hitchhiking, or acting with “reasonable cause.”
- Fifteen types of laws impacting cyclists were found to be prone to discrimination and inequitable enforcement. The policies fell into two categories: riding activities (ex. riding two abreast, riding with a headset or earbuds, speed) and licensing and equipment (ex. helmet, lamp, bike condition).
- Twelve types of laws impacting e-scooter users were found to be prone to discrimination and inequitable enforcement. Many of these coincided with those regarding cyclists, such as riding on the sidewalk and carrying additional riders. One type of law pertaining to e-scooters that is not mentioned for cyclists is parking.
- The report outlines six recommendations for advocates, researchers, and policymakers. These include repealing laws that are inequitably enforced, advancing healthy community design to promote safety and encourage mobility, reducing court fines, placing limits on pretextual stops, manufacturing bicycles with front and rear lights, and increasing awareness and research of how these laws negatively impact communities of color.
- Practitioners can work with communities to improve or add features that enhance the mobility and safety of people walking, biking, and scooting. Protected bike lanes, safe crossings, sidewalks, and other healthy community design elements promote mobility and enhance conditions so people biking, walking, or scooting are not forced to break laws to safely move.
- These policies have implications beyond mobility and impact the health and well-being of Black Americans. Practitioners can and should look beyond the transportation sector to community members and cross-sector partners to work together for greater transparency regarding how laws and policies related to walking, biking, and using e-scooters are/will be equitably enforced.
Brown, C.T., Rose, J., and King, S. Arrested mobility: Barriers to walking, biking, and e-scooter use in Black communities in the United States. Equitable Cities, (2023).