The Invention of Jaywalking

nation rousedDid you know that the crime of jaywalking was invented by the auto industry? There was a time when city streets were the preserve of every sort of locomotion, including moving about on foot. It’s something I’ve seen many times in old footage of American cities, like this film of turn-of-the-century San Francisco:

The story of how pedestrians lost the use of city streets and how the myth of America’s “love affair with the automobile” was created is told in this fascinating episode of one of my favorite podcasts, 99% Invisible:

If you’ve never listened to 99% Invisible, you really should.

There’s also an excellent article on the invention of jaywalking at Vox magazine.

~ by lolarusa on September 7, 2015.

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