For Black Americans and other people of color, traveling by foot, bicycle, or e-scooter can be fraught with obstacles and risks that reflect structural racism and White supremacy.
Together, these obstacles form a framework of arrested mobility: a set of transportation-related policies and practices across jurisdictions that limit mobility, opportunity, and access for Black Americans and other people of color. The policy and policing elements of arrested mobility are mediated through state, local, and county laws. This study examines these laws concerning walking, cycling, and e-scooter use to supplement the efforts of activists. It surveys policies in all 50 states and the two largest cities in each state, as well as in selected counties.
While many of these laws are intended to serve a legitimate safety purpose, they also serve as a legal mechanism for racist, discriminatory, and predatory police enforcement. Often, their policy design makes fair enforcement difficult and creates too much opportunity for police to apply the law inequitably.