Joe Rodriguez, “Right to the Road: Regulating the Automobile and Driver”



The Right to the Road analyzes the car and the police, governmental and transportation policies surrounding its use from a historical perspective. Driving is both restrictive and liberating. Cities passed laws and designed roads, buildings and signs in ways to efficiently attract and route cars through the city.  Commercial interests developed new forms of buildings and malls to entice motorists. Police and city officials sought to keep traffic moving but also to keep traffic coming to commercial areas and to provide parking. The Right to the Road demonstrates how the American built environment was designed to cater to the automobile and how the automobile continues to shape social relations in the urban environment.



Joseph Rodriguez is professor of history and urban studies, and chair of the Department of History at UW-Milwaukee  and has published on US urban and US Latinx history. His most recent book is “Bootstrap New Urbanism: Race and Redevelopment in Milwaukee.”


“Right to the Road: Regulating the Automobile and Driver”

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