PhD Dissertation Defense by Johann Weber

Event Details
  • Date/Time:
    • Wednesday March 2, 2016 - Thursday March 3, 2016
      12:00 pm - 1:59 pm
  • Location: Georgia Tech School of Public Policy, DM Smith Building, 685 Cherry Street, Room 303
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Summary Sentence: Policy Entrepreneurs, Windows, and Cycles: Exploring Policy Change through Bicycle Infrastructure at the Municipal Level

Full Summary: No summary paragraph submitted.

Committee members:


Bryan Norton1


Gordon Kingsley1


Michael Elliott2


Kari Watkins3


Daniel Piatkowski4


1Georgia Institute of Technology, School of Public Policy

2Georgia Institute of Technology, School of City and Regional Planning

3Georgia Institute of Technology, School of Civil and Environmental Engineering

4Savannah State University, Department of Political Science and Public Affairs

Although bicycling has been the subject of increasing academic attention, particularly in the areas of mode choice, benefit analyses, and discussions of policies/treatments, much less attention has been devoted to actually studying how communities have made decisions about whether and what they’ll implement in regards to bicycle infrastructure. “Policy entrepreneurs” are theorized as actors centrally responsible for either creating an opportunity or capitalizing on an opportunity to pair a public problem with a policy solution. A survey instrument solicited directly the participation of the 200 most populous municipalities within the United States, with a total of more than 130 represented in the final sample. Using a variety of analytical tools (and merged data sources) as well as a novel matching methodology for the selection of future case studies, it was possible to identify interesting and broadly informative relationships, explored further via the case study comparison. Individual policy entrepreneurs did not prove to be significant, despite being regularly present. While PEs may be an important part of the process, their presence, role, or qualities were not factors. Instead, the key to making projects happen and at larger scales was having a supportive local political context and a broad network of supportive actors. Advocates and planners may be more successful by being attuned to these contexts and taking advantage of open “windows” when officials and stakeholders are interested and engaged. Alternatively, these windows can be opened ‘manually’ through grant applications, developing relationships, hosting trainings or speakers, and more. Lastly, city population is also associated with implementation, suggesting underlying factors to be explored in the future. 

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PhD Dissertation Defense
  • Created By: Jacquelyn Strickland
  • Workflow Status: Published
  • Created On: Feb 15, 2016 - 6:10am
  • Last Updated: Oct 7, 2016 - 10:16pm