James Longhurst (he/him) is a professor at the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse. As a historian of urban and environmental policy, he studies past decisions that shape our current lives in cities. He teaches a variety of courses in environmental history, 20th century America, and public and policy history. His Ph.D. from Carnegie Mellon University is in History and Policy, a scholarly approach that is intended to produce historical research that can be useful in understanding institutions and choices in the present. He has published two scholarly books, on the history of air pollution control (Citizen Environmentalists, University Press of New England, 2010), and bicycle transportation (Bike Battles: A History of Sharing the American Road, University of Washington Press, 2015). He’s also published researched articles in the Journal of Policy History, the Transportation Research Record, and the Journal of Transport History, among others. His current research is on parking and the institutions of parking enforcement.
As a citizen, James works in active transportation advocacy locally and statewide, providing leadership, professional expertise and grant-writing assistance for groups like Bicycle La Crosse and Active Wisconsin; and is currently as a member of the Committee on Transit and Active Transportation of the La Crosse Area Planning Committee. James was named Advocate of the Year by the Bicycle Federation of Wisconsin in 2016, and Volunteer of the Year by Explore La Crosse in 2017. He’s done extensive public speaking on bike history, advocacy and active transportation regionally and across the nation, with more than 50 engagements ranging from Milwaukee, Stevens Point, Madison, Sun Prairie to Whitefish Bay – as well as Portland, Seattle, Washington D.C., Minneapolis, Pittsburgh, Santa Barbara, and Karlsruhe, Germany. He’s a roadie, everyday cyclist, gravel grinder, amateur mechanic and newbie mountain biker.