Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Encouraging More Women to Cycle More Places

The free webinar entitled Writing Women Back into Bicycling: Changing Transportation Culture to Encourage More Women to Cycle More Places More Often will be held today from 3:00 to 4:30 p.m. EDT. FABB's Fionnuala Quinn is one of the panelists who will discuss "Women's Cycling History, Resources & Preliminary APBP Survey Results." Visit the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals website to register. See our earlier post for more information.


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Friday, March 19, 2010

Changing Transportation Culture to Encourage More Women to Cycle More Places More Often

FABB's Fionnuala Quinn will be a panelist in a free webinar sponsored by the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals to discuss women and bicycling. The title of the webinar is Writing Women Back into Bicycling: Changing Transportation Culture to Encourage More Women to Cycle More Places More Often. The session will be held on March 31, 2010 at 3:00 p.m. and is open to everyone.

From the APBP:
  • Connect with others interested in healthy, livable, bicycle-friendly
  • Learn about barriers, successes, international examples, what you can do
  • Women and girls are invited to respond to the online survey through 5/15/10 (interim results reported at the webinar)
  • Invite others to watch and listen with you - use this webinar as a springboard for local success as you encourage more people to cycle!
  • Can't participate live? At your leisure, view the free archived webinar later (link posted after the webinar at
Visit the APBP site to register for the webinar.

Thanks to Fionnuala for helping to make this session happen. According to APBP:
As part of the implementation process of the FHWA, AASHTO, NCHRP Int'l Scan on Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety and Mobility, APBP is hosting a free webinar on March 31, 2010 on women cycling that will explore encouragement strategies and barriers to bicycling. The webinar is free to the public thanks to a generous donation from a sponsor. We're hoping to max out APBP's webinar capacity of 1,000 participants. You can help us do that by spreading the word.

Special thanks to APBP member Fionnuala Quinn who raised the question of numbers of women cycling in the cities visited on the scan and who went on to spearhead a webinar and survey in record time.
For more information on the International Scan read the INTERNATIONAL SCAN SUMMARY REPORT ON PEDESTRIAN AND BICYCLIST SAFETY AND MOBILITY and the text and photo journal of the trip.

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Friday, October 2, 2009

How to get more bicyclists on the road

One way is to find out why more women don't ride bikes in the U.S., according to a recent article in Scientific American entitled "How to Get More Bicyclists on the Road: To boost urban bicycling, figure out what women want" By Linda Baker.
"If you want to know if an urban environment supports cycling, you can forget about all the detailed 'bikeability indexes'—just measure the proportion of cyclists who are female," says Jan Garrard, a senior lecturer at Deakin University in Melbourne, Australia, and author of several studies on biking and gender differences.

Women are considered an "indicator species" for bike-friendly cities for several reasons. First, studies across disciplines as disparate as criminology and child ­rearing have shown that women are more averse to risk than men. In the cycling arena, that risk aversion translates into increased demand for safe bike infrastructure as a prerequisite for riding. Women also do most of the child care and household shopping, which means these bike routes need to be organized around practical urban destinations to make a difference.
According to the research, dedicated, separated facilities may be the key to attracting more women to cycling. However, many experienced cyclists point out that riding in the road with traffic is usually safer than riding in a separated facility. An integrated network of dedicated, separated facilities is critical; having piecemeal trails or isolated, poorly implemented bike lanes is often worse than no facility.

Where dedicated facilities are the most successful and safe are in places like Portland and Copenhagen where the government has made a strong commitment to providing properly engineered, complete networks of bike routes.

It is interesting that those experienced cyclists who argue most strongly in favor of having few or no dedicated bike facilities, who say that cyclists should be treated as equal road users and should be an integral part of traffic, are almost always men (including myself). Among bicycle advocates, the topic of dedicated bike facilities is volatile and I've only briefly touched upon some of the issues. For a full discussion of the topic, see the Wikipedia article Segregated cycle facilities.


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