Study: When Women Ride Bikes, Everyone Rides More

New research indicates a positive association between overall cycling levels and ridership rates for women-identified riders.

2 minute read

May 19, 2021, 8:00 AM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

Chicago Bikeshare

Page Light Studios / Shutterstock

A new study reveals that "cities that do the best job of catering to the needs of women cyclists also have the highest level of cycling overall," reports Kea Wilson for Streetsblog. "In a comprehensive analysis of travel surveys from 11 countries across the globe, a team of international researchers found that the United States ranked second-to-last for both cycling mode share overall, and for cycling mode share specifically among women-identified riders."

The study also found "a strong positive association between the level of cycling and women’s representation among cyclists." In areas where cycling mode share was more than 7 percent, "women made as many cycle trips as men, and sometimes even greater." The research suggests that "when communities make transportation choices that successfully encourage women to ride, everyone comes out to join them." 

The report also referenced "the many ways that women’s unique transportation needs shape their experience on two wheels — and not just their need for safety from drivers. Women are not only less likely to ride on dangerous roads with little protected infrastructure than their male counterparts, but that they take shorter trips by bike and travel more often for reasons unrelated to a traditional work commute, like running household errands." Despite women outnumbering men by 400,000 in New York City's population, the city—which has the highest share of women riders of the American cities surveyed—"still had a 66-percent male ridership."

The study's results indicate that "the presence of diverse women on bikes is the single best indicator of a healthy cycling ecosystem."

Thursday, May 13, 2021 in Streetsblog USA

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