Scientific American is reporting that that best lead indicator for bikeability are women riders. Jan Garrard, a senior lecturer at Deakin University in Melbourne, Australia, says,
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.”
Apparently, women are more averse to risk then men; therefore they are considered an “indicator species”. So how does this influence or hinder women from riding a bicycle? Well, risk aversion translates into increased demand for safe bicycle infrastructure as a precondition for riding. Perhaps it is because they are smarter then men too, but women tend to avoid busy streets when riding, and often choose the safer, less direct route to their destination.
So please, let’s make bicycling safer for women. Not for my sake, but for their sake. Well, perhaps for my sake too…there’s just something about a woman on a bicycle. It’s hot.
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