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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

An Explanation for the Gender Gap in Biking [Atlantic Cities]


    An Explanation for the Gender Gap in Biking

It's no secret that American women are less likely than American men to ride bikes in cities. Some reports put one woman on a bike for every two men in the United States, and some have the ratio at a lady for every three guys. This isn't a universal condition by any stretch of the imagination; in European countries like Denmark, Germany, and the Netherlands, the split is right around fifty-fifty.
In other words, American cities are doing something wrong here. Just what that something is has been the subject of debate before at Cities. Genevieve Walker has argued that making bike stores friendlier to women would be a good step toward reducing the gender gap. Alex Baca, writing in response, concluded that the task requires stronger infrastructure, convenience, and community — in short, a stronger biking environment.
New research on the subject emphasizes the importance of safety, above all, on a woman's decision to ride. Writing in the International Journal of Sustainable Transportationa study groupled by Gulsah Akar of Ohio State University conclude that "women are less likely to feel safe" on a bike than men — particularly in an area with lots of car traffic.

[Keep reading at Atlantic Cities]

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