The woman or family side of bicycle planning

Recently after I posted the American Community Survey findings on bicycle commuting rates in Chicago and the United States (which both show a gap between male and female cycling to work rates), Let’s Go Ride Bike posts an entry about the media’s analysis of the cycling gender gap. I didn’t posit any thoughts about the gap I noticed in the blog entry I wrote.

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I recommend you read what Dottie wrote, which includes ideas about how to get more women to ride their bikes outside of the recreation arena. Her influence to write the article came from three recent articles from larger media sources (NYT, TreeHugger, Scientific American).

Will protected bikeways leading to urban shopping and school destinations be the trick? Or should we step up targeted education? Is it the bike? Sweating? Fashion? How should families on bikes play a role in bicycle planning?

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I’ll take this research and writing into consideration as I develop a new perspective on how I can convince my mom to ride her bike the two miles to work at least one day per week in good weather (she currently drives between home and work in Salt Lake City).

I visited her in May and drove her to work one morning. I noticed very low traffic and several other commuters traveling by bicycle that could keep her company. I want her to take a class on urban bicycling at the Salt Lake City Bicycle Collective, but their website’s helpfulness only goes so far and no one’s answered my email.

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About Steven Vance

Enthusiast for urbanism, bicycling as transportation, and open data. Building a bicycle culture in Chicago.