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And, Why it Matters What She Wants

According to an article in the October 2009 Scientific American Magazine, finding out what woman want is the key to future success in increasing daily ridership in our cities.

The article, “How to Get More Bicyclists on the Road: To boost urban bicycling, figure out what women want”  points to several reasons why women are good “indicator species” (their term, not mine) for bike-friendly cities. The basic premise being that “women are more averse to risk than men” and demand safe infrastructure, with a larger number of riders on the road before they turn to the bike. Women also tend to take care of household tasks like the shopping and picking up

May 2009 © Gary L Howe

Bicycles are a very common mode of transportation, regardless of gender, in the relatively flat city of Chengdu, China.(© Gary L Howe)

the kids, and thus place a high value on “organized and practical” bike routes. If the city infrastructure is confusing or a hassle, they’ll just drive.

The online magazine, Austin on Two Wheels, broadens the discussion to talk about needed infrastructure, planning and even an increase in the marketing of “commuter bikes” as other variables. Basically calling for less focus on the Lycra and carbon fiber, and more on providing practical, everyday clothing and bikes.

That is, if you want to increase ridership.

Gender difference can be a sensitive subject.

What do you think of this perspective?

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