Friday, October 16, 2009

What do women want?

Thanks for Tim Wachtel and Jeff Wellborn for bringing this to our attention. (Ain't it helpful to have nerdy, science-reading friends?! Gotta love 'em!)

From Scientific American magazine:

How to Get More Bicyclists on the Road

To boost urban bicycling, figure out what women want

By Linda Baker

2 comments:

Loren said...

Steve Godfrey wrote in an email to the group:

"Very important points about the needs of those who are parents and
those who have challenges of transporting significant cargo. I'm not saying abandon the concept of low-traffic routes, I actually pointed out that they are valuable in many ways. To add to that, I think they're necessary.

I'm just saying that if biking is to be considered as viable, why not, as I said before, just start to envision the concept of adapting
routes along main corridors, where people can see that it is actually
totally fine and safe even alongside main roads? Reiterating New Orleans experience, the number of unavoidable accidents occurring over 10 years outside of myself among a thriving bike community were absurdly minimal, certainly nothing to prevent folks from deciding to ride, even if they were risk-averse females.

I knew one female who was a bike commuting dynamo, who would get into the middle of 3+ lanes if it helped get her to where she was going more efficiently. I only pray that I remain less bold than she was, and I know many other women who have just as many guts as the guys on the road as well. I don't mean to diminish the meaningfulness of the studies cited, just want to be careful, as a result of studies, to not unfairly characterize all women as not being as daring as men on the
road."

Steve Godfrey

Loren said...

I want to agree with what Steve said, that SOME women are braver on bikes than even MOST men, but also note that the studies shouldn't be interpretted as characterizing what women are CAPABLE of--that would be sexist--only of what women CURRENTLY tend to do, think, etc.--and I guess that's just sociological.

But we should be inspired by that woman Steve cites, no doubt.

Again, to cite my mother, who's in dire need of exercise, there are some elderly who are not at all as afraid as she is of walking and biking outside. They're out there walking and they're gonna live longer than the many who aren't, like my mom, I'm afraid.

Getting people to see what they CAN be is the trick, isn't it?