Study: Why Don’t More Women Cycle?


Safety and perceptions of safety keep women from cycling. At least in San Francisco. A survey done by the Safe Transportation Research and Education Center at the University of California, Why Don’t Women Cycle? A Case Study of Women’s Perceptions of Cycling in San Francisco (, found only 29 percent of survey respondents were women – a number consistent with other research in the USA. While some women cited matters such as family responsibilities, their biggest problem was perceived danger.

Not only were women more worried about safety in general, “Women of color are more likely to take safety into account when making travel decisions than White Non-Hispanic women,” the survey found.

Women cited a variety of fears, ranging from poor road conditions to drop-offs to construction and pinch points at right turns and bus stops.

The researchers note that they only looked at weekday cyclists, probably largely commuters; and that more research is needed on weekend and recreational riders. But they said that more protected bike lanes and complete connections could ease women’s concerns. Additionally, the report calls for more studies like this move towards gender-equitable cycling cities.


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