A recent article over at Scientific American makes the claim that women are an “indicator species” for bike-friendly cities. From the article:
Women are considered an “indicator species” for bike-friendly cities for several reasons. First, studies across disciplines as disparate as criminology and childrearing have shown that women are more averse to risk than men. In the cycling arena, that risk aversion translates into increased demand for safe bike infrastructure as a prerequisite for riding. Women also do most of the child care and household shopping, which means these bike routes need to be organized around practical urban destinations to make a difference.
I have to think children, the elderly, or anyone else who is uncomfortable riding in or near traffic might also have an “increased demand for safe bike infrastructure”. It’s common knowledge that the availability of safe routes and high-quality separated facilities increases bicycle use among all groups, regardless of gender, age, or skill level.