Gender Considerations in Performance Measures for Bicycle Infrastructure

In the United States, men’s total bicycle trips surpass women’s by a ratio of at least 2:1. Gender differences in perceptions of bicycling safety, combined with the effect of bicycle facility type, could help explain the different cycling rates for men and women. The United Nations and the European Union (EU) have recognized that women and men have different transportation needs, and the EU requires explicit recognition of these differences in national transport policies and implementation. Currently, the indices or measures commonly used to evaluate American bicycle infrastructure do not account for gender differences. Bicycle facility design is often guided by design cyclist categories that define bicyclists by how well they ride in vehicular traffic. Female cyclists have been shown to prefer more separation from vehicular traffic than male cyclists, which can lead to women having to choose to travel on bicycle facilities that have been designed for safety rather than to provide a convenient route to community services. The imbalance of U.S. bicycle trip rates by gender is an indicator that American bicycle infrastructure does not serve the needs of all bicyclists. Two gender-neutral indices, the bicycle compatibility index and the bicycle level-of-service index, which are commonly used to assess U.S. bicycle infrastructure, are compared with the Netherlands’ bicycle infrastructure survey in an effort to understand the association of gender-neutral versus gender-sensitive policies on bicycle infrastructure design and assessment.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Print
  • Features: References; Tables;
  • Pagination: pp 254-263
  • Monograph Title: Women's Issues in Transportation: Summary of the 4th International Conference. Volume 2: Technical Papers
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01339650
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 9780309160834
  • Files: TRIS, TRB
  • Created Date: May 10 2011 2:14PM