In March, I posted about an exciting online survey, open to women only, put out by the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals (APBP) for a project they are calling "Writing Women Back Into Bicycling: Changing Transportation Culture to Encourage More Women to Cycle More Places More Often."
There were over 13,000 respondents! I don't know the data break-down yet, but they did release some preliminary results in a press release that I would like to share with you.
APBP will be analyzing the data and will have a presentation on their analysis at the Pro Walk/ Pro Bike Conference in September.
From the press release:
Preliminary information about the survey participants suggests:
- 69% live in medium to large cities
- 60% use their bikes for some of their daily trips
- 44% had freedom to ride alone from the age of 7-10 years
- 13% do not currently own a car
- 80% have a college degree or above
The women who responded that they ride regularly told APBP that they bike for errands (82%), commuting (78%), socializing (76%) and while on vacation (93%). This group overwhelmingly indicated that they enjoy the exercise aspect of cycling (91%), being in the outdoors (88%) and that their bike store provides great service (70%). They also said that they cycled because it is an environmentally good choice (70%), saves them money (70%), and helps them reduce stress (73%). Weather showed up in many responses as a major factor influencing many of their riding decisions. While they said that they follow the rules while biking as much as possible (88%), they told APBP that motorists don’t see them (63%), perhaps because motorists in the U.S. haven’t been trained to look for bicyclists using the public right of way.
Among the entire group of 13,000 survey participants, the concerns that were expressed overwhelming were related to drivers and infrastructure with only low levels of concern regarding such factors as clothes and appearance. Participants indicated that they have safety concerns about distracted driving (78%), speed of vehicles (69%) and vehicles turning right in front of them (61%). In terms of improvements in the community, 69% expressed an interest in adding more bike lanes, wider lanes (49%) and off-road paths (52%). Write-in suggestions included women-only bike and maintenance classes, better bike parking and lots of ideas for school programs.
First off, thank you to everyone that took the survey. I'm not affiliated with APBP, but I am a fan of robust data sets. I sent the survey out to and encouraged many women that do not bike regularly to take it. I feel like these voices are often not heard because this kind of survey can be self-selecting. This blurb doesn't say anything about the respondents that don't bike regularly, but I hope their input will be represented in APBP's final report.
I would also like to point out the last sentence in the press release, "Write-in suggestions included women-only bike and maintenance classes..." If only there was something free and open like that in the Twin Cities, hmm. =] Maybe Grease Rag is part of the reason why Minneapolis is #1?
Expect a follow-up post in September after the research is presented- I can't wait to geek out over the methodology and analysis of the survey data!