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Old 11-15-11, 07:09 AM   #1
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Women not well served on roadways - by prez of Toronto Cyclists Union

A compelling blog post about women and cycling culled from streetsblog by the president of the Toronto Cyclists Union.

A reminder women are not well served transportation tools

An excerpt

"I’ve been asked why I link my cycling advocacy to women’s issues—and at times I am hesitant to do so. But in the literature on safe streets, the number of women cycling is seen as an indicator of safety and convenience. Women take more short trips then men. They are more likely pick up children, run errands, or accompany elderly parents to appointments. ........Something is broken with our transportation system, and catering to the private automobile is not the solution."
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Old 11-15-11, 10:51 AM   #2
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A compelling blog post about women and cycling culled from streetsblog by the president of the Toronto Cyclists Union.

A reminder women are not well served transportation tools

An excerpt

"I’ve been asked why I link my cycling advocacy to women’s issues—and at times I am hesitant to do so. But in the literature on safe streets, the number of women cycling is seen as an indicator of safety and convenience. Women take more short trips then men. They are more likely pick up children, run errands, or accompany elderly parents to appointments. ........Something is broken with our transportation system, and catering to the private automobile is not the solution."


The answer is.....?

The only thing in that blog that absolutely made any sense whatsoever, was when they said this: "Something is broken with our transportation system, and catering to the private automobile is not the solution."

As to the blog saying that it is ONLY women that are taking care of the children, running the errands, or accompanying elderly parents to appointments; ghat blog is unfairly saying that men do none of those things. So the blogger is unfairly trying to bring sex into cycling infrastructure equation.
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Old 11-15-11, 12:46 PM   #3
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Bigoted and uninformed; describe that comment.
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Old 11-15-11, 01:11 PM   #4
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As to the blog saying that it is ONLY women that are taking care of the children, running the errands, or accompanying elderly parents to appointments; ghat blog is unfairly saying that men do none of those things. So the blogger is unfairly trying to bring sex into cycling infrastructure equation.

Wait, what? No it didn't, it said "most"; and I'm from what I've seen biking around the city, I'm willing to take her at her word for that (but if you find research proving it wrong, that's another matter).

I don't think bike advocacy or safety is ONLY a womens issue; but neither dose the writer of the article (from what I interpret). There is a reason there are less women cyclists then men. I don't think it's off the mark to examine those reasons, and how they affect the genders differently, and how they affect cycling infrastructure.

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Old 11-15-11, 03:46 PM   #5
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Wait, what? No it didn't, it said "most"; and I'm from what I've seen biking around the city, I'm willing to take her at her word for that (but if you find research proving it wrong, that's another matter).

I don't think bike advocacy or safety is ONLY a womens issue; but neither dose the writer of the article (from what I interpret). There is a reason there are less women cyclists then men. I don't think it's off the mark to examine those reasons, and how they affect the genders differently, and how they affect cycling infrastructure.
Bicycle advocacy and safety is not only a women's issue. But she implied that childcare, errands, and taking care of elderly parents' is only done by women.
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Old 11-15-11, 04:10 PM   #6
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Bicycle advocacy and safety is not only a women's issue. But she implied that childcare, errands, and taking care of elderly parents' is only done by women.
No, she just said that women are more likely to be doing those things than men. As a male who was the primary person doing those things in my household, my experience is that she is correct. For example, when I took my son to soccer practice, the only males there were the coaches and me. Years earlier, when I took my son to a nursery school co-op, I was the only male. I don't think she is being sexist; she's just making an observation.

I do totally agree with you that bicycle safety and advocacy are not only a women's issue. However, if she can use gender issues as a wedge to get things done, good on her.
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Old 11-15-11, 05:15 PM   #7
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Bicycle advocacy and safety is not only a women's issue. But she implied that childcare, errands, and taking care of elderly parents' is only done by women.
maybe we didn't read the same article, because I saw "mostly" not "only".
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Old 11-15-11, 11:39 PM   #8
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The language used is typical of that used for gender bias advocacy. So, the intent of the article is pretty clear. Then, no cause and effect is shown. The article says that because men have dominated the resulting actions are discriminatory to women. Sure looks like what she wants is more power and instead of advocating issues and facts is trotting out the time worn gender discrimination card.

With the number of women in high executive positions in government and civilian industry combined with the number of women legislators, etc. it seems to me it is better to focus on facts, causes and effects, and not gender.
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Old 11-16-11, 12:50 AM   #9
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maybe we didn't read the same article, because I saw "mostly" not "only".
We did read the same article. While she did use the word 'mostly', that still isn't being objective in the article. Because she didn't use absolute, incontrovertible evidence backed up by cold hard facts. She was using stereotypes to support her claim.
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Old 11-16-11, 05:41 AM   #10
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let's see - she's not claiming to be a researcher or presenting anything scientific, chris.

That is the restrained outrage of a Ms. McDonald, president of the Toronto Cyclists Union, in response to recent deaths in Toronto and the removal of a bike lane.Ms. McD was commenting on the removal of a bikelane on Jarvis street in Toronto -a bike lane that saw tripled ridership and served a hospital and several community (subsidized) housing units.

Lets' revist some of what she's saying in her letter.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ms. McDonald
..in the literature on safe streets, the number of women cycling is seen as an indicator of safety and convenience.
Her comments about women and ridership are valid, and echo that of transportation researchers.

She was drawing off comments made 10 years ago by Nancy Smith Lea
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nancy Smith Lea
Society, and in particular, women, have not been served well by the transportation tools and housing developments designed by men. Potentially powerful linkages to achieve social change exist between feminism and transportation
Sounds like Susan B Anthony's commentary a century ago about bicycling, doesn't it? "I think [the bicycle] has done more to emancipate women than anything else in the world," "It gives a woman a feeling of freedom and self-reliance. The moment she takes her seat she knows she can't get into harm unless she gets off her bicycle, and away she goes, the picture of free, untrammeled womanhood."

Ms. McDonalds comments about design of communities should be with women in mind and that cycling infrastructure should be designed with women in mind is commonsense, despite her use of rhetoric to frame her outrage about road safety and ripping out a bikelane in toronto along a transportation corridor that serves a hospital and subsidized housing.
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Old 11-16-11, 08:59 AM   #11
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The language used is typical of that used for gender bias advocacy. So, the intent of the article is pretty clear. Then, no cause and effect is shown. The article says that because men have dominated the resulting actions are discriminatory to women. Sure looks like what she wants is more power and instead of advocating issues and facts is trotting out the time worn gender discrimination card.

With the number of women in high executive positions in government and civilian industry combined with the number of women legislators, etc. it seems to me it is better to focus on facts, causes and effects, and not gender.
+1
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Old 11-16-11, 11:19 AM   #12
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OK, people, how did this turn into an issue of "who's more at risk"? You feel left out because a woman pointed out, from a WOMAN'S point of view, that a certain type of riding is MORE practiced by women IN HER AREA?

THE POINT isn't 'women only', with an implication that men are on their own; let's just not FORGET that the women are out there, too, and in increasing numbers (APPLAUSE!).

Damn, quit being so sensitive; is it YOUR time of the month?
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Old 11-16-11, 11:28 AM   #13
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Bicycle advocacy and safety is not only a women's issue. But she implied that childcare, errands, and taking care of elderly parents' is only done by women.
She said 'more likely,' presumably because they are indeed more likely. I do those things myself (I'm a dude, hence the dude portion of my user name), but in my area I'm a minority. It's usually women who do the errands and stuff.

The real issue with the article is that cycling doesn't have anything to do with most of these "traditionally female" activities/errands. I'm a strong cyclist, but I'm not taking grandma to the doctor on my bike, nor am I going to do any number or other errands where a car makes much more sense. If anything, one can argue that our "male centric world" has done very well to accommodate the needs of soccer moms.

Last edited by CbadRider; 11-16-11 at 02:39 PM. Reason: Removed inappropriate comment
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Old 11-16-11, 01:15 PM   #14
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OK, people, how did this turn into an issue of "who's more at risk"? You feel left out because a woman pointed out, from a WOMAN'S point of view, that a certain type of riding is MORE practiced by women IN HER AREA?

THE POINT isn't 'women only', with an implication that men are on their own; let's just not FORGET that the women are out there, too, and in increasing numbers (APPLAUSE!).

Damn, quit being so sensitive; is it YOUR time of the month?
While acknowledging the previous post in this thread that had mentioned the removal of the bike lane being one reason for the blog post quoted by the OP, the reason I am so irritated is that, while the author of the blog post and the deceased cyclist are both women. The woman who made the blog post tried to make the whole issue about women ultimately being disenfranchised in every facet of society. Instead of focusing only on the two key cycling issues.

I was involved in an accident somewhat similar to what happened to the deceased woman(RIP). When I was 14, I was making a right-turn when, a car making the same turn, knocked me over and I ended up halfway under the car. The elderly driver either cut too close or I cut too wide, or a combination of both when we were making the turn.

As for the bike lane issue. While I personally don't like bike lanes because I feel they provide a false sense of security, I still agree with the blog posts' author about how it is despicable(my word, not the blog author) that the bike lane was removed.

Even with both the death of the female cyclist and the removal of a bike lane, there is no reason for her to bring sex into two situations(bicycle deaths' and bike lanes) that are important to both men and women. That would almost be tantamount to saying that road racers go a lot farther than BMX racers, so issues pertaining BMX racers are somehow less important to null n' void.

Just as you said to not forget women are out there on the road, my contention is forget about a persons' sex, and focus on the rights of cyclists as a whole, along with encouraging more cycling.

Because it doesn't matter man or woman, road or BMX or recumbent. The laws are not different for the sexes, the type of riding a cyclist does, or the kind of bike they ride.

Last edited by Chris516; 11-16-11 at 05:23 PM.
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Old 11-16-11, 02:09 PM   #15
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Just as you said to not forget women are out there on the road, my contention is forget about a persons' sex, and focus on the rights of cyclists as a whole, along with encouraging more cycling.

Because it doesn't matter man or woman, road or BMX or recumbent. The laws are not different for the sexes, the type of riding a cyclist does, or the kind of bike they ride.
Exactly. Cycling issues affect cyclists, male and female. Trying to turn it into a feminist crusade doesn't really help anyone.
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Old 11-16-11, 02:32 PM   #16
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Exactly. Cycling issues affect cyclists, male and female. Trying to turn it into a feminist crusade doesn't really help anyone.
Is it a "feminist crusade" or merely a situation where someone is pointing out that if women are not comfortable on the roads, then other cyclists may not feel comfortable either.
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Old 11-16-11, 03:25 PM   #17
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We did read the same article. While she did use the word 'mostly', that still isn't being objective in the article. Because she didn't use absolute, incontrovertible evidence backed up by cold hard facts. She was using stereotypes to support her claim.
It isn't about being objective. You said she was making it about ONLY women, she wasn't. You're reading way too much into this. Sometimes, issues do affect women more than men, and it isn't hurting men any when someone points these things out.
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Old 11-16-11, 04:58 PM   #18
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It isn't about being objective. You said she was making it about ONLY women, she wasn't. You're reading way too much into this. Sometimes, issues do affect women more than men, and it isn't hurting men any when someone points these things out.
Yes, Certain issues do affect women more than men. There are even some issues that in no way will affect one sex biologically and/or, emotionally. While it will affect one sex from birth or, starting at a certain point in their lives. But just as in politics, that doesn't mean the minority should be ignored.

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Old 11-16-11, 05:14 PM   #19
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Is it a "feminist crusade" or merely a situation where someone is pointing out that if women are not comfortable on the roads, then other cyclists may not feel comfortable either.
It didn't seem like either. But unfair reasoning initially. As for cyclists feeling uncomfortable on the roads, each cyclist has a different comfort level, regardless of sex and/or, race.

While I am the one with the major health issues in my family, I am also the only one that is comfortable with riding on the road, let alone a road with a 40mph speed limit.

Several of my family members have advanced degrees'(I am not one of them), but when it comes to riding a bike on a public road, they become ash white in the face. Where I have no problem with it.
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Old 11-16-11, 06:02 PM   #20
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It didn't seem like either. But unfair reasoning initially. As for cyclists feeling uncomfortable on the roads, each cyclist has a different comfort level, regardless of sex and/or, race.
That's true on an individual level. Statistically, it's false. By a large margin.

Just about every word in that blog post seems reasonable to me. No crusade there, at all.

Quote:
While I am the one with the major health issues in my family, I am also the only one that is comfortable with riding on the road, let alone a road with a 40mph speed limit.

Several of my family members have advanced degrees'(I am not one of them), but when it comes to riding a bike on a public road, they become ash white in the face. Where I have no problem with it.
Anecdotal, and irrelevant. Sorry.
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Old 11-16-11, 06:34 PM   #21
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That's true on an individual level. Statistically, it's false. By a large margin.

Just about every word in that blog post seems reasonable to me. No crusade there, at all.
I never thought she was on some sort of crusade. Just that she made statements that blatantly ignored the possibility of different circumstances with the men doing the said responsibilities instead of women.

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Anecdotal, and irrelevant. Sorry.
Relevant in that, she was drawing biased conclusions and tying them to cycling.
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Old 11-16-11, 07:13 PM   #22
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Men not served well on roadways. Road saftey is a men's issue. Yadda Yadda... It severely diminished her point to paint it as a women's issue. Not only that it polarized her audience and promoted the stereotype that men somehow like dangerous roads and women are chicken. Fail.
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Old 11-16-11, 07:41 PM   #23
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Men not served well on roadways. Road saftey is a men's issue. Yadda Yadda... It severely diminished her point to paint it as a women's issue. Not only that it polarized her audience and promoted the stereotype that men somehow like dangerous roads and women are chicken. Fail.
Er, no stereotype.

Where bike infrastructure of a sufficient quality is present women cycle about as much as, or more than men. Where it isn't, cycling is predominantly done by men. And you know, cycling is a good deal safer with decent infrastructure than without.

2+2=4.
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Old 11-16-11, 07:42 PM   #24
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Relevant in that, she was drawing biased conclusions and tying them to cycling.
Prove it.
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Old 11-16-11, 08:12 PM   #25
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Er, no stereotype.

Where bike infrastructure of a sufficient quality is present women cycle about as much as, or more than men. Where it isn't, cycling is predominantly done by men. And you know, cycling is a good deal safer with decent infrastructure than without.

2+2=4.
Yes, it is a stereotype. How can this author make broad statements about a group of people without one?

Further, the author assumes implicitly that women are too scared and worse that men are ambivalent about getting run over!

It's just a mess.
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