• Bicycling While Female

    by  • June 26, 2011 • Legal and Enforcement • 1 Comment

    15% of Delaware Commuter Bicyclists are Women

    OK, so it’s not in quite in the same category as “driving while black“, but it’s nonetheless irritating to hear this story about a Dutch visitor (photo right) getting warned by NYC police that she is a traffic hazard….because she’s wearing a skirt.

    We’re pretty sure that this is not what the League of American Bicyclists has in mind when it talks about enforcement. (Streetsblog’s earlier story on the incident was titled “Saudi Arabia on the Hudson.”)

    What makes this misogyny particularly inept is that bicycling in the U.S. has a gigantic problem: most utility bicycle users are men. According to the Census Bureau, for example, only 1 in 7 (~ 15%) of commuter bicycle users in Delaware were women during 2006-2008.

    The problem is not unique to Delaware. In fact, this pattern is characteristic of bicycling in the United States. The Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals conducted an online survey of women and bicyclists to try to gain greater insight into the disparity. You can read the analysis of the survey HERE.


    James Wilson is the executive director of Bike Delaware. He is a member of the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals (by whom he was named the 2014 Professional of the Year, Nonprofit Sector), the Institute of Transportation Engineers and the Delaware Bicycle Council. He serves on the board of directors of Delaware Greenways and as the co-chair of the policy committee of the Advisory Council on Walkability and Pedestrian Awareness. He holds engineering degrees from Yale University and the University of Texas at Austin and is the only registered lobbyist for cycling and walking in Delaware. He helped create, and continues to lead Bike Delaware's participation in, the Walkable Bikeable Delaware campaign. During his tenure as Bike Delaware's executive director, Delaware advanced in the national Bicycle Friendly State rankings for five years in a row, farther and faster than any other state, ever. Delaware is now officially ranked as the #3 Bicycle Friendly State in America.

    One Response to Bicycling While Female

    1. Anonymous
      June 29, 2011 at 9:54 pm

      Yeah, I heard about this too. Not saying all NYC cops are like this, but this is another abuse of power example. See a pair of legs or a an attractive woman on a bicyle and use the uniform and any flimsy excuse to stop and intimidate her, or try to pick her up.

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