July 4, 2011

"Do 'bicycle friendly' urban policies discriminate against women?"

Instapundit asks slyly, linking to yesterday's post "Despite the city’s efforts to become more bike friendly, male cyclists in New York continue to outnumber female cyclists three to one..."

Where's the discrimination if women, being more concerned with safety, are less likely to take advantage of the results of bike-friendly polices?

Disparate impact!

Better make the world extra-extra safe, so women can feel comfortable here.

37 comments:

Triangle Man said...

Probably best if women just play it safe and cover themselves completely, never travel without a male relative, and stay home unless absolutely necessary. If only such a feminist Utopia could exist somewhere.

Maguro said...

New York City adopts bike lanes; women and minorities hardest hit.

BT said...

Does Carol Herman bike to work?

The Crack Emcee said...

I'd prefer we get rid of the bike-friendly bullshit, just as I'd prefer we stop with all the "green" crap. I know when I'm being manipulated (you called it being "encouraged") and that feeling, more than anything else, is disturbing. Everywhere I go, "go green," like I need some geek environmentalist telling me what choices to make. It makes me hate everyone to think Americans - AMERICANS - bow down to such stinkin' thinkin'. I want to see us break free of that shit.

And, if the bike lanes have got to go, then the bike lanes have got to go,...

ironrailsironweights said...

What I'd like to know is just how many of the people who've gotten all hot and bothered about the Times article actually looked at the accompanying chart. New York has by no means the lowest percentage of women bicycle riders among the U.S. cities, being closer to the middle, and in any event the difference between NYC and the top-ranked cities such as Portland is generally under 10%.

In short, there's nothing special about New York that makes it unfriendly to women cyclists, and commuting by bicycle is a largely male activity everywhere in America.

Peter

Sixty Grit said...

I'm colorblind, I cannot tell green from red. Oh, right, they are the same.

PETER V. BELLA said...

The better question is do bicycle friendly urban policies discriminate against drivers of cars.

Hagar said...

I do not mind bicycle trails (or lanes) that are debated and voted on in public. What I cannot abide are the "bicycle friendly" facilities included with all other kinds of street or road projects because "it is required by Federal policy," and never mind if there are any actual bicyclists to use these facilities or not. The cumulative cost of all this is astronomical, and it is all driven by ideology with no cost/benefit justification.

traditionalguy said...

A better idea would be High Speed Bicycle Trains for transportation... unless this is only a recreation thing. If it is recreation then Title IX will require equal money be spent for girl's bike trails.

Shouting Thomas said...

I'm about to go on a 15 mile bike ride.

And, I've got to agree with Crack. The green energy scam is just that.

The Diallo/Strauss-Kahn controversy got me to thinking about the old days when Times Square was a portal to Hell .

Do you get the feeling that we're reaching the end of the cycle of goodie two shoes, women are sainted era? Could be we're headed back to the good old days of vice and squalor.

Mickey said...

Not as many women bike as men in the first place. Something about not getting their hair messed up.

Shouting Thomas said...

And, I've been meaning to ask you, Althouse.

You seem to be slowly turning against the idiot ideology of feminism (although you can't seem to accept yet that the entire ideology was just a fucking crock).

You lived in New York City back in the bad old days of the 70s, right? When are you going to tell us about that? Did you ever, say, visit Plato's Retreat?

Of course, I would expect that you would ride your bicycle there.

Ann Althouse said...

"You lived in New York City back in the bad old days of the 70s, right? When are you going to tell us about that? Did you ever, say, visit Plato's Retreat?"

Sorry to disappoint you. I didn't take drugs either.

PaulV said...

bicycle user taxes so bike lanes could be paid for? Carry permits for the bikers?

Leland said...

The only serious (they ride at least 30 miles each time they ride which is a few times a week) bicyclist I know are all women. But then, I could just be another Pauline Kael.

Shouting Thomas said...

Sorry to disappoint you. I didn't take drugs either.

There's still time for you to catch up.

I won't hold it against you.

galdosiana said...

Along the lines of safety and cycling, there was this article today: Motorcyclist in helmet protest hits head, dies

Sixty Grit said...

Women cannot control their feelings, apparently. This concerns me, how?

WV: obseting - disquieted by obstetrics.

exhelodrvr1 said...

I bike to work fairly often (aoubt 12 miles each way) in San Diego; of the other bikers I see that during my commute, it's probably a 10:1 ratio of men to women.

RichardS said...

Disparate impact?

edutcher said...

I'm surprised Nanny Bloomberg isn't obsessing about it.

Shouting Thomas said...

Do you get the feeling that we're reaching the end of the cycle of goodie two shoes, women are sainted era? Could be we're headed back to the good old days of vice and squalor.

"Vice and squalor"?

You mean you want a return to the 60s"

Americans have always put women on a pedestal, so I don't thing that's going anywhere.

Ann Althouse said...

Sorry to disappoint you. I didn't take drugs either.

Good girl. Smart girl.

Too bad there weren't more like that.

E.M. Davis said...

Maguro FTW.

Kirk Parker said...

E.M.,

Actually, I think Triangle Man had it right there in comment #1.

caplight said...

It's not about intent and opportunity. It is about outcome and results. Perhaps we could do a Title IX fix and ban all biking if there is not going to be male-female parity.

ricpic said...

Women OWN the country and Althouse is concerned about discrimination against the poor dears.

Schorsch said...

Ah, but bike-friendly policies, as far as lanes, etc. are concerned, are for the benefit of drivers. They remove potential drivers from the road, encourage smaller, lighter vehicles that don't wear out the surface, and by isolating cyclists where possible they ensure that motorists can concentrate on texting without worry. Ladies can enjoy these benefits from the comfort of their Volvos.

rcocean said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
rcocean said...

How many blacks are bicycling? I don't see many, it must be racism. Or maybe they've all been killed riding against traffic.

Curious George said...

"Where's the discrimination if women, being more concerned with safety, are less likely to take advantage of the results of bike-friendly polices?"

Women aren't more concerned with safety, they're more concerned about how their fat ass looks in bike shorts. Therein lies the truth, and the problem.

Shouting Thomas said...

What you don't seem to have considered, Althouse is this:

Feminism ultimately led to this constant fretting about and ass kissing of women.

It doesn't seem to have occurred to you yet that the gay marriage/gay activism thing will ultimate have the same end. (In fact, it has already.)

JAL said...

The libs and lefties want to create a utopia which is risk free.

Children never get hurt on playgounds. Adults never suffer injury from their horrific stupidities. No one ever loses money on an investment. No one is ever offended. No kid ever doesn't get a ribbon or a trophy. No one is bullied. And one ever has to eat any trans fat after riding his bicycle in NYC.

When they out law cars (except "Smart" cars, of course) in NYC so everyone can bicycle to work, the world will be perfect.

Joanna said...

The libs and lefties want to create a utopia which is free.

(If that doesn't work out, second choice = a utopia which is created by spending other people's money.)

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Well, I live in a rural area that is pretty much bike friendly. The highways have large shoulders and the rural roads have not much traffic. People are very good at giving the bike traffic a wide berth. The biggest danger is from a dog who might chase you or a deer jump out from behind a bush.

Still not so many women biking. I attempted to commute to work in the spring some years ago and found out the reason women don't "commute bike" is the following and has nothing to do with discrimination against women:

1. You have to bring your work clothes with you otherwise you arrive at work, rumpled and sweating.

2. Changing clothing once you get to work is a PITA.

3. Same thing for putting on make up that you sweated off.

4. If you need to carry stuff, like your purse, laptop, briefcase, books, papers.....yet another PITA

5. Then when you go home you get to reverse the process. Put on the sweaty clothing. Pack your work clothes into a satchel. Carry the laptop etc back home.

Forget it. I'll drive.

I do have a bike that I ride to the grocery store, which is about 1/4 mile or so from my home, when I want just a few things. It is a giant grandma tricycle with a basket in the back. Fun and just the right amount of exercise.

Maggie said...

First of all, I agree with comment by CrackEmcee. I normally call that kind watermelons because they are green on the outside and red on the inside.

Second, there is a very good reason why some people do not use a bicycle and yes the saddle is the problem. Anybody who has ever fractured their coccyx can tell you how difficult it becomes to use a bicycle saddle. When you do that twice in 30 years, then the bicycle becomes impossible to use.

Other than that there is always the problem for those who simply cannot balance on one of those things. Bring back the three wheeler!!

Ralph L said...

My office is on the second highest point in the county, which attracts the exercyclists. I've put myself in danger passing them recently, not being able to see oncoming traffic and not wanting to blow them off the road.

On one road, my car goes from 30 to 65 mph with my foot off the gas. Few come up that hill and live.

jimbino said...

It's well known that there are many activities and gummint supported institutions in Amerika that discriminate against women, like:

skateboard parks
hockey rinks
chess clubs and chess facilities
math and physics class
haute cuisine
haute couture
construction
welding
plumbing
HVAC
cabinetmaking
hitchhiking
motorcycling
mountain climbing
sex
aging skin
osteoporosis
breast cancer

In compensation, Al Gore invented divorce, alimony and child-care payments, soap operas & novels, Social Security, Medicaid, WIC and other welfare payments.

LBJ said...

I think there are ways around the "unsafe" areas - I have a folding bike so that I don't have to ride the whole way - I live a ways out from my job, and it's easier for me to take the train or sometimes drive with the bike, and then once I'm closer in, I unfold the bike and I'm all set. It means I can avoid some of the larger, faster roads with heavier traffic.
There's also a really excellent post about why women cycle less here. I think it's insightful especially when it suggests that men aren't necessarily less scared than women, but just aren't as likely to admit it. Just a thought, anyway.