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Women Cyclists in New York City

Any time Julie Hirschfeld opened a bicycle boutique with regard to women, she envisioned fashion-obsessed customers with a disdain for spandex surging in in order to buy bikes and accessories they might model along New York City’s paved catwalks: miles and miles of brand new bicycle paths. She lined her shop downtown with vintage-inspired bikes, many together with Brooks saddle seats; partnered with Kate Spade to be able to sell any $1,100 bicycle the color of freshly cut grass; as well as sold helmets which would certainly pass more with regard to fashionable hats. 
One year later, Ms. Hirschfeld provides conceded it takes more than fashion in order to get women about bikes.
“Women wish to feel secure,” said Ms. Hirschfeld, that has expanded her Reade Street boutique, Adeline Adeline, to also cater to be able to male cyclists. She said that in the event that the particular perception regarding danger dissipates, “women then will certainly ride, and also ride more than men.”
Despite the particular city’s efforts in order to become more bike friendly, male cyclists within New York continue in order to outnumber female cyclists three to one, simply as these people possess steadily over the actual past two decades. Data tracked by the city and also private groups shows the particular gap between male and also female cyclists is actually even wider within areas where vehicular traffic will be more concentrated. These figures lag not really only far behind people in most major global capitals such as Copenhagen and Amsterdam, exactly where women make upwards the majority of cyclists, but also behind American cities like Portland, Ore., that have narrowed the gender gap. 

“Within the actual United States, New York is actually far behind inside terms of the percentage of women cyclists compared to be able to cities just like Washington, D.C., and San Francisco,” said John Pucher, a professor associated with planning and transportation at Rutgers University who is actually working upon the book about global cycling trends. “I’m convinced that one from the reasons New York City offers these kinds of the low percentage regarding women cyclists will be that it’s dangerous.” 

Data tracked through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration with the nation’s 10 largest cities shows which inside 2009 New York City had 12 cycling fatalities. But the actual city ranked fifth in per capita deaths.
“Other cities within the United States and Canada have indeed made cycling much, much safer than it really is in New York,” Mr. Pucher said.
Bicycling in New York is not really more dangerous with regard to women than men, but women may become less inclined in order to engage within something in which is actually perceived to be able to be risky, experts said; high-profile bicycle fatalities, such as the actual death about Saturday regarding Marilyn Dershowitz, the retired special referee within State Supreme Court in Manhattan and also the particular sister-inside-law with the lawyer Alan M. Dershowitz, add in order to the perception. 

City officials and local bike advocacy groups say they will possess focused more on creating cycling safer regarding almost all New Yorkers, not really just women. 1 group, Transportation Alternatives, offers any women’s bicycle repair class, and it has furthermore attracted more women to events regarding both men and also women such as group rides and also its bike ambassador program, which pairs upward cyclists, said Caroline Sampanaro, the group’s director of bicycle advocacy. The actual city’s transportation commissioner, Janette Sadik-Khan, stressed its programs — like adding 250 miles associated with bicycle lanes over the past four years — assist all cyclists. 

“We tend to be building streets and bike paths in which make them safer and also more inviting with regard to everyone who uses them — whether a person’re 7 or 70 years old, or even male or female,” Ms. Sadik-Khan said in any statement. 

Women in New York City certainly tend to be cycling more than within the past. According to census data, only 2,446 women inside the city cycled in order to work in 2000 compared together with several,888 in 2005 and 5,683 inside 2009. Andy Clarke, president of the Washington-based League of American Bicyclists, estimates these kinds of census figures represent 15 percent of the actual number associated with people cycling because these people track people commuting in order to work exclusively by bicycle as well as do not really factor inside part-time bicycle commuters or leisure cyclists.


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