This is probably not too surprising if you've ever fought it out with the automobile on L.A. streets only to notice that your fellow bike warriors are also stinky, hairy and embattled, but our city's bicycling scene doesn't appear to be too female friendly.
That's the conclusion of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition's (LACBC) latest Los Angeles Bicycle and Pedestrian Count, which was released yesterday to coincide with Bike Week.
The coalition found that …
… fewer than 1 in 5 bicyclists in L.A. are women or girls.
Female ridership is highest on bike paths and lanes, the group said. The organization took all that to mean that “the lack of safe and comfortable facilities is causing a gender disparity among bicyclists,” according to a LACBC statement:
LACBC calls on the City of Los Angeles to invest in protected bikeways that appeal to people who otherwise don't feel comfortable riding in traffic, particularly women, children and the elderly.
The count also found that citywide bicycle ridership has gone up 7.5 percent between 2011 and 2013 and that the addition of more than 200 miles of bikeways during that time deserves credit.
The survey also found that:
-L.A. riders strongly prefer bike paths and lanes.
-Bike lanes cut sidewalk riding in half.
-The times when bicyclists are on the road the most are rush hours, which suggests people are peddling for transportation.
The count looked at nearly 18,000 riders in the span of several hours at 120 locations on a few days in September of 2013, according to the organization.
LACBC wants a network of “protected bikeways” for Los Angeles and is encouraging the city to make them a part of its “Mobility Plan 2035.”
Mayor Eric Garcetti had this to say after reviewing the report:
Robust and safe infrastructure for bicycling and walking contributes to my vision of a more livable, sustainable, and safe city filled with Great Streets and transportation options for all Angelenos.