Cycling is of “negligible” importance but has benefited from disproportionate government support because Australia's mostly male policy makers are looking out for the nation's mostly male cyclists.
That's the claim of an RMIT report, released last month, which compares how people travel to work across Australia.
According to the report, which analysed 35 years of census data, Australian women are greater public transport users than men, who were most likely to cycle to work (77 per cent) or drive (57 per cent).
Overall, cars remain the top mode of transport, with the number of drivers nearly doubling from 2.02 million in 1976 to 3.94 million in 2011 as public and active transport use has dipped.
“Perhaps this helps explain why the 'male' modes of car driving and cycling receive more policy and media attention than the female-dominated modes of walking and public transport,” concluded authors Dr Paul Mees and Dr Lucy Groenhart.
It goes on with a good response from Ben Wilson - for my two cents I think the problem is some acadmemics look for some kind of undercurrent of bigotry to embed their findings in to try and give them some extra credibility and significance ~ or to create an overarching narrative. Of course at times such bigotry truly exists, but other times the authors are just clutching at straws - which is clearly the case here.
Contrary arguements and reasoning haven't been considered when they jumped at the conclusion that more men cycle, therefor investment in cycling infrastructure is sexist.
Why didn't they consider the fact that studies have shown that more investment in cycling infrastructure makes the laneways safer and that attracts more women. In fact if you really want to be ridiculous you could say this is sexist investment against men in favour of women because it's women who mostly feel the need for the cycle lanes to be safer, not men.
No mention too of the myriad of footpaths for pedestrians (which they argue women prefer) that must out number cycle lanes by a thousand to one.
What a joke - the simple facts are cycling is good for men and women, and walking is good for men and women - any improvement to any infrastrucutre for either is good for us all. My bet is the authors of the report don't do much cycling or walking! If the infrastrucutre by design could only benefit one sex it would be sexist, but that is not the case. And they honestly wonder why the term "academic" is a by word for irrelevant!!