Women surprise in Melbourne bike count

The number of women cyclists in Melbourne was a lot higher than expected in the Super Tuesday count on March 6, according to Bicycle Network Victoria spokesman Garry Brennan.

Women made up 45 per cent of the riders at Lennox and Elizabeth streets in inner city Richmond, Mr Brennan said.

In Fitzroy the figures were 60 per cent male, 40 per cent female.

It was the first time the gender of riders has been included in the count and the number of women was not expected to be as high.  The gender breakdown was initiated by the City of Yarra.

Mr Brennan said women were considered an indicator of the condition of cycling facilities – the more women commuting by bike, the better the bike facilities. In the top international cycling cities women comprise more than half of all commuting riders.

The increase in all riders ranged from 10 per cent to 25 per cent at a sample of sites in the morning despite rain in many suburbs.

Traffic along off-road paths seemed to be rising at a faster rate than on-road paths.

The data collected would be collated and analysed in detail, which would take some time.

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