Women as indicator species for safe cycling

In the lead up to VeloCity Vienna, Bas de Geus from the Free University Brussels (VUB) presented the health benefits […]

In the lead up to VeloCity Vienna, Bas de Geus from the Free University Brussels (VUB) presented the health benefits of cycling, which he said would be nothing short of fantastic if Europe managed to achieve a 15% modal share. Air pollution, coming mostly from cars, “presents much more serious risks to cyclists than to car occupants”, he said.   Despite this and other risks, he insisted that “the health benefits remain high compared to the risks of not doing physical activity.”

de Geus reported that researchers observed that where rates of cycling are high, there are relatively more women than where cycling rates are low.   On this basis he said that some have argued for “women to be considered as an indicator species”, a kind of barometer for cycling.

In the same discussion forum Prof Dr Michael Meschik echoed earlier presenters saying that roads need to be made safe for cyclists and pedestrians.  “It can’t be left up to the individuals to try and cope with conditions built for cars.” He said that one important action that individuals could do was to “endorse the EU Parliament’s recommendation  (27SEP2011) for 30kph zones across Europe. –

About Heinrich

Promoting everyday cycling