From a BV press release
Good to see so many women out riding! It is interesting to know because women are the indicator species. If the facilities are built well and people feel safe then the numbe of women out riding will be similiar to the men who tend to be less risk adverse
"Gender mix surprise in bike count numbers
The vigour of Melbourne’s bike riding growth has been confirmed by today’s Super Tuesday bike count showing higher than expected numbers of female riders.
At one count location this morning in Richmond women comprised a surprising 45 per cent of riders, recorded at the corner of Lennox and Elizabeth Street.
In Fitzroy the figures were 60:40 male-female.
Women are considered an ‘indicator species’ of the health of the riding environment—the more women who commute by bike, the better the bike facilities. In the top international cycling cities women comprise more than half of all commuting riders.
This year is the first time the gender of riders has been included in the Super Tuesday bike count, and the number was not expected to be this high.
“This preliminary result is a real surprise, and shows that Melbourne has made even more progress as a bike city than we thought,” Garry Brennan, spokesman for Bicycle Network Victoria said today.
“The flowering of female bike commuting shows that the investment by the inner councils and the State Government is paying dividends and riders have growing confidence in the new generation of infrastructure.
“Although there are still many deficiencies in the network, and significant investment is still needed to bring facilities up to scratch, these figures show we have reached a turning point and community-wide adoption of bike transport is spiralling upwards.”
Mr Brennan said that despite rain in many suburbs this morning overall numbers were up at the sites sampled so far today, ranging from 10 to 25 per cent increases.
Heading into the city Canning Street was up 23 per cent, Exhibition Street northbound was up 22 per cent, and the Yarra Trail 24 per cent. Off-road trails seem to be increasing at a faster rate than on-road paths.
The construction works in Swanston Street have caused bike traffic to drop about 10 per cent on that route.
More than 1200 sites were counted today across Australia (Queensland & Northern Territory counts in September). More than 700 locations were counted in Victoria.
The count data will take several months to analyse before being provided to the local government agencies that partner with Bicycle Network each year in the project in order to better plan their cycling networks."