Many municipalities have increased their documentation of cyclist volumes on their roads and London, Ontario is no exception. The general consensus is that cyclist volumes are increasing. But beyond this basic fact there is little additional data being made publicly available.
How many cyclist collisions are occurring. How many injuries occur to cyclists. Where are cyclists located when they are involved in a collision. What characteristics do cyclists possess. How do cyclists ride on or adjacent to urban roadways. All these facts are important. Yet these facts are unavailable.
Gorski Consulting has been making observations of cyclists in the vicinity of London, Ontario for over 10 years. As a result of our involvement in collision reconstructions we have had the opportunity to conduct detailed, multi-video camera analyses at the sites of those collisions in order to develop data that could be used in a specific collision primarily for settlement of claims in civil litigation. As a result of these video analyses observations of cyclists also became possible because video simply captured every traffic unit in the site that is studied. Thus it has been possible to return to some of these earlier collision reconstruction studies and gather information about cyclists. These observations have been supplemented recently by our own direct studies of cyclists. Thus a substantial body of data is being assembled on cyclist issues in London and its vicinity.
One of the ongoing cycling studies has involved still-photo documentation of cyclists riding on or in the vicinity of roadways in London. We have just completed the calculations for the year 2022 where a total of 1083 cyclist observations were made. We will be reporting on some of these data in the near future. Some of the results may be surprising to some.
For example the numbers of male versus female cyclists has been of continued interest. In observations from the year 2022, the gender of 53 cyclists could not be determined. Thus this resulted in a study of the remaining 1030 observations. Of those 1030 cyclists where gender could be determined there was a vastly higher number of male cyclists than female. For example, of the 1030 observations, 895 were males and only 135 were females. This results in a percentage of females of only 13.11 %.
Given that one would think that one could purchase a cycle equally regardless of whether one was male or female, this imbalance of vastly higher numbers of males interesting. Yet this percentage has not changed much throughout the 10 years of our observations.
So what is the cause of this discrepancy? And how will this affect the ability to increase cyclist ridership in the future?