Despite the appearance that cyclist volumes may be rising, the percentage of female cyclists observed on or adjacent to Streets in London, Ontario remain low.
Observations of cyclists in London Ontario have been made by Gorski Consulting for a number of years along various paths, trails and roads. A segment of those observations are those obtained along London’s streets. These include cyclists who may be riding within a lane shared with motor vehicles, in various cycling lanes or tracks, or on sidewalks. The observations include cyclists that may be stopped waiting at a traffic signal or walking their cycle. The following table shows the results of these observations for the first quarter of each year from 2013 through to 2022.
It can be seen that the number of observations made in the years 2021 and 2022 are greater than previous years. This may indicate that there are more cyclists on or adjacent to these streets. Alternatively we may simply having been paying more attention to documenting these instances in the last couple of years.
The last column in the above table shows the percentage of observations that were female. These percentages are taken from those where the gender of the rider was verified. So the 40 instances where gender was unknown were excluded from these percentages. Overall it can be seen that the percentage of female cyclists observed on London’s Street was found to be about 9.3 percent over the noted years of 2013 through 2022. In the earlier years of 2013 through 2016 there were less observations and the percentage of observed females was very low. This has tended to reduce the overall percentages for the combined years. Yet one can positively say that the overall percentage of female observations is certainly below 13 to 14 percent. This is a low value that does not appear to be changing even if the overall number of cyclists has grown.
If the small numbers of observations shown in our table do not invalidate our conclusions it would seem that some concern should be generated as to why there are so few female cyclists riding on London’s streets in winter conditions. Many have concluded that this is due to safety reasons and that is possible. Is inconvenience another factor? Possibly. It’s an issue that needs further discussion.