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Conference paper

Cycling to work and the gender gap in Brisbane: a study of the environmental, sociocultural and individual determinants of gender disparity in commuter cycling in inner-Brisbane

Cycling Gender gap Commuting Urban planning Mobility Transport Brisbane
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apo-nid63276.pdf 626.84 KB

Abstract: Bicycling as a mode of transport is increasingly recognised by planners and policy-makers worldwide for its health, environmental, social and community benefits. Despite this, cycling continues to represent a very small share of the journey to work modes in Australia’s major cities, falling between 1 and 2%, which is well below local government targets. Furthermore, significant proportions of these riders are men, with males in Brisbane accounting for roughly 81% of bicycle commuters. Understanding this substantial gender imbalance is consequently important to both planners and policy-makers alike. Using a survey-based research design, this research study aims to understand which individual, environmental and sociocultural factors influence a person’s decision to commute to work by bicycle in Brisbane, with a particular focus on how these factors differ by gender. Both current cyclists and non-cyclists from the inner-Brisbane suburbs of West End and Newstead were surveyed on perceived barriers and motivators to commuting by bicycle. Findings from the survey indicate that the current cycling environment is the single largest barrier to commuter cycling among inner-Brisbane residents, with safety concerns (fear of riding with motorised traffic) and a disjointed and indirect network of bicycle paths preventing them from doing so. Female respondents were more likely to avoid certain roads or cycling altogether where perceived danger from riding on roads was high. Findings from the study provide an evidence base to inform future policies and planning strategies for increasing transport cycling participation in Brisbane, particularly amongst women.

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