CityCyclingEdinburgh Forum » Infrastructure

Are infrastructure and changing facilities sexist?

(44 posts)
  • Started 1 week ago by I were right about that saddle
  • Latest reply from crowriver

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  1. I were right about that saddle
    Member

  2. jonty
    Member

    Was the title of this thread the original title of the article?

    Posted 1 week ago #
  3. dougal
    Member

    "And yes, I know that everyone in the Netherlands rides in their ordinary clothes, but I live in Stockport and work in Manchester: would you like to sit next to me unwashed after I’ve ridden 10 miles?"

    That's Haymarket to Ocean Terminal and back - an hour at 10mph. Am I the only one that thinks writers massively over-emphasise the effort of cycling even while pretending it's an overall good? We do all realise that these are machines that afford mechanical advantage, yes?

    Posted 1 week ago #
  4. dougal
    Member

    Comments are obviously a clusterfruitcake.

    Posted 1 week ago #
  5. crowriver
    Member

    Stockport to Manchester city centre only 7 miles. Maybe she works in Media City Salford? Any Ms Pidd's a self-confessed roadie so perhaps she cycles *fast* in all the gear. Sweat drenched lycra can have a bit of a whiff about it right enough.

    The point about safe infrastructure still stands. If it were possible to one's 10 mile commute off-road on a decent cycle facility one could dress in civvies.

    That said I'll happily cycle up to 50 miles in civvies on Scottish 'facilities': it's not really that far. If I'm going further than that, or trying to go *fast*, I'll happily lycra up.

    Posted 1 week ago #
  6. EdinburghCycleCam
    Member

    I did the Pedal for Scotland Big Belter (106 miles by the time I got home) in civvies. Though I bought padded shorts to wear under my cut off jeans because I enjoy being able to sit down.

    I don't own any lycra (unless you count those padded shorts which I've never worn again), and average about 55 miles a week (100 miles when I'm not working crazy hours), but I also only have a 3.5 mile / 15 minute commute in the mornings, and don't need to change and have a shower when I get into work (citation needed).

    Posted 1 week ago #
  7. I were right about that saddle
    Member

    Am I the only one that thinks writers massively over-emphasise the effort of cycling even while pretending it's an overall good?

    No.

    Posted 1 week ago #
  8. crowriver
    Member

    From the article/Sustrans survey: "over two-thirds said their home town would be a better place if more people pedalled".

    Yeah. Sounds like the 2/3 of the population who never cycle anywhere, most of whom don't own a bike, but think other people pedalling more would make their home town "a better place".....presumably because it would free up more road space for their motor cars to be driven on?

    Oh BTW the Guardian's Northern office is on Deansgate, so bang in the centre of Manchester. Ms Pidd is doing 7 or 8 miles tops each way unless she extends the route the long way round to get more exercise/ a pleasanter commute.

    Posted 1 week ago #
  9. LivD
    Member

    I don't want to offend any people but my commute (when I get to do it by bike...) is 2.5 miles mostly downhill but when I get to work I feel sweaty and definitely appreciate a shower. I'm not fit and that's part of it, but everyone's metabolism is different and some people perspire more - please don't assume that this woman is telling porkies because she "only" has to cycle 8 miles and wants a shower.

    Posted 1 week ago #
  10. I were right about that saddle
    Member

    Oh God I looked at the comments.

    Posted 1 week ago #
  11. steveo
    Member

    I only ride 5 miles to work and like a shower when I get there, mostly because its cheaper to use someone else's gas but also I do end up sweaty quite quickly and I'm not great at regulating my effort.

    My office has excellent facilities for showering and are equally good for women I've been told. The roads are just as dangerous for me as the ladies sitting opposite. I'd say the facilities and infrastructure are not sexist.

    Posted 1 week ago #
  12. Morningsider
    Member

    Everything starts from having safe, direct and continuous cycle routes between where people live and where they want to get to. What "we" are willing to put up with is irrelevant - as we are really outliers.

    I salute anyone with a 20 mile commute over the Pentlands, who wears only bin bags and needs just a weekly splash of Brut 33 to keep things fresh. However, expecting others to do the same will keep cycling rather niche.

    Women are less likely to travel by bike in the UK, but not in other countries where cycling is more popular. It is surely worth trying to understand why and then take action to remedy this.

    Posted 1 week ago #
  13. I were right about that saddle
    Member

    Madame IWRATS would cycle to work if there was a way of doing this that felt safe. It's a journey that I would have to steel myself for and I have a degree of disregard for my own safety.

    Cycling around Edinburgh requires a certain appetite for risk and I am yet to be persuaded that there isn't a gender difference in that appetite.

    Posted 1 week ago #
  14. steveo
    Member

    It is surely worth trying to understand why and then take action to remedy this.

    Yes but branding it sexist that a person feels excluded from cycling for what ever their personal reason is missing the point and self defeating.

    There are plenty of people who feel they can't cycle because its too dangerous, they need a shower, its too far, its raining, there are hills. Plenty of young "immortal" guys I've known would draw the line at playing in traffic, hell I'm no where near as confident in traffic as I was when I started (back) cycling ten years ago.

    Posted 1 week ago #
  15. steveo
    Member

    Cycling around Edinburgh requires a certain appetite for risk and I am yet to be persuaded that there isn't a gender difference in that appetite.

    But does that make the road sexist or the infrastructure completely inadequate for all?

    Posted 1 week ago #
  16. Lezzles
    Member

    Its not terribly well written but there are clear differences in numbers of people cycling based on gender split. There is some evidence that behavioural characteristics of these genders are part of the reason for this split. By building infrastructure that doesn't take into account these behavioural differences is a bit silly. Therefore it could be considered sexist if it only considers the evidence from current cyclists (predominantely male).

    But yes the guardian seems to have veered away from writing articles based on actual evidence and more on the opinions of people with limited perspective.

    Posted 1 week ago #
  17. mgj
    Member

    In the absence of a sudden huge influx of cash to build segregated facilities immediately, the focus needs to be on making the existing roads safe. If there is a gendered difference in the reaction to how safe the roads appear to be, Police Scotland should be challenged on that.

    Posted 1 week ago #
  18. steveo
    Member

    Therefore it could be considered sexist if it only considers the evidence from current cyclists (predominantely male).

    I'm yet to convinced that cycling infrastructure considers anything other than parking and traffic flow tbh.

    Posted 1 week ago #
  19. Morningsider
    Member

    Generally, our streets and public transport routes and ticketing have been designed to facilitate the type of trips predominantly made by better-off, able-boded men (home-work and long distance intercity). I'm not sure that makes the design "sexist", just unthinking. The negative effects also fall on the elderly, carers, children etc.

    Posted 1 week ago #
  20. crowriver
    Member

    "the guardian seems to have veered away from writing articles based on actual evidence"

    To be fair it is based on a Sustrans report and a link to a Beeb article on same is provided in the article. Whether Ms Pidd's opinions are consistent with the evidence is of course debatable.

    Interestingly the Beeb article links to an earlier one from January: What is stopping women from cycling? This features quotes from.....Helen Pidd.

    Posted 1 week ago #
  21. unhurt
    Member

    just unthinking - this is exactly how embedded, structural -isms work. In this case, assuming adult (able bodied) men are the "standard human" for whom public space should be designed. They are not.

    The negative effects also fall on the elderly, carers, children etc.

    Elderly people are disproportionately women. Women are a disproportionate % of carers and still much more likely to be in charge of children. So this just multiplies the negative effects on women.

    Posted 1 week ago #
  22. gembo
    Member

    Being obtuse here, if infrastructure is sexist would this be remedied by girls lanes and boys lanes?

    I am fortunate now to have a kind of executive loo near my desk (there are a few of these dotted around the building, not technically for senior management actually as anyone v
    Can use them and people walk for miles to do so) anyway this means I have. Not used our changing rooms for a while, when I. Did the sound proofing was not great so it always sounded like the women were having more fun

    In an effort to salvage some cred, I would say that this year the gender split at bike breakfast was fifth fifty

    Which can only be a good thing

    Posted 1 week ago #
  23. sallyhinch
    Member

    OK, wading in with a couple of points here. If routes and infrastructure are mostly designed by men, and if most of the discussions about which routes and infrastructure to build are mostly attended by men, then there are likely to be all sorts of things that aren't considered that turn out to be barriers to women. For instance, men keep telling me that underpasses are mechanically more efficient than bridges if you're on a bike, but they don't have decades of having it drummed into them that if you go into an underpass at night (or down a dark back route or along a lonely footpath) and get raped, then it will be entirely their fault. And, as has been said upthread, because women are more likely to escort children to school, they do different journeys from men, at different times, whereas a lot of the cycling infrastructure that is built is based on major commuter routes.

    So yes, until women are at the table when decision are made, then those decisions will likely be sexist, and if minorities are not at the table then decisions will be made that likely exclude them, and if people with disabilities are not at the table then decisions will be made that exclude them (as a glance at almost any cycle path you care to name will amply illustrate).

    Things don't have to be deliberately sexist for them to be sexist. It's all very well saying it's 'unthinking' but once you get the right people in the room then these things *will* get thought of.

    And, amazingly, if we start to design for people who can't brush off the dangerous bits and the discontinuities, and the barriers and the lack of social safety, we'll end up with really good infrastructure that will also benefit those who can.

    Posted 1 week ago #
  24. gembo
    Member

    @sallyhinch, I think all your points are well made. The only issue I have is that I would have to ask What infrastructure? What table is it that only men are sitting at to design segregated infrastructure?

    On the plus side, as there is no table I can see we still have the opportunity to make the table as inclusive as possible should there ever be a table?

    Underpasses are not something I am keen on for anyone.

    Posted 1 week ago #
  25. Morningsider
    Member

    unhurt/sally - yes, this is what I was really trying to get at. Clearly my last post was too short. I made a slightly better go of it about a week ago:

    http://citycyclingedinburgh.info/bbpress/topic.php?id=18860#post-283689

    Posted 1 week ago #
  26. I were right about that saddle
    Member

    Cars belong in underpasses, not people. Pedestrian underpasses aren't designed by men, they're the work of Satan.

    Posted 1 week ago #
  27. steveo
    Member

    I grew up near enough the Calder Road underpasses that I still get off the night bus early and route through Stenhouse to avoid them.

    But they're not sexist or racist or classist or any other ist they're just there to make sure the cars got through in fabulous 60's wealth making fashion.

    Posted 1 week ago #
  28. Ed1
    Member

    I avioded the calder under passes on satrurday night at 1 am. I use them in the day I think most people would avoid late at night irrespective of gender

    Posted 1 week ago #
  29. I were right about that saddle
    Member

    @steveo

    The Calder Road underpass was the exact one I had in mind. I remember the first time I came across it as a fit twenty-something and decided to hop the fence on the dual carriageway instead. At least that way I could see what was coming.

    Posted 6 days ago #
  30. Frenchy
    Member

    But they're not sexist or racist or classist or any other ist they're just there to make sure the cars got through in fabulous 60's wealth making fashion.

    But "making sure cars got through in fabulous 60's wealth making fashion" was (and is) sexist, racist and classist.

    Posted 6 days ago #

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