The gender gap in travel data continues with the intentional ommission in many transport surveys of shorter pedestrian and other 'non-motorized' trips. These trips, says Sanchez de Madrigal, are 'not considered to be relevant for infrastructure policymaking'. Given women generally walk further and for longer than men (in part because of their care-giving responsibilities; in part because women tend to be poorer), this marginalisation of non-motorised travel inevitably affects them more. Ignoring shorter walking trips also adds to the gap in trip-chaining data, as this kind of travel usually involves at least one journey on foot. In short, the assumption that shorter walking trips are irrelevant to infrastructure policy is little short of an assumption that women are irrelevant to infrastructure policy. 1
I think of this every winter in Chilliwack where they only clean the major roads and do nothing with most sidewalks and all the side roads. They're saying that cars are the most important, and leaving anyone that's pushing a stroller fighting for road space with cars because that's the only clear space on the roads. This is me many nights as I take kids to swimming lessons while my wife works.
They're also saying that anyone that needs a mobility aid, isn't valuable enough to ensure their safe travel.
I'm ultimately not far into the book, but I'm looking forward to rethinking some of the biases I have.
Page 34 hardcover ↩︎