Skip navigation
Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California
Top Stories

Safer Bike Lanes For All

Statistics show fewer women are biking on the streets than men. ATVN's Stassy Olmos spoke with local LA county mayors and California's Biking Coalition about why this is and what it will take to change things.

“Rides in heels, speeds down hills" is Janet Lafleur's description of her every day life--and she captures it in a blog all about being a professional woman and a biker.

"On my little you know mixte, which is a kind of a somewhat of a bright bike, in my dress and heels, just kind of tootling along... sometimes I feel like I’m the only one out there."

She encourgaes women to bike, because statistics show that while the numbers of people biking as a means of transportation is growing--there are more than oduble the amount of men on two wheels than women.

Culver City Mayor Meghan Sahli-Wells suggests that "women have a tendency to favor protected bike lanes and things that are perceived as being more safe," she says, "Women might feel a little more vulnerable because you don’t have that metal protection around you.

And the executive director of the California Biking Coalition, Dave Snyder, said, "to actually get where they’re trying to get to go, they have to bike on some street that’s terrible and full of traffic and they wont do it.

I did a little experiment of my own. I rode my bike to a corner in Downtown LA on Flower St. and Olympic Blvd. and I waited for 30 minutes counting the gender of bikers going by. In that amount of time, 30 men pedaled passed, and the only woman on a bike—was me.

Snyder says, "In Portland, the gender mix was pretty much like the United States which is about ¼ of the cyclists are women but since they put in a bunch of bike lanes and a bunch of bike paths, it’s up to 1/3 and better."

And Santa Monica Mayor Pat O'Connor also says infastructure is the answer.

"What we found in Santa Monica is if you build it, they will come. So that meaning that if you put in a bike lane, people use that bike line. If you can make that bike lane safe for people, they’ll get on their bikes," said O'Connor.

But by bike lanes, they mean protected bike lines, that don't allow cars to cut through, leaving bikers in the middle of the street where the lane disappears.

Lafleur says the work that the bicycle coalitions and government do to make bicycling easier and more comfortable is what makes her lifestyle possible.

Leave a comment

We've Moved!

By Sam Bergum
01/21/16 | 11:09 a.m. PST

Visit us at!

USC Basketball Knocks Off Rival UCLA 89- 75

By Scott Cook
01/14/16 | 12:05 a.m. PST

USC defeats UCLA with stellar play from their Freshmen. 

Holiday Bowl - USC vs Wisconsin Post-Game Press Conference

Su'a Cravens: "It's the players that need to step up"

Darreus Rogers: "It comes down to the players"

Trojans Fall to Wisconsin in the Holiday Bowl 23-21

We detected that you might be on a mobile device such as an iPad or iPhone. Sorry, at this time the video box is only visible on desktop computers.