ACID TEST: How to know if your city cycling system is working?

UK cambridge women cycling in streeet

It’s extremely simple:  Do the numbers.

1. You do an accurate account of the number of women and girls on bicycles at key points and hours around the city.

2. And if the percentage of female cyclists is close to 50% or higher, your program is working.

3. If not, it is not.

You see they are telling us something in the most vivid way possible. By their choices. By their actions. When we see public spaces that are abundantly used by women, we know that they are safe.

So, if you do not have strong visible participation by women on your cycle paths and lanes, it’s back to the drawing board with you.

Sometimes life is simple.

From our friendss at amsterdamcyclechic.

From our friends at amsterdamcyclechic.

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About the editor:

Eric Britton
9, rue Gabillot, 69003 Lyon France

Bio: Educated as a development economist, Francis Eric Knight Britton is an American political scientist, teacher and sustainability activist who has taught and worked on missions and advisory assignments on all continents. Professor of Sustainable Development, Economy and Democracy at the Institut Supérieur de Gestion (Paris, New York), he is MD of EcoPlan Association, an independent non-profit advisory network providing strategic counsel for government and business on policy and decision issues involving complex systems, social-technical change, incomplete information, civil society and sustainable development. Founding editor of World Streets: Climate/Action/Plan 2019-2020. In the autumn of 2018 he committed his remaining life work to the challenges of countering climate change from GHG emissions from the mobility sector. (For more see Britton online at, @ericbritton. email at and Skype: newmobility.)

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3 thoughts on “ACID TEST: How to know if your city cycling system is working?

    • Well, perhaps you should Simon. I’d be interested to read you once you have given it a bit of time.

      Slight detour on the way to our destination: It has to do with women (of all ages) in parks and public spaces. If there are not a lot of women comfortably installed in these spaces, it is because they are perceived as insufficiently safe.


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