Pacific Southwest Region 9 UTC

Making Bicycling Equitable: Lessons from Sociocultural Research

Project Number


Project Summary

This white paper provides guidance for how planning, policy, and advocacy may better account for complex sociocultural forces, including gender, class, and race. The authors reviewed a large body of sociocultural research on bicycling with complex models capable of addressing an intersectional understanding of identity, the innerworkings of power in society, and the nature of inequity. These findings coalesced into four recommendations for those promoting bicycling as a mode of everyday transportation: (1) Extend what it means to embrace difference; (2) Recognize that the streets are not equally safe for all; (3) Engage in a meaningful way with marginalized communities and share decision-making power; and (4) Understand how local and national histories of injustice influence and relate to current bicycling planning processes.

Integrating these recommendations into advocacy, policy, and planning can lead to greater equity in representation, distribution of resources, and decision-making in promoting bicycling. System-wide implementation of these recommendations will create the greatest impact on improving issues of equity, diversity, and inclusion in bicycling. This requires broad-scale interventions, including but not limited to, training, changes to funding and decision-making structures, valuing long-term community engagement and community knowledge, broadening measures to street safety, and considering historic inequality.

Funding source: USDOT

Contract number: 69A3551747109

Funding amount: $37,226

Start and end dates: Sep. 1, 2017 - Jan. 31, 2019

Link to report  

Project Status




Topic Area

Urban Mobility

P.I. Name & Address

Associate Director, Feminist Research Institute
University of California, Davis
1 Shields Ave
Davis, CA 95616
United States