After our discussion in class last week about the best approaches to conducting field interviews in a manner that is most respectful to the communities we’re engaging, we put great deal of thought into how to compile our surveys in a way that would help us get answers to the questions we had in a collaborative, non-invasive way. We also discussed which groups we should target to maintain diversity in our study and help to get responses that are as representative as possible of the groups we seek to gather information about.
We compiled two surveys. The first one will be given to current female members of the SFBC. The purpose of this survey will be two-fold. The first goal is to track where these women are biking in the city. We will use this information to inform the toolkit by providing the SFBC with a better idea of where their female members are located and where they bike most frequently so that they can use such information to strengthen those communities, as well as to target ridership in geographic locations that are not well-represented in the data we collect. The second goal of the survey will be to understand these women’s motivation(s) for riding their bikes. Hopefully, such insight will give us ideas about ways we can engage and encourage the non-riding population.
In compiling the SFBC survey, we began by including questions that will give us general background information on the women we are talking to, just so that we can get an idea of the demographic. After such questions, we asked questions to get an idea about the nature of their bike riding, to understand whether these women are biking recreationally, for commuting purposes, or both, and asked the women to describe the bike trips that they make most frequently. We followed this with questions regarding their motivation(s) for riding bicycles, with response options ranging from health-related reasons, to carbon footprint reduction. We included a wide range of options, but, as was the case with many questions, also included a fill in the blank “other” box to allow women to voice any options that we had failed to include. Lastly, we wanted to get a gauge on what SFBC events have been most popular with their female members, and to get an idea of which events are most effective at getting (and keeping) these women on their bikes.
The second survey will be given to, hopefully, members of a variety of non-SFBC associated womens groups in San Francisco. The goal is to target women who do not ride bikes and to find out what SFBC can do to help them start cycling. Our aim is to understand what is preventing these women from biking, and what sort of programming SFBC could offer to encourage them to do so.
As was the case in the previous survey, we began by collecting demographic information. We then asked questions regarding their regular modes of transportation to gain an understanding of how much these women bike currently, and to gauge their confidence level with bicycling. The remainder of the questions focused on factors that are preventing them from riding bikes, and resources/programming that would help alleviate their concerns. Once again, we often included the “other” option in order to give the participants an opportunity to answer questions in their own words.
Overall, we tried our best to keep the surveys concise, out of respect for the participants’ time, and we phrased the questions in ways that we thought were accessible and straightforward. Now, we will work with Janice and other SFBC staff to refine the survey drafts and to prepare them for release in the near future.
In addition to working on our surveys, we began to contact organizations that may help us distribute our survey to women who are not biking in San Francisco. We did some preliminary searches for individual groups online and found that the search was taking quite long and was not producing the type of information we wanted. To save time and improve the quality of our search, we contacted larger organizations that may have a list of women’s groups in the area.
This week we contacted The Women’s House in San Francisco and the Board of Supervisors. The idea of contacting these two organizations is that they could put us in contact with women’s groups that would be willing to fill out our survey. We had to consider a couple things when crafting our emails to these organization. For one, we had to consider how to address ourselves. We decided that we would refer to ourselves as Stanford student working with SFBC instead of just a member of SFBC. We did this to emphasize that there is an educational component to this project and to avoid any negative implication of being part of a larger organization. We also decided that it would be best not to include all the details of the project to avoid our email being deleted due to length.
We are still waiting for a response, but if by Tuesday we do not hear back we have decided to call both organizations and request more information. If we want to further refine the women’s groups we are reaching out to, we could even email specific district supervisors in different districts we want to target. This will all depend on the response we get from The Women’s House and the Board of Supervisors.
As stated above, we sent our draft of the survey questions to Janice and they are currently being circulated amongst the SFBC staff working on the project in order for substantial feedback. We will make the necessary edits and put it into a google form by Monday so it will be ready to be delivered on Tuesday. After that, we anticipate about a week or so of a waiting period, but we will compile the survey data as it comes in so that we can start our analysis and GIS map.
We have received a response from the email we sent to The Women's House in San Francisco. They showed significant interest and we have made plans to discuss our project further on Monday morning through a phone conversation. Hopefully we will receive information regarding specific women's groups and their contact information so we can start delivering our second survey dedicated to women who don't already bike.
3. Happy Hour
The SFBC is hosting a Women Love Bikes social mixer event in San Francisco on February 19th which Katie is going to attend. The purpose of the event is to bring together women in a casual environment to talk, make connections, and spread the word about this new women and bikes SFBC initiative. This women-focused evening is open to all bike lovers and the bike curious and will hopefully be a great opportunity to talk about our involvement in the project and receive valuable feedback.
4. Focus Groups
On February 21, we are going to travel up to the city to conduct structured focus groups at the SFBC headquarters. We will facilitate two sessions throughout the afternoon with 5-10 women in each group depending on the interest. The information collected from the focus groups will be additional data to supplement the survey data. The groups may also give us information missed or not represented on the surveys.