“Treating people equally often translates as treating people like men.
What all this means is that what works for men, as imagined by city hall, doesn’t necessarily work for everyone else. By treating us in a way that suits this male ideal, the rest of us are disadvantaged – often in surprising ways.
Women are more likely than men to walk, bike, and use public transport, whereas men are more likely to drive. By prioritising clearing the roads, the city was prioritising the way men choose to travel, despite the fact that walking or pushing a stroller though 10cm of snow is much harder than driving a car through it.
So the city changed the order of snow-clearing to focus on the pavements and cycle paths first, particularly around schools.
As an unexpected by-product, it found a marked decrease in injuries: pedestrians are three times as likely as motorists to be injured in accidents due to slippery conditions.
Since the changes, more women have started using the car-park, and so the company made more money. Everyone wins.