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IS IT SAFE TO WALK HERE? NEIGHBORHOOD SAFETY AND SECURITY CONSIDERATIONS AND THEIR EFFECTS IS IT SAFE TO WALK HERE? NEIGHBORHOOD SAFETY AND SECURITY CONSIDERATIONS AND THEIR EFFECTS ON WALKING Anastasia Loukaitou-Sideris UCLA Department of Urban Planning UCLA Institute of Transportation Studies October 2005 Arrowhead Conference Institute of Transportation Studies

Introduction “Current levels of physical activity among Americans remain low, and we are losing Introduction “Current levels of physical activity among Americans remain low, and we are losing ground in some areas. The good news is that people can benefit from even moderate levels of physical activity. The public health implications of this good news are vast. ” (Surgeon General’s Report on Physical Activity and Health, Department of Health and Human Services 1996). Report’s recommendation: Adults should engage in a thirtyminute physical activity at least five days per week. Institute of Transportation Studies

Worrisome Facts • An estimated three-quarters of Americans do not meet the report’s standard. Worrisome Facts • An estimated three-quarters of Americans do not meet the report’s standard. • One quarter of the population is obese and 61% is overweight. • Growing levels of obesity are particularly widespread among children. • A sedentary lifestyle is considered to be a primary factor in more than 200, 000 deaths per year. Institute of Transportation Studies

Changes in walking and biking for the journey to work trip 1960 -2000 Commuters Changes in walking and biking for the journey to work trip 1960 -2000 Commuters Walk Bicycle 1960 1970 6, 416, 343 5, 689, 819 9. 92% 7. 40% N/A 1980 1990 2000 5, 413, 248 5. 60% 4, 488, 886 3. 90% 3, 758, 982 2. 93% 468, 348 0. 48% 466, 856 0. 41% 488, 497 0. 38% Institute of Transportation Studies

Purpose of the Presentation Integration of knowledge from criminology, public health, and planning to Purpose of the Presentation Integration of knowledge from criminology, public health, and planning to discuss: 1. The link between perceived risk, fear, and physical (in)activity. 2. How perceptions of neighborhood safety may vary because of socio-psychological, demographic, and environmental factors. 3. Design and policy interventions that can help individuals feel safer in public settings. Institute of Transportation Studies

Conceptual Model MODIFIERS Socio-psychological factors Socio-demographic factors Environmental factors FEAR PERCEIVED RISK Constrained Behavior Conceptual Model MODIFIERS Socio-psychological factors Socio-demographic factors Environmental factors FEAR PERCEIVED RISK Constrained Behavior INACTIVITY POOR HEALTH Institute of Transportation Studies

Literature Review: Link between safety and (in)activity • U. S. DOT survey found that Literature Review: Link between safety and (in)activity • U. S. DOT survey found that half of the respondents would walk more if there were safe pathways and crime was not a consideration (US Department of transportation, 1994). • Survey of Ontarians found that perceived safety is one of the most important environmental qualities for walking (Bauman et al. 1996). • An analysis of Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System data collected from a sample of 12, 767 adults in five U. S. states revealed that higher levels of perceived neighborhood safety were associated with a lower prevalence of physical inactivity (CDC, 1999) Institute of Transportation Studies

Literature Review: Features important for walking A review of the literature found that the Literature Review: Features important for walking A review of the literature found that the features emerging as important for walking across multiple studies include: • • personal safety aesthetics presence of destinations convenience of nearby facilities (Pikora et al. 2003). Institute of Transportation Studies

Perceived Risks for Pedestrians and Cyclists HUMAN Heavy traffic Reckless drivers Pedestrian. Automobile Crashes Perceived Risks for Pedestrians and Cyclists HUMAN Heavy traffic Reckless drivers Pedestrian. Automobile Crashes NON-HUMAN (ENVIRONMENTAL) Criminals Crime Violence Unattended Dogs Injury from bites Poor roadway Infrastructure Injury from falls Pedestrianautomobile crashes Institute of Transportation Studies

Modifiers of Perceived Risk and Fear Socio-psychological factors: • Prior memories and experiences of Modifiers of Perceived Risk and Fear Socio-psychological factors: • Prior memories and experiences of a setting; familiarity with social and physical environment; prior experience of victimization. • Social production of fear (parental admonitions, highly publicized media stories, police warnings, etc. ) Institute of Transportation Studies

Modifiers of Perceived Risk and Fear Socio-demographic factors: Gender • • Fear of crime Modifiers of Perceived Risk and Fear Socio-demographic factors: Gender • • Fear of crime more prominent among women. Women less likely to walk after dark. Surveys have shown that a majority of women anticipated being at risk in parking structures, public transportation stations, bus stops, and underground passages. Important differentiation among women because of age, race, class, cultural and educational background, sexual orientation, and disability status. Institute of Transportation Studies

Modifiers of Perceived Risk and Fear Socio-demographic factors: Class • Residents of poor neighborhoods Modifiers of Perceived Risk and Fear Socio-demographic factors: Class • Residents of poor neighborhoods have higher levels of fear of being victimized • According to a national survey twice as many lowincome (31%) as moderate income (15%) respondents identifies worry about safety in their neighborhoods as an obstacle to walking (Moore et al. 1996). • Despite the above, residents of low income neighborhoods typically walk more than residents of affluent neighborhoods for utilitarian purposes, out of necessity. Institute of Transportation Studies

Modifiers of Perceived Risk and Fear Socio-demographic factor: Age • Dramatic decline in walking Modifiers of Perceived Risk and Fear Socio-demographic factor: Age • Dramatic decline in walking among children because of parental fears about crime and traffic. • Small minority of children walk or bike to school. Forty percent of parents cited traffic as a a major barrier for letting their children walk to school. • National study conducted by TRB in 2002 found that walking and biking has higher injury and fatality counts among students than those expected from their exposure rates. Institute of Transportation Studies

Modifiers of Perceived Risk and Fear Socio-demographic factor: Age • • Many elderly are Modifiers of Perceived Risk and Fear Socio-demographic factor: Age • • Many elderly are particularly afraid of the different dangers that await them when walking in public (victimization from crime, injury from traffic collision, fall or dog bite) Children and the elderly represent the highest risk group for automobile-pedestrian collisions. Institute of Transportation Studies

Modifiers of Perceived Risk and Fear Socio-demographic factor: Race/Ethnicity • A national study of Modifiers of Perceived Risk and Fear Socio-demographic factor: Race/Ethnicity • A national study of 1, 101 respondents found that nonwhite respondents reported higher levels of perceived risk in their neighborhoods (Ferraro, 1995) • Ethnic and racial minorities are overrepresented in pedestrian deaths (Surface Transportation Policy Project, 2002). • Racial and ethnic minorities are less likely to participate in recreational physical activities (Amesty 2003). Institute of Transportation Studies

Modifiers of Perceived Risk and Fear Environmental Factors • Significant relationship between neighborhood incivilities Modifiers of Perceived Risk and Fear Environmental Factors • Significant relationship between neighborhood incivilities (social and physical) and perceptions of risk. • Feared places display a combination of ‘low prospect, ’ ‘high refuge, ’ and ‘high boundedness’ (Day in Zelinka and Brennan, 2001). • Darkness, lack of familiarity with a setting, and presence of feared others can be cues to danger (Warr, 1990). Institute of Transportation Studies

Design and Policy Interventions for Safer Neighborhoods Protecting Neighborhoods from Crime • Resurgence of Design and Policy Interventions for Safer Neighborhoods Protecting Neighborhoods from Crime • Resurgence of interest in the role of the built environment to mitigate crime • Certain features of the micro-environment affect the likelihood of crime, while other features have the potential to deter crime. • Negative environmental features include darkness, multiple escape routes, liquor stores, pawn shops, abandoned buildings, graffiti, litter, ‘broken windows. ’ • Defensible space features include lighting, good visibility, places to sit outdoors, direct relationship of buildings to street, good maintenance, and territorial symbols. Institute of Transportation Studies

Design and Policy Interventions for Protecting Neighborhoods from Crime • Fixing broken windows • Design and Policy Interventions for Protecting Neighborhoods from Crime • Fixing broken windows • Facilitating eyes on the street Institute of Transportation Studies

Design and Policy Interventions for Protecting Neighborhoods from Crime Lighting the way Eliminating bad Design and Policy Interventions for Protecting Neighborhoods from Crime Lighting the way Eliminating bad neighbors Institute of Transportation Studies

Design and Policy Interventions for Protecting Neighborhoods from Crime Creating safe territories Protecting access Design and Policy Interventions for Protecting Neighborhoods from Crime Creating safe territories Protecting access routes to destinations Institute of Transportation Studies

Complementary Strategies • Policing and surveillance • Educational programs • Use of security technology Complementary Strategies • Policing and surveillance • Educational programs • Use of security technology • Social capital and social networks Institute of Transportation Studies

Protecting Neighborhoods from Traffic How walkable are the streets? • Lack of attention to Protecting Neighborhoods from Traffic How walkable are the streets? • Lack of attention to pedestrians has made streets less safe for walking. • Sidewalks are not mandatory in many municipal codes. • Segregated land uses in many urban and suburban areas do not encourage walking. • Typical suburban residential streets with curb-to-curb width of 38 feet are unsafe for pedestrians because they are difficult to cross. • Destinations are often to far. Institute of Transportation Studies

The Effects of Traffic on Walking • Higher traffic volumes and speeds result in The Effects of Traffic on Walking • Higher traffic volumes and speeds result in higher numbers of pedestrian accidents. • Child pedestrian injuries occur significantly more in poor neighborhoods with restricted access to play space and streets with high traffic. Latino and African-American children are disproportionately represented among all pedestrian fatalities and injuries relative to their share of the population (Corless and Ohland, 1999). Institute of Transportation Studies

Design and Policy Interventions to Mitigate the Effects of Traffic Target Objective Physical Planning Design and Policy Interventions to Mitigate the Effects of Traffic Target Objective Physical Planning and Policy Actions Design Actions Drivers Manage/ regulate traffic • Traffic control devices • Traffic signals • Roadway signs • Crosswalks • Pavement markings • Enforcement of traffic regulations • Fees and penalties for non-complying drivers Institute of Transportation Studies

Design and Policy Interventions to Mitigate the Effects of Traffic Target Objective Physical Planning Design and Policy Interventions to Mitigate the Effects of Traffic Target Objective Physical Planning and Policy Actions Design Actions Drivers Reduce vehicular traffic volume Create infrastructure to accommodate alternative modes • sidewalks, paths, trails • bike lanes • busways • carpool lanes • Make use of private automobile more expensive through gasoline and parking prices, license fees, and other taxes. • Congestion pricing • Ban certain automobiles from central areas Institute of Transportation Studies

Design and Policy Interventions to Mitigate the Effects of Traffic Target Objective Physical Planning Design and Policy Interventions to Mitigate the Effects of Traffic Target Objective Physical Planning and Design Actions Policy Actions Drivers Reduce traffic speed Traffic calming devices: • vertical deflections • horizontal deflections • road narrowing • central islands and medians • cul-de sacs Designation of slow speed areas: • Woonerfs • School safety zones • Home zones Institute of Transportation Studies

Design and Policy Interventions to Mitigate the Effects of Traffic Target Pedestrians Cyclists Objective Design and Policy Interventions to Mitigate the Effects of Traffic Target Pedestrians Cyclists Objective Physical Planning and Design Actions Increase safety • Design physical infrastructure for walking and cycling (sidewalks, bike lanes, crosswalks, lighting). • Upkeep sidewalks • Eliminate sidewalk obstructions Policy Actions • Preferential treatment to non-motorized modes when they intersect with motorized modes • Crossing aids for school children • Escort to school programs • Enforcement of helmets • Training programs for children about safe travel, walking, and biking. Institute of Transportation Studies

Conclusion • The design of the built environment should not impede the propensity for Conclusion • The design of the built environment should not impede the propensity for walking. • Design and policy interventions aiming to enhance neighborhood safety are the necessary first steps for the encouragement of walking. • Interventions should be tailored to the needs of different subgroups, and the characteristics of the neighborhood. • It is important to evaluate if the proposed interventions are reaching the population who are most fearful of walking and/or are in danger of physical inactivity and obesity (the women, the children, the elderly, the inner city residents, and the low-income people). Institute of Transportation Studies

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