Title

BUS STOP-ENVIRONMENT CONNECTION: DO CHARACTERISTICS OF THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT CORRELATE WITH BUS STOP CRIME?

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

2001

Subject Area

infrastructure - stop, planning - personal safety/crime, policy - environment, mode - bus

Keywords

Visibility, Stop (Public transportation), Site selection, Regression analysis, Regression, Placement (Location), Los Angeles (California), Location, Locating, Layout, Environment, Design, Crimes, Conspicuity, Bus stops, Bus stop shelters

Abstract

Can we understand why some bus stops are safe and others are crime-ridden? Can we predict which features of the bus stop environment are likely to encourage or discourage crime? Can we design safer bus stops? These questions are addressed by exploring the relationship between environmental variables and bus stop crime. An earlier study used crime data, along with environmental indicators, for a sample of 60 bus stops in downtown Los Angeles. Crime rates were higher for bus stops near alleys, multifamily housing, liquor stores and check-cashing establishments, vacant buildings, and graffiti and litter. In contrast, good visibility of the bus stop from its surroundings and the existence of bus shelters contributed to lower crime rates. This earlier study was indicative but not predictive of the elements that contribute to bus stop crime. With the geographic and temporal expansion of the data (covering a larger city part over a longer time span), a series of regression models was generated that identify environmental predictors of bus stop crime. These models show that the most important predictor of crime is location. If the environment is controlled, undesirable facilities and litter result in higher crime rates, whereas visibility and many pedestrians lead to lower crime rates. The presence or absence of certain characteristics in the bus stop microenvironment can affect crime. Also, the appropriate design and layout of the physical environment can reduce opportunities for criminal actions.