Pedestrian safety perception and urban street settings

Yunmi Park, Max Garcia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations

Abstract

Design and construction professionals are entrusted to design built environments that can assure public safety. Crime statistics is one indicator that reflects the correlation between built environments and public safety. Acknowledging the perception of pedestrians, specifically their psychological and emotional reactions toward certain public space settings would be another effective parameter to develop a good foundation to create more livable and safer neighborhoods. With these in mind, the analyses in this study have attempted to explore the relationship between street conditions and the perception of pedestrian safety in Auburn Alabama, USA. The research design primarily consists of an online survey that obtained information about (1) respondents’ brief personal characteristics, (2) their walking times, (3) their levels of anxiety regarding certain street settings based on daytime and nighttime photographs (closed-ended questions on a Likert scale from 1 to 5), and (4) their reasoning behind these ratings (open-ended). The results show that proper street lighting is the main contributor to enhancing the feeling of safety on streets followed by the morphologic complexity of streets formed by various business types, outdoor dining, street performers, and other pedestrian activities. Other than physical settings, the study also found that age and gender influenced the level of anxiety among pedestrians.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)860-871
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Sustainable Transportation
Volume14
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2020

Keywords

  • Online-survey
  • pedestrian
  • safety perception
  • street design
  • street setting

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