Do Bus Stops Increase Crime Opportunities?

Do Bus Stops Increase Crime Opportunities?

Do Bus Stops Increase Crime Opportunities?

Do Bus Stops Increase Crime Opportunities?

Synopsis

Using the frameworks of routine activity, crime pattern and rational choice theories, Yu investigates the relationship between bus stops, businesses, and five offense types (robbery, aggravated assault, motor vehicle theft, theft from motor vehicle, and burglary) in Newark, New Jersey. Several data analysis methods were used to examine the impact of bus stops and businesses on crime. Overall, both bus stops and commercial establishments were associated with increased crime. Among business types, the category of food store was always related to increased crime across offense types and regression methods.

Excerpt

There have been growing concerns in America about the environment, air pollution, dependence on foreign oil, and traffic congestion in recent years. Accompanied with these concerns, there are also increased interests in improving and expanding mass transit into new areas. By providing safe and efficient means of travel at economic costs, mass transit can improve the quality-of-life in urban and rural communities.

Transit systems are an important infrastructure that greatly shape business locations, and land use patterns (Vogel & Pettinari, 2002). Both the capacity and spatial patterns of transportation networks influence and shape city structures and population densities (Button et al., 2004). While most of the changes in cities are usually incremental, significant changes can result from investments in transportation infrastructure. An economic benefit is often assumed in expanding public transportation: that mass transit will improve one’s ability to commute to work, which will increase job opportunities (Cervero et al., 2002). Indeed, the spatial mismatch, the lack of public transportation in poor areas to travel to other areas, is often thought of as a root cause of unemployment that translates into physical and social isolation leading to intergenerational poverty.

The assumed cyclical relationships between transportation investments and potential economic growths led some city planners, transit officials and citizens to welcome mass transit into their neighborhoods by perceiving it as a device to achieve economic developments in inner-city or under-developed areas (LoukaitouSideris, 2000; Loukaitou-Sideris & Banerjee, 2000). Termed as . . .

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