Dec 11, 2008

Do Urban Bike Paths Increase Crime?

Somebody hit this blog today searching for information on the greenway crime alert (it amazes how fast stuff gets picked up by Google after it's posted). That search led me to a far more interesting article than my post from yesterday.

This article was dredged up by that greenway crime search. It dates back to 2000 and examines the experiences of Eugene, OR as they developed a bike trail along the Williamette River. I have heard of spats in the Midwest over Rails-to-Trails initiatives where local residents are certain that the trail will provide a superhighway for murders and kidnappers before, and it looks like Eugene went through the same public discourse. What's interesting about this article is that it is very thoughtful and examines how crime statistics work (factoring population to get to incidents per "resident" and the problems that bike trails present with that approach). It also touches on what makes for a safer trail, so that seems relevant these days.

You need to brace yourself - the article is 7 pages long, but it's a good read if you are interested in this topic.


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