While much attention has been given to the influence of urban form on travel behavior in recent years, little work has been done on how neighborhood crimes affect this dynamic. This research project studied seven San Francisco Bay Area cities, and found substantiation for the proposition that neighborhood crime rates have an influence on the propensity to choose non-automotive modes of transportation for home-based trips. Specifically, high vice and vagrancy crime rates were associated with a lowered probability of choosing transit in suburban cities for both work and non-work trips, high property crime rates were associated with a lower probability of walking for work trips in urban cities and inner-ring suburban cities, high violent crime rates with a lower probability of walking for work trips in suburban study cities, while higher property crime rates in San Francisco were associated with an increased probability of walking for non-work trips. While the signs of these significant relationships generally conformed to the author’s expectations—i.e., that high crime rates reduce the probability of choosing non-automotive modes of travel—the authors did not find statistically significant relationships for all city/trip model runs, suggesting that these relationships differ depending on the urban form and trip type contexts.
Crimes; Property crimes; Travel behavior; Travel by mode
Christopher E. Ferrell, Shishir Mathur, and Emilia Mendoza. "Neighborhood Crime and Travel Behavior: An Investigation of the Influence of Neighborhood Crime Rates on Mode Choice, MTI Report 07-02" Mineta Transportation Institute Publications (2008).