Getting Safety on Track: Expanding Edmonton’s LRT Design Guidelines to Improve Women’s Perceptions of Safety at Transit Stations
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People base their travel choices on their perceptions of personal safety in environments such as transit stations. Women are more likely to perceive public spaces as threatening and they use public transit more than men. Identifying elements that affect women’s feelings of safety in suburban (non-central) surface LRT stations in Edmonton can guide future station development, and promote a safer and more inclusive transit system. Efforts to improve perceptions of transit safety, particularly in light of recent highly-publicized transit-related violent crimes, could move the city closer to achieving its goal of increased transit ridership. The aim of this study is to determine how the City of Edmonton can better address women’s safety in suburban (non-central) surface LRT stations through expanding their existing design guidelines to incorporate both CPTED guidelines as well as additional elements addressed by the safety audit checklist provided in the City of Edmonton’s Safety Audit Guide for Crime Prevention (2000). A safety audit of Clareview and Century Park surface LRT stations was undertaken using the Checklist of Safety Audit for Crime Prevention in the City of Edmonton’s Safety Audit Guide for Crime Prevention (2000). The findings of the safety audit emphasize the importance of natural surveillance and territorial definition (maintenance and defensibility of space) in creating feelings of safety in transit users. Recommendations were formulated based on the findings of the safety audits.