Transit Safety = Building Activity

Karen Fung is doing an amazing job captaining the SkyTrain Unconference Blog. There's an open in-person meeting on Saturday with Translink. I don't think I'll make it, so here are some thoughts on their targeted issue of Safety.

SkyTrain stops are are hubs that lots of people pass through. Usually when there are many people around safety is not a concern. Problems can arise when a hub has relative down-time (empty except for a few people) or in quiet areas close-by.

The worst case is when you get off a skytrain or bus in a totally deserted area, or with only a few sketchy people and nobody else.

One powerful path to improvement is to build more community and commercial services around our transit hubs. A coffee shop, restaurant or bar right beside a transit hub is a world above a deserted hub in terms of safety.

Vancouver doesn't do this very well. Many large transit hubs are completely devoid of any services. These hugely traveled areas could support a variety of businesses, or serve as excellent locations for community activities if allowed.

Location, location, location! Translink needs to build more sticky activity in its centers. Safety through active community is the real way to improve the situation in and around transit hubs.

Locking the system down with turnstiles or more cops is an easy sound-bite solution, but doesn't address the root of the problem.

Posted by dustin on October 2, 2008 with category tags of

1 comment
I agree, stations should be mini town centres with services and "life" around. In lieu of town squares, plazas, parks etc. stations are a meeting place in these times. and a nexus which we all pass in and out of. As such, stations should be treated as comfortable public space - not a locked down mausoleum with nothing but security thugs and ne'er do wells. The neighbours around stations are wont to get all antsy about development around stations but frankly, that kind of whining is out-dated and non-beneficial to the bigger picture of sustainable and enjoyable urban building.
   comment by DaveO on October 2, 2008


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