IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Safe Routes to Play? Pedestrian and Bicyclist Crashes Near Parks in the Los Angeles Region

Listed author(s):
  • Hanning, Cooper
  • Jerrett, Michael
  • Su, Jason G.
  • Wolch, Jennifer
Registered author(s):

    Rationale: Areas near parks may present active travelers with higher risks than in other areas due to the confluence of more pedestrians and bicyclists, younger travelers, and the potential for increased numbers of motor vehicles. These risks may be amplified in low-income and minority neighborhoods due to generally higher rates of walking or lack of safety infrastructure. Objectives: We pursued three research objectives: (1) to determine if pedestrian and bicycle crashes occur at higher rates in park-adjacent neighborhoods compared to the rest of the study area; (2) to identify if demographic characteristics predict active crash risk after controlling for population and the rate of active trips; and (3) to assess if there is an amplified effect of park proximity for active crash risk in low-income and minority neighborhoods after controlling for population and the rate of active trips. Methods: With negative binomial regression modeling techniques, we used ten years of geolocated pedestrian and bicyclist crash data and a quarter mile (~400 meter) buffer around public parks to assess the risk of active travel near parks. We controlled for differential exposures to active travel risks using travel survey data. Measurements: Quarter-mile network buffers were designated around parks from the Green Visions Plan for 21st Century California in 2249 census tracts. Crashes came from the 90,846 pedestrian and bicyclist injuries and fatalities from the Statewide Integrated Traffic Reporting System, and active travel was predicted using travel data from 9135 households that participated in the Southern California Association of Governments 2001 Travel and Congestion Survey. These data were combined with demographic and income data from the U.S. Census and traffic density predictions. Results: The ratio of active crashes per 100,000 population within the quarter-mile park buffer to those outside is 1.52. The increased risk of crash for active travelers near parks remained after adjusting for varying rates of active travel in different census tracts. Minority and low-income residents of the study area are more likely to walk or bicycle than White and higher-income residents. This higher risk near parks is amplified in neighborhoods with high proportions of minority and low-income people. Higher traffic levels are highly predictive of active crashes. Conclusions: Active travelers accessing parks may lack a safe route to places for play. The socioeconomic modification of active crashes near parks found in this study is supported by existing research showing disparities in park access and higher active travel risks in low-income and minority neighborhoods.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL:;origin=repeccitec
    Download Restriction: no

    Paper provided by University of California Transportation Center in its series University of California Transportation Center, Working Papers with number qt2st3m2cv.

    in new window

    Date of creation: 01 Sep 2012
    Handle: RePEc:cdl:uctcwp:qt2st3m2cv
    Contact details of provider: Postal:
    109 McLaughlin Hall, Mail Code 1720, Berkeley, CA 94720-1720

    Phone: 510-642-3585
    Fax: 510-643-3955
    Web page:

    More information through EDIRC

    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cdl:uctcwp:qt2st3m2cv. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Lisa Schiff)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.