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Planetizen Talks to UCLA Professor About Women’s Safety on Buses

3:07 PM PST on February 11, 2010

Thanks to an excellent submission by Enci Box last year, we've had a couple of great discussions on women's safety on the streets, both for cyclists and pedestrians.  However, we haven't spent nearly as much energy discussing safety for bus riders, especially women bus riders.  Fortunately, Planetizen Editor Tim Halbur sat down to have an in-depth discussion of this issue with UCLA Professor Anastasia Loukaitou-SiderisYou can read the full interview at Planetizen, and I strongly recommend it for anyone interested in this issue as both Halbur and Loukaitou-Sideris do a great job.  For those without the time to read the full interview, here's an except.

PLANETIZEN: So imagine I'm a transportation planner, and I'mreading your interview right now on Planetizen. What would you urge meto do?

LOUKAITOU-SIDERIS: To incorporate women's voices into the planningprocess. I was asked to speak at a conference recently specifically onwomen's issues and transportation, and there were some womentransportation planners there who were saying, "Well, we have to lookonly to universal needs." I respectfully disagree, because there arespecific needs. Transportation planners really need to look at women'sfears in transportation settings and know that there are things thatthey can do to if not completely eliminate but reduce these fears.These solutions involve policy, design, policing, and outreach andeducation.

Of course, this costs money. But my work and the work of others hasshown that crime comes at hotspots: not every area is equally unsafe.Transit agencies do audits every year, and they know where thesehotspots are. So when we talk about limited resources, they couldconcentrate their resources on these areas.

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