Performance of Campus Parking Garages in Preventing Crime

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by Chun-Hao Tseng; Josann Duane; and Fabian Hadipriono; F.ASCE, OSU Library Database, February 1, 2004

Abstract: The Ohio State University initiated this study in response to campus parking garage crime that persisted at an unacceptably high level in spite of campus-wide efforts to reduce crime. The writers combined crime statistics gathered by the OSU Police Department with results of an on-site survey to model parking using Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) principles. The goal of the study was a group of CPTED-based design changes intended to create an environment that would deter parking garage crime. The analysis included factors such as lighting, visibility, garage color, location of entrances and exits, and design of elevators and stairways. The evaluation showed that lighting was the most significant factors in users’ perception of parking garage safety. As a result of this study, OSU implemented the recommended CPTED improvements. In the 2 years following the implementation of CPTED improvements, the average annual incidence of crime in the parking garage where the CPTED improvements had been made fell by more than half of the average annual incidence of crime in that same garage for the four years before the improvements were made.

Though this academic journal is somewhat outdated, it does propose intriguing findings. It’s extremely helpful for me to learn about Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) and “…that illumination is the most significant factor affecting both user perception of safety and actual incidence of crime in parking garages.” It’s also very interesting to learn that, as part of the findings, people’s perception of parking garage safety does not correlate to the actual situation. In this case, people feel pretty safe using the Northwest and Ohio Union parking garage, whereas the crime statistics provided by the OSU Police Department proves otherwise.

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