BWKC staff learn about Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design

Safe Routes to School Coordinator, Areiona King and Policy Coordinator, Michael Kelley report from a CPTED training held in Kansas City, KS and presented by the Wyandotte County Sexual Assault Prevention Coaltion (WyCo-SAP), the Metropolitan Organization to Counter Sexual Assault (MOCSA), and the Livable Neighborhoods Task Force:

Over the past week, Areiona and I have been learning about an exciting concept known as CPTED, which stands for “Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design”.

First coined by C. Ray Jeffery in 1971, CPTED is defined as “the proper design and effective use of the built environment that can lead to a reduction in the fear and incidence of crime and an improvement in the quality of life.” Instead of taking reactionary steps to addressing crime, such as installing security cameras or bars on windows after a spree of burglaries, CPTED emphasizes a more proactive approach that uses one’s surroundings to build a safer place to live, work, and play.

How does that tie into our work at BikeWalkKC? In addition to helping to prevent crime, CPTED places a strong emphasis on proactive planning. That includes ADA accessible entrances to and from buildings, wide sidewalks to allow more people to use them with ease, and more bike lanes. The greatest crime prevention option, according to CPTED practitioners, is the built environment, and a key element of that is promoting a transportation network that caters to all modes of transportation.

So, what have we been doing to better understand these concepts? Areiona and I have worked together with other leaders in the community as part of a team project to conduct a CPTED site review for Jersey Creek Park and Trail in Wyandotte County. We’ve noticed limited opportunities for natural surveillance, such as an apartment complex near one of the newer areas of the park. We’ve also seen opportunities to introduce more extensive lighting. A major area of concern however, is the lack of traffic calming at intersections, where there are no signs or street designation to warn motorists. To address this issue, we’re proposing a raised sidewalk, pedestrian crossing signs and potentially lowering the current speed limit (35 miles per hour) by 5-10 miles per hour.

We will present these, along with other recommendations, to the rest of the class as part of our final assignment. If we pass the exam we took this morning, we will each be identified as CPTED specialists.

Considering all of the ways the concept can help to make cyclists and pedestrians safer, I would certainly say that CPTED is a reason to #FeelGoodFriday!

Update: Areiona and Michael earned their CPTED certificates!

Find more information about how you can get involved in your area on our In Your Neighborhood page, and keep track of upcoming public meetings and events on our Community Calendar

Training for BikeWalkKC staff is funded in part by our members.  Join us in creating a culture of active living! 

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