Safe, Secure, and Accessible: A gender-inclusive approach to the provision of pedestrian infrastructure

Author(s): Rebecca Peterniak
Mavis Johnson Traffic Safety Award

Slidedeck Presentation:

6B - Peterniak


This paper discusses gender-based differences in personal security in transportation and presents strategies for addressing personal security issues through environmental design. Women place greater value on personal security in transportation than men, report greater fear of being assaulted or harassed while traveling, and demonstrate more extreme changes in travel behaviour in response to this fear. A gender-inclusive approach to the provision of pedestrian infrastructure would incorporate crime prevention techniques as a subset of road safety and accessibility. The paper is based on a literature review of previous research on gender-related differences associated with personal security while traveling, and on infrastructure design guidelines related to crime prevention through environmental design (CPTED). The main deliverable is a checklist that can be used in a site assessment of an existing pedestrian facility. The checklist outlines common environmental design issues associated with poor personal security as well as common treatments. The paper draws parallels between common approaches to road safety and personal security, including multidisciplinary collaboration, blackspot analysis, and site reviews to identify issues and treatments. Recommendations for transport agencies include adopting guidelines and protocols for incorporating CPTED principles in the design of pedestrian infrastructure and for conducting security audits/in-service reviews, forming partnerships, community engagement, and capacity building for staff.