We know that walking is one of the greenest ways to get from point A to point B, but if folks don't feel safe in their neighborhoods, it's much harder to encourage them to ditch their cars and walk.
In one New York neighborhood that's experiencing a crime wave, citizens are taking matters into their own hands. No, I'm not talking vigilante-style justice. Instead, a group of male volunteers in the Bedford-Stuyvesant area have volunteered to walk commuters home from the Utica Ave. train station.
What a simple solution! It sort of reminds me of a neighborhood watch, but even more focused and proactive. The Bed-Stuy Guys don't carry weapons, but they do offer the comfort of safety in numbers. They're trying to encourage more men to get involved in making their community a safe place to walk.
Walkability Closer to Home
Here in my Atlanta-area neighborhood, there's been a pretty scary crime wave going on for the past month or so. Groups of males have been following victims and invading their homes. There have been a number of these assaults and robberies throughout Atlanta's intown neighborhoods, and there's no question that it's impacting walkability.
My husband takes the train to work, and since all of this started happening, I don't feel comfortable with him walking home from the train by himself after dark. Since he works pretty normal hours, it's pretty much always dark when he arrives at our MARTA station. For the past week or so, I've been taking the car to pick him up from the train in the evenings.
Imagine the difference a group like the Bed-Stuy Guys could make in other areas, like mine, that are dealing with violent crime!
Do you live in a less-than-safe area? Do you walk alone? I'd love to hear how other communities are dealing with the issue of crime and walkability.
Image Credit: Creative Commons photo by The Consumerist