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Performance of Campus Parking Garages in Preventing Crime

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The Ohio State. University (OSU) 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.
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Performance of Campus Parking Garages
in Preventing Crime
Chun-Hao Tseng
1
; Josann Duane
2
; and Fabian Hadipriono, F.ASCE
3
Abstract: The Ohio State University OSU 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.
DOI: 10.1061/ASCE0887-3828200418:121
CE Database subject headings: Parking facilities; Design; Public safety; Security; Universities.
Introduction
Unattended motor vehicles serve as magnets attracting criminals
with the intent of theft of both the vehicle itself and its contents.
It is common to find car compact disc players and other expensive
electronics stolen from cars parked in driveways near home, in
lots and parking garages, and on the street. About one third of all
motor vehicle thefts occur in driveways and lots surrounding
homes and apartment buildings. Another third occurs in public
parking lots and garages U.S. Department of Justice, personal
communication, 1999. Total incidents of nonviolent crime per
1,000 people in parking lots and garages located in the United
States rank second to nonviolent crimes committed near home
U.S. Department of Justice, personal communication, 1999.
However, it is the dread of violent crime in parking garages that
instills fear in those who must routinely use public parking ga-
rages, especially late at night.
In spite of their increased construction expense relative to sur-
face lots, the number of parking garages has been steadily grow-
ing in recent years. The tradeoff is a simple one: when the cost of
land for surface parking lots rises to the point where it rivals the
additional expense of parking garage construction, then develop-
ers look to parking garages as a solution. In addition to being
driven by the rising cost of land, parking garages with their high
density of vehicle storage provide more convenience for users.
They shelter both car and driver from the weather and shorten the
walking distance from car to final destination. High density park-
ing in garages does have one significant weakness: it serves as
even a stronger magnet attracting criminals in the pursuit of ve-
hicle theft and theft of valuables left unattended in parking ga-
rages.
Over 48,000 students attend the main campus of The Ohio
State University OSUlocated in the heart of Columbus, Ohio, a
metropolitan area of over 1 million residents. OSU maintains nine
parking garages with space for about 9,000 vehicles. Approxi-
mately 17,000 additional parking spaces are available in lots.
Very few parking spaces are located on streets.
By surveying students, staff, faculty, and visitors on campus,
the University found that 79% of people on campus were not
aware of the potential risk of criminal activities or did not have
sufficient information about the risks that were associated with
parking in the garages. As a result, the University initiated a
safety reinforcement program to monitor safety in the campus
garages. The OSU Security Services Department was concerned
that garages were one of the crime hot spots because of their
inactivity relative to other campus buildings. These parking ga-
rages were designed so as to fit as many vehicles as possible in
the available space. The resultant design was not optimized for
the safety of occupants or the protection of parked vehicles from
vandalism and theft.
Crime Prevention through Environmental Design
The body of knowledge called Crime Prevention Through Envi-
ronmental Design CPTED has been widely adapted and applied
to deter criminal activities. The goal of CPTED is design of an
environment that reduces the incidence and fear of crime. CPTED
employs two basic strategies that often overlap in their applica-
tion.
Through the first strategy, access control, CPTED design prin-
ciples work directly to reduce crime by limiting criminal access to
1
Graduate Student, Civil Engineering, Ohio State Univ., Columbus,
OH 43210.
2
Assistant Professor, Civil Engineering, Ohio State Univ., Columbus,
OH 43210.
3
Professor, Civil Engineering, Ohio State Univ., Columbus,
OH 43210.
Note. Discussion open until July 1, 2004. Separate discussions must
be submitted for individual papers. To extend the closing date by one
month, a written request must be filed with the ASCE Managing Editor.
The manuscript for this paper was submitted for review and possible
publication on June 24, 2002; approved on August 23, 2002. This paper is
part of the Journal of Performance of Constructed Facilities, Vol. 18,
No. 1, February 1, 2004. ©ASCE, ISSN 0887-3828/2004/1-
2128/$18.00.
JOURNAL OF PERFORMANCE OF CONSTRUCTED FACILITIES © ASCE / FEBRUARY 2004 / 21
property Crowe 2000; for example, by limiting access to ve-
hicles in the parking garage, crime is reduced. The three principal
means of implementing the access control are: guards or intelli-
gent electronic devices that sense criminal intruders and summon
help; electronic or mechanical keyed access; and target hardening
through physical barriers to access. In limiting access, CPTED
design centers around the normal and expected use of the space
and predictable behavior of both users and offenders. By carefully
examining use and behavior, CPTED design principles lead to the
development of less intrusive means of access control, simulta-
neously permitting free access to intended users and excluding
criminals.
In the second strategy, CPTED design principles work indi-
rectly to create an environment that deters criminals. This second
strategy differs from the first in that access is not limited by
barriers but by creating an environment that is unattractive to
criminals, an environment that evokes a perception of risk in of-
fenders. Two principal methods are used to create an environment
that deters criminals, natural surveillance and territorial reinforce-
ment. This second CPTED design strategy of creating an environ-
ment unappealing to criminals is more complex than the first and
relies heavily on the application of criminology, psychology, and
sociology to environmental design. For example, criminals who
want their crimes to go undetected tend to avoid well-lit areas,
occupied by people who know each other and are on the lookout
for intruders. CPTED design guidelines include means of maxi-
mizing opportunities for surveillance by dwelling occupants;
ways of clearly characterizing the boundaries between public and
private space; designs for routing entrance and exit to space
through an observable area, means of providing sufficient interior
and nearby lighting, and ways of eliminating any neighboring
building design or ground-level planting that may block the users
view.
CPTED concepts have been widely adapted and applied in
many areas to deter criminals and improve the safety and well
being of users Goody 1993; Newman 1995; Smith 1996; Shee
et al. 1997; Crowe 2000. Traditional crime prevention methods
rely heavily on police intervention, locks, and surveillance meth-
ods emphasizing the use of cameras and guards. The use of the
physical environment to achieve the same goals was often ig-
nored. CPTED uses a more natural approach with environmental
changes to reduce crime in a positive manner Jeffery 1971; New-
man 1972; Titus and Heinzelmann 1995. CPTED principles are
used to design environments as small as an office cubicle or as
large as a neighborhood or even a city. Parking garages lie be-
tween these two extremes. Their functional design limits their
variability, making them ideal for CPTED analysis and for devel-
opment of CPTED applications.
Approach to Parking Garage Safety
This paper addresses the issue of crime in high density parking
garages at urban universities. The writers consider both the actual
increase in crime and user perception of parking garage safety.
Consistent with CPTED principles, this research focused on ana-
lyzing facts and observing user behaviors. The CPTED strategies
of access control and environmental control through natural sur-
veillance and territorial reinforcement are applied to reduce park-
ing garage crime.
Three approaches were taken when developing a research pro-
gram to address the increase in parking garage crime on the OSU
campus: 1 soliciting experts’ opinion; 2 collecting campus
crime data from the OSU Police Department; and 3 performing
a survey of users’ perception of parking garage safety. In taking
the first approach, the writers obtained information from experts,
previous research in safety evaluation, Internet sources, and
CPTED design principles in garage crime prevention. The second
approach involved the analysis of crime data collected from the
OSU Police Department. These data included the time, location,
and type of crime committed and provided information on the
distribution of criminal activities on the OSU campus. In the third
approach, the writers conducted a survey of campus parking ga-
rage users to investigate their experience of personal safety and
safety of their belongings in campus parking garages. User expe-
rience provided the writers with valuable suggestions that might
not have been gleaned from either the experts or crime statistics.
CPTED principles were applied to all three approaches as a
strategy to identify and correct design flaws that aided criminals
and abetted crime. The implementation of CPTED was based on
the theory that the environment could influence both parking ga-
rage users’ behavior and criminal behavior. By applying CPTED
concepts to parking garage design, experts believe that an envi-
ronment is created where criminals are more fearful of exposing
their activity, thus reducing criminal activities.
Significance of Parking Garage Crime
The problem of parking garage crime is significant both to the
population in general and in particular to urban colleges and uni-
versities. According to an analysis of crime investigation in park-
ing garages, there were about 1,400 violent crimes in parking
garage facilities each day in the United States in 1992 Smith
1996. Parking lots and garages ranked as the second most fre-
quent place where nonviolent crimes took place and the third
Table 1. Crime Statistics of Ohio State University from 1995 to 2000
FBI 2002
Year Violent crimes total Property crimes total Total
1995 29 1,616 1,645
1996 25 1,644 1,669
1997 37 1,525 1,562
1998 34 1,362 1,396
1999 42 1,294 1,436
2000 27 1,333 1,360
Table 2. Crime Statistics of Ohio State University OSU Parking
Garages OSU Police Department, Personal Communication, 1996
Offense description Number of occurrences
Assault 1
Kidnapping 1
Sexual imposition 1
Criminal damaging 26
Criminal mischief 1
Aggravated robbing 1
Theft 49
Disorderly conduct 1
Death invent 1
Administrative information 3
Ill aided 1
Public accident 2
22 / JOURNAL OF PERFORMANCE OF CONSTRUCTED FACILITIES © ASCE / FEBRUARY 2004
most frequent place in which violent crimes occurred U.S. De-
partment of Justice, personal communication, 1999.
Colleges and universities are particularly susceptible to the
perception of adverse effects of criminal activities. The college
campus is idealized as an environment that supports learning free
from the fear of harm to its inhabitants. Criminal activities on
campus not only undermine the quality of the learning environ-
ment, but also reduce the positive activities of people associated
with the campus. Plus, parents fearful of harm to their children
opt to spend tuition dollars at institutions with safe campuses.
In this paper, the investigation of crime in two different park-
ing garages at OSU enabled the writers to compare and contrast
the two facilities. One garage, located in the northwest side of the
OSU campus, is primarily used by faculty and staff with few
students and visitors Ohio State University 2002. The other ga-
rage, the Ohio Union parking garage, is located at the southeast
side of OSU and is used by a diversity of people—primarily
faculty and staff, but also including students and visitors. The
population of visitors and students in both garages is small rela-
tive to the number of faculty and staff users, making the user
population of the two garages demographically similar.
Table 1 lists the total number of violent and nonviolent crimes
on the OSU campus from 1995 to 2000, showing a decrease in the
incidence of crime on campus. Although the total number of
crimes each year generally decreased over this period, the number
of crimes committed in parking garages held steady. The OSU
Police Department was concerned about the lack of improvement
in parking garage crime statistics at a time when other areas of the
campus were responding well to crime prevention measures taken
by the University.
In Table 2, theft and criminal damaging are shown to be the
most frequently occurring crimes. The offense description on
Table 2 is that of the OSU Police Department. Number of occur-
rences represents the crimes that were reported to the university
police.
Criminal activities listed in Table 3 are more prevalent on
weekdays than on weekends, as would be expected. Garages with
codes 780, 781, and 786 have a relatively higher number of
crimes than those of other parking garages.
In 1996, the time period in which crime frequency peaked was
from 7:00 to 11:00 am, as Table 4 illustrates. Crime frequency
began to taper off from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm, falling again be-
tween 3:00 and 7:00 pm and then again from 7:00 to 11:00 pm,
with the lowest frequency occurring between 11:00 pm and 7:00
am. The time periods reflect the frequency of use and rise and fall
with crime frequency.
According to an investigation in 1992 Smith 1996, parking
facilities rank third in frequency of violent crime occurrence, av-
eraging about 1,400 violent crimes per day in the United States.
Smith did not include the probability of a parking facility user
being a victim of a nonviolent crime such as theft. The probability
of being a victim of a nonviolent crime in parking facilities is
much higher than that of a violent crime U.S. Department of
Justice, personal communication, 1999. Furthermore, Smith
studied crime in parking facilities that include both parking lots
and parking garages.
The crime rate in the Northwest parking garage in the years
1996 through 1999 averaged about 6.5 crimes per year. The av-
erage rate of 13 crimes per year for all OSU parking garages for
the same period was about double the Northwest parking garage
crime rate. The Ohio Union parking garage crime rate for the
same period stood at 20 crimes per year, nearly three times that of
the Northwest parking garage. As seen in Fig. 1, the rate of crime
in the Northwest parking garage dropped from an average of 6.5
crimes per year in the 4-year period from 1996 to 1999 to 2.5
crimes per year in the 2-year period from 2000 to 2001.
Table 5 shows the distribution of criminal activities in the
seven parking garages that were studied. The garages with codes
780, 781, and 786 are located on the southeast edge of campus
and had a higher number of crimes than the other four parking
garages in 1996.
Table 3. Crime Statistics of Northwest and Ohio Union Parking Garages by Day Ohio State University Police Department, Personal
Communication, 1996
Garage Name Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Total
780 9th Avenue 0 2 6 2 0 9 0 19
781 11th Avenue 0 1 0 2 7 3 4 17
782 12th Avenue 0 2 1 2 1 1 0 7
783 Arps 1 0 0 1 2 2 1 7
784 Medical center 0 3 2 0 1 2 0 8
785 Northwest 0 3 2 1 1 0 0 7
786 Ohio union 0 2 7 1 7 2 4 23
Total 1 14 18 8 18 19 10 88
Table 4. Time of Crime Occurrences in Ohio State University OSUParking Garages OSU Police Department, Personal Communication, 1996
Garage number Name 711 am 11 am3 pm 37 pm 711 pm 11 pm7 am
780 9th Avenue 3 6 4 3 3
781 11th Avenue 6 6 2 3 0
782 12th Avenue 4 2 1 0 0
783 Arps 0 1 2 3 1
784 Medical center 2 3 1 0 2
785 Northwest 3 3 0 0 1
786 Ohio union 10 6 4 1 2
Total 28 27 15 10 9
JOURNAL OF PERFORMANCE OF CONSTRUCTED FACILITIES © ASCE / FEBRUARY 2004 / 23
Two garages were the subjects of this study. One garage, the
Northwest parking garage, No. 785 in Fig. 2 is primarily used
by faculty and staff, with few students and visitors, and is located
on the northwest side of the OSU main campus. The other garage,
the Ohio Union parking garage No. 786 in Fig. 2, is located on
the southeast side of the OSU main campus and is used by fac-
ulty, staff, students, and visitors. As noted previously, the users of
both garages are demographically similar.
Both garages are on the perimeter of the OSU main campus
located in an urban area just north of the center of Columbus,
Ohio. To the west of the main campus is another campus housing
the Colleges of Veterinary Medicine, the College of Agriculture,
and the farms used by the College of Agriculture. These farms are
also located in urban Columbus, Ohio, and are often photo-
graphed with cows in the foreground and skyscrapers in the back-
ground. To the north of the OSU main campus is a stable urban
residential neighborhood. Deteriorating residential neighbor-
hoods, deteriorating commercial buildings, student housing, and
renovated urban neighborhoods are located to the south and to the
east of the OSU main campus. The crime in the area adjacent to
the Northwest parking garage is significantly less than that in the
neighborhoods adjacent to the Ohio Union parking garage Co-
lumbus Ohio Division of Police 2002.
Research Method
This section describes the research methods used to develop the
survey instrument and conduct the survey on the perception of
parking garage crime. CPTED safety design principles were used
to identify the variables that could influence the safety of parking
garages. Variables affecting safety identified through the CPTED
concepts were lighting, visibility, garage color, location of en-
trances and exits, and design of elevators and stairways.
In addition to a study of the garages themselves, the writers
also used CPTED principles to examine various aspect of nearby
Fig. 1. Crime in Northwest parking garage in comparison with
average crime for all seven Ohio State University parking garages
Fig. 2. Map of location of parking garages at Ohio State University
Table 5. Distribution of Parking Garage Location of Criminal
Activities at Ohio State University OSU兲共OSU Police Department,
Personal Communication, 1996
Parking garage number Name Number of crimes
780 9th Avenue 19
781 11th Avenue 17
782 12th Avenue 7
783 Arps 7
784 Medical center 8
785 Northwest 7
786 Ohio union 23
24 / JOURNAL OF PERFORMANCE OF CONSTRUCTED FACILITIES © ASCE / FEBRUARY 2004
buildings, including the use of space and landscaping between
and around buildings; the relative positions and sizes of adjacent
buildings and other structures; and exterior design details, such as
color, lighting, entrances, and exits. CPTED principles were in-
corporated in the design of the survey described in the next sec-
tion.
The writers developed a survey instrument illustrated in Fig. 3.
The first part of the three-part questionnaire solicited opinions of
parking garage users on their experience and perception of park-
ing garage safety. These questions incorporated CPTED variables
affecting safety and garage users’ experience with parking garage
safety and criminal activities. Each of the questions had five
choices: ‘1—strongly disagree,’ ‘2—disagree,’ ‘3—neither,’
‘4—agree,’ and ‘5—strongly agree.’ The second part of the
questionnaire asked the parking garage user to state the reason for
parking in the garage being studied. The third part of the ques-
tionnaire was designed to collect demographic data: time and day
of the week the garage user was questioned; gender; age; and
identity faculty, staff, student, or visitor; number of years the
user had been parking in the garage; and vehicle type car, van, or
truck, make, and model. The demographic information collected
in part three of the survey was used to evaluate the sampling of
the survey and to compare different groups of users.
In the first two quarters of 1998, the OSU Police Department
conducted the survey. Uniformed police officers surveyed 215
users of the Northwest parking garage and 109 users of the Ohio
Union parking garage. The survey was intended to be representa-
tive of the population of parking garage users. The police officers
were instructed to continually survey parking garage users and to
conduct the survey at randomly selected times of the day and
evening. All users that were asked to participate in the survey
conducted by the police officers agreed to participate in the sur-
vey.
Survey Results and Discussion
In this section, survey results according to garage and user demo-
graphics are presented and interpreted. Results of the survey in
the Northwest parking garage and in the Ohio Union parking
garage are shown in Tables 6 and 7, respectively.
In many ways the response from users of both garages was
similar. In response to Question 1, as shown in Tables 6 and 7,
Fig. 3. Survey questionnaire
JOURNAL OF PERFORMANCE OF CONSTRUCTED FACILITIES © ASCE / FEBRUARY 2004 / 25
about 79.1% of Northwest parking garage users and 77.1% of
Ohio Union parking garage users agreed or strongly agreed that
they felt safe while walking to and from their cars in those two
garages, whereas only about 12.1% of Northwest parking garage
users and 8.3% of Ohio Union parking garage disagreed or
strongly disagreed. In general, users felt safe using those two
garages. In this case, user perception of safety did not correlate
with actual crime statistics. In 1996, the incidence of crime in the
Ohio Union parking garage was more than three times that of the
Northwest garage.
In response to Question 2, about 36.3% of the Northwest park-
ing garage users and about 51.4% of Ohio Union Parking garage
users felt that a person who might hurt them was hiding in this
garage. Of the responders, 39.1% of Northwest parking garage
users and 36.7% of Ohio Union parking garage users disagreed or
strongly disagreed in response to Question 2. Generally speaking,
the response to this question was nearly the same for both parking
garages.
In response to Question 7, 41.4% of Northwest parking garage
users and 37.6% of Ohio Union parking garage users felt that a
motorist might accidentally hit them. This number suggested that
the design of traffic patterns was in need of improvement.
Questions 9, 10, and 11 ask about users’ past experience with
crime and parking habits. They are not specific to either parking
garage. When asked in Question 9 whether their car had been
vandalized or stolen before, 72.6% of users in the Northwest
parking garage and 80.7% of users of the Ohio Union parking
garage disagreed or strongly disagreed. This response represented
the highest percentage of nonoccurrence that the writers found
with any question in this survey. Responses to Question 10
showed that about 67.9% of Northwest parking garage users and
53.2% of Ohio Union parking garage users themselves had not
been victims of a crime before. In other words, more than half of
the garage users had not had the experience of being personally
victimized by crime. The results of Question 11 showed that ga-
rage users varied in their preference for a particular parking spot.
Some preferred to park in the same spot; some chose to park at
random spots in the garage. A similar response to Questions 9, 10,
and 11 is to be expected because both groups are demographically
similar, representing a mix of faculty, staff, students, and visitors
with the main difference between the two being a slightly higher
number of students and visitors parking in the Ohio Union garage.
A disparity in results for the Ohio Union parking garage and
the Northwest parking garage occurred in response to Questions 3
and 5, as shown in Tables 6 and 7. In response to Question 3, the
writers found that 73.4% of Ohio Union parking garage users
agreed that the light setting in this parking garage was sufficient;
but only 40.5% of the Northwest parking garage users agreed.
The illumination in the Ohio Union garage was, in fact, signifi-
cantly higher than that of the Northwest parking garage.
In the Ohio Union and Northwest parking garages, as in most
parking garages, stairs and elevators are adjacent to each other.
Although users found the stairs about equally safe in both ga-
rages, 32.1% of Ohio Union parking garage users felt using el-
evator was not safe, while only 18.6% of Northwest garage users
felt unsafe while using the elevators. One possible explanation is
that the elevators in the Ohio Union parking garage are located in
the places that are closed and not open to public view, while the
elevators in Northwest were located at the places that could be
observed by the public.
Because Part 2 of the survey Fig. 3 was a multichoice ques-
tion, users could select more than one answer. Surprisingly, as
illustrated in Table 8, 85.2% of users felt that ‘proximity’ was
the main reason why they parked their vehicles in those parking
garages. Also of interest is the fact that 33.3% of the garage users
chose weather protection and only 14.5% chose safety as a rea-
son. A possible explanation is that people felt that the chance of
being attacked was relatively small, while the weather conditions
were so unpredictable that it seemed reasonable to choose
weather protection over safety.
The demographic information collected in part 3 of the survey
was used to evaluate the sampling of the survey and to compare
different groups of users. Table 9 shows the users gender distri-
bution and university affiliation. This information has been nor-
malized and illustrated in percentage of total response for com-
parison. For example, data showed that 62.2% of the users were
male and 37.8% were female, as seen in Table 9. The demo-
graphic information was used to analyze the results of different
Table 6. Survey Results for Northwest Parking Garage Part 1
Question
number
Strongly
disagree Disagree Neutral Agree
Strongly
agree
1 2.33 9.77 8.84 49.77 29.30
2 15.81 23.26 24.65 26.51 9.77
3 6.51 22.79 32.09 29.77 10.70
4 4.19 8.84 16.74 44.65 22.79
5 6.05 12.56 29.30 32.56 16.74
6 2.79 7.44 54.42 24.65 6.05
7 13.02 21.86 23.72 32.09 9.30
8 18.14 27.44 23.26 25.12 6.05
9 63.26 9.30 2.79 9.30 15.35
10 59.07 8.84 0.93 12.09 23.72
11 17.21 11.16 26.05 25.12 20.47
Table 7. Survey Results for Ohio Union Parking Garage Part 1
Question
number
Strongly
disagree Disagree Neutral Agree
Strongly
agree
1 2.75 5.50 14.68 54.13 22.94
2 12.84 23.85 11.93 41.28 10.09
3 1.83 3.67 21.10 44.95 28.44
4 4.59 13.76 15.60 43.12 22.94
5 17.43 14.68 30.28 22.02 15.60
6 1.83 7.34 47.71 33.94 9.17
7 18.35 22.94 21.10 31.20 6.42
8 18.35 35.78 18.35 22.02 5.50
9 72.48 8.26 3.67 3.67 11.93
10 48.62 4.59 4.59 11.01 31.20
11 16.51 12.84 25.69 21.10 23.85
Table 8. Reason for Parking at Northwest and Ohio Union Parking
Garages Part 2
Garage
Reason
Safety Proximity
Weather
protection
Only
available Other
Northwest 27 181 77 40 5
Ohio union 20 95 31 18 3
Total 47 276 108 58 8
Total
percentage
14.51 85.19 33.33 17.9 2.47
26 / JOURNAL OF PERFORMANCE OF CONSTRUCTED FACILITIES © ASCE / FEBRUARY 2004
groups of users. For example, the population distribution from
highest to lowest percentage of the parking garage users was staff
including teaching associates and temporary university workers,
faculty, and students, with the smallest group being visitors.
Using the demographic information, the writers were able to ana-
lyze the parking habits of those who used the garage and the
frequency of their use.
Furthermore, the writers also found that garage codes 780,
781, and 786, which were located on the southwest side of the
campus, had about twice as many crimes per year as the parking
garages located on the northwest side of campus. All parking
garages on the OSU campus are similar in design and are located
on the perimeter of campus. The writers believe that the most
significant factor underlying the difference in incidence of crime
rate in the garages is crime in the neighborhoods immediately
adjacent to the parking garages. Crime in parking garages was
directly proportional to crime density in adjacent neighborhoods
Columbus Ohio Division of Police 2002.
Summary and Conclusions
OSU values a campus free from crime. Crime not only detracts
from the mission of the university and deters perspective students,
it undermines the fundamental quality of university life. Because
parking facilities are believed to be a more likely setting for crime
than open walkways, security in these areas is one of the major
issues facing university officials. Crime Prevention Through En-
vironmental Design CPTEDis particularly applicable to parking
facility design because each of its principles, such as natural sur-
veillance, access control, and sense of territoriality, plays a role in
preventing crime in a parking garage.
In this section, the writers describe their recommendations for
CPTED improvements to the Northwest garage and discuss crime
statistics in the 4 years before the CPTED improvements were
made to the Northwest garage and the 2 years following the
CPTED improvements.
CPTED experts agree that illumination is the most significant
factor affecting both user perception of safety and actual inci-
dence of crime in parking garages. Access control is another sig-
nificant CPTED principal pertinent to parking garage safety. Both
lighting and access control were addressed in recommendations
for implementation of CPTED improvements to the Northwest
parking garage on the OSU campus. In 1999, the year following
that in which the survey was conducted, OSU improved both the
illumination level of the Northwest parking garage and the access
control to the structure. New lights installed in the Northwest
garage were both brighter and located so as not to be obstructed
by the beams supporting the garage floors. The lights were origi-
nally located so that the light diffusion panel was about 125 mm
above the bottom of the beams. The new lights were installed
having their diffusion panels flush with the lower edge of the floor
beams, as shown in Fig. 4. Maintenance personnel also painted
the garage ceilings with white, highly reflective paint, further in-
creasing the illumination level Fig. 4.
Access control was improved by installing black chain-link
mesh inserts in the lower level wall openings, as shown in Fig. 5,
thereby limiting access to doorways. By using black colored
chain-link mesh with relatively large links 50–75 mmlittle vis-
ibility was lost even during times when the sun was low in the
sky. Trimming the shrubs and trees along the perimeter of the
garage also limited access to the garage by minimizing the hiding
spots around the garage and preventing access to the second floor
through the trees. However, 2 years later, the shrubs have begun
to grow out of control again. Looking back, a better recommen-
dation might have been to replant with slow growing shrubs
rather than just trimming existing shrubs.
In the 2 years following the CPTED improvements made in
1999, crime in the Northwest parking garage fell by more than
half Fig. 1, while crime in other campus parking garages re-
Fig. 4. Parking garage lighting before and after Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design improvements
Table 9. Survey Statistics: User Demographics Part 3
Gender
Faculty Staff Student VisitorMale Female
112 68 56 75 59 21
JOURNAL OF PERFORMANCE OF CONSTRUCTED FACILITIES © ASCE / FEBRUARY 2004 / 27
mained unchanged. Because of the relatively low incidence of
crime in the Northwest parking garage, 2 years of data is insuffi-
cient to conclusively say that the CPTED improvements made to
the Northwest parking garage cut the crime rate in half, but cer-
tainly the crime rate has been lowered. Furthermore, although this
study was limited to certain parking garages at the Ohio State
University campus, the writers believe that the results can be
applied to other similar campus garages. Finally, as stated by one
of the reviewers of this paper, the analysis of cost data would be
of interest. If the cost of improvements is relatively small on a
dollar per space basis, design guidelines for universal application
of CPTED in campus parking garages can be suggested. Such an
analysis is recommended for future study.
Acknowledgments
The writers wish to acknowledge financial support for this work
from The Ohio State University and wish to express their grati-
tude for guidance and support from John R. Kleberg, Assistant
Vice President, Business and Finance Retired and Patrick G.
Maughan, Director, University Security Services. Comments by
the reviewers have greatly enhanced this paper.
References
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Fig. 5. Chain-link inserts in lower level parking garage wall
openings
28 / JOURNAL OF PERFORMANCE OF CONSTRUCTED FACILITIES © ASCE / FEBRUARY 2004
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... Several examples of the literature show how specific and crime-tailored crime prevention interventions need to be in order to be effective. Positive results were found by Poyner (1991) after security improvements were made to parking lots, as well as by Tseng et al. (2004) in relation to the layout and management of garages; retail environments by Hunter and Jeffery (1997); parks by Knutsson (1997) and ; streets by Armitage (2011);and schools by Bradshaw, Milam, Furr-Holden, and Lindstrom Johnson (2015) and Vagi et al. (2018). ...
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The abstract for this document is available on CSA Illumina.To view the Abstract, click the Abstract button above the document title.
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Applying CPTED (Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design) strategies to schools can significantly contribute to a safer learning environment by influencing the behaviour of students and visitors. CPTED has three overlapping primary concepts that are intended to reduce opportunities for crime as well as fear of crime: access control, surveillance and territorial reinforcement.
Safe streets, safe homes,'' Conf. Summary on Secure and Livable Communities: Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design, National Institute of Justice
  • J E Goody
Goody, J. E. 1993. ''Safe streets, safe homes,'' Conf. Summary on Secure and Livable Communities: Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design, National Institute of Justice, Washington, D.C., 38 – 39.
Crime prevention through environmental design: Applications of architectural design and space management concepts 2nd Ed
  • T D Crowe
Crowe, T. D. 2000. Crime prevention through environmental design: Applications of architectural design and space management concepts, 2nd Ed., National Crime Prevention Institute, Louisville, Ky.
Building simulation for crime prevention in a virtual environment
  • S C Shee
  • F C Hadipriono
  • W D Duane
  • R E Larew
Shee, S. C., Hadipriono, F. C., Duane, W. D., and Larew, R. E. 1997. ''Building simulation for crime prevention in a virtual environment.'' Proc., Int. Conf. on Engineering Education, (ICEE), Session 39, Vol. II.
Chain-link inserts in lower level parking garage wall openings
  • Fig
Fig. 5. Chain-link inserts in lower level parking garage wall openings