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Policing Underground Streets

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  • michelle@giansante.net
    ... Interesting question! I decided to do some research on Toronto s underground street system to find out if Toronto requires more policing, or has a higher
    Message 1 of 2 , Jan 2, 2002
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      Howard mentioned:

      >Um-- a huge police force to patrol the tunnels, skywalks, and the shady
      >areas
      >beneath the skywalks?

      Interesting question! I decided to do some research on Toronto's
      underground street system to find out if Toronto requires more policing,
      or has a higher crime rate than cities without this underground street
      system.

      Here's what I found:
      Toronto has 10 km (6 miles) of underground streets, connecting 1100
      stores and restaurants, 40 office towers, and 6 major hotels. The streets
      are always flanked by stores (at least all of them that I walked on!).
      Here is the website for the underground street system, called PATH:
      http://www.city.toronto.on.ca/path

      From the city's website,
      (http://www.city.toronto.on.ca/ourcity/keyfacts.htm):
      >Toronto ranked as the safest large metropolitan area in North America by
      Places
      >Rated Almanac

      From The Relocation Crime Lab & HomeFair City Reports:
      Toronto's Crime Lab Index: 165 (higher number means higher amount of
      crimes)
      Toronto's City Population: 653,000

      Compare to:
      San Francisco's Crime Lab Index: 165
      SF's city pop.: 776,000

      Or:
      Portland, OR, Crime Lab index: 192
      Portland's city pop: 529,000

      I also checked to see if Toronto has a larger police force than SF, but
      it is almost exactly the same "uniform strength" per population:
      Toronto's uniform strength per population: 1/498
      SF's ": 1/500
      (figures from these cities' police websites)

      So it looks like as long as there are shops flanking the underground
      streets, they will be just as safe as above-ground streets - and a lot
      warmer! :-)

      Michelle Giansante

      P.S. From this research I found an interesting website:
      "Retail Dynamics in Toronto's Underground System"
      http://www.csca.ryerson.ca/publications/1998-11.html

      which contains this interesting quote on how the Toronto's underground
      developed:
      "At the same time, the underground provided a means of separating 'people
      and traffic' in the core -- a central tenant [sic] of 1960s planning
      policy. Municipal planning projections viewed the underground path system
      as a solution to the problem of 'surface pedestrian congestion' that was
      forecast to occur when pedestrian volumes exceeded sidewalk capacity in
      the 1980s."
    • macwizzurd@aol.com
      Or, perhaps, underground streets are onlly safe in a safe city. In Chicago underground streets have been places for homeless to squat, and above ground
      Message 2 of 2 , Jan 2, 2002
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        Or, perhaps, underground streets are onlly safe in a "safe" city.
        In Chicago underground streets have been places for homeless to squat, and
        above ground walkways, like those recently dismantled on the University of
        Illinois campus, have been places for potential muggers and rapists to hide
        and wait for an ambush opportunity (under the walkways, that is).

        In a message dated 1/2/02 10:00:54 AM, michelle@... writes:

        << Howard mentioned:

        >Um-- a huge police force to patrol the tunnels, skywalks, and the shady
        >areas
        >beneath the skywalks?

        Interesting question! I decided to do some research on Toronto's
        underground street system to find out if Toronto requires more policing,
        or has a higher crime rate than cities without this underground street
        system.

        Here's what I found:
        Toronto has 10 km (6 miles) of underground streets, connecting 1100
        stores and restaurants, 40 office towers, and 6 major hotels. The streets
        are always flanked by stores (at least all of them that I walked on!).
        Here is the website for the underground street system, called PATH:
        http://www.city.toronto.on.ca/path

        From the city's website,
        (http://www.city.toronto.on.ca/ourcity/keyfacts.htm):
        >Toronto ranked as the safest large metropolitan area in North America by
        Places
        >Rated Almanac

        From The Relocation Crime Lab & HomeFair City Reports:
        Toronto's Crime Lab Index: 165 (higher number means higher amount of
        crimes)
        Toronto's City Population: 653,000

        Compare to:
        San Francisco's Crime Lab Index: 165
        SF's city pop.: 776,000

        Or:
        Portland, OR, Crime Lab index: 192
        Portland's city pop: 529,000

        I also checked to see if Toronto has a larger police force than SF, but
        it is almost exactly the same "uniform strength" per population:
        Toronto's uniform strength per population: 1/498
        SF's ": 1/500
        (figures from these cities' police websites)

        So it looks like as long as there are shops flanking the underground
        streets, they will be just as safe as above-ground streets - and a lot
        warmer! :-)

        Michelle Giansante

        P.S. From this research I found an interesting website:
        "Retail Dynamics in Toronto's Underground System"
        http://www.csca.ryerson.ca/publications/1998-11.html

        which contains this interesting quote on how the Toronto's underground
        developed:
        "At the same time, the underground provided a means of separating 'people
        and traffic' in the core -- a central tenant [sic] of 1960s planning
        policy. Municipal planning projections viewed the underground path system
        as a solution to the problem of 'surface pedestrian congestion' that was
        forecast to occur when pedestrian volumes exceeded sidewalk capacity in
        the 1980s."


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        Date: Wed, 2 Jan 02 09:59:49 -0600
        Subject: [carfree_cities] Policing Underground Streets
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