William Lucy of the University of Virginia has written extensively on the question of whether outer suburbs are safer than cities or inner suburbs; he argues, based on traffic fatality data, that outer suburbs are certainly less safe than inner suburbs, and maybe even less safe than cities. (1)
However, Lucy’s analysis is not particularly fine-grained: it analyzes data county-by-county, rather than town-by-town. What’s wrong with this? Often, suburban cities within a county are quite diverse: some share the characteristics of inner suburbs (e.g. some public transit) while others look more like exurbs. So I wondered whether there is any significant 'safety gap" between inner and outer suburbs.
A few years ago, someone asked me the following question (loosely paraphrased) on a listserv: “Since the most tradition-minded* religious Jews are required by Jewish law to walk to synagogue on Sabbaths and holy days (and thus presumably prize walkability) why aren’t they a major market for new urbanist developments?” At the time, I didn’t have a coherent answer. But now that I know more about both traditional Jews and new urbanism, I do.