|Over the years many community-level explanations for crime have been offered. Social
Disorganization and Routine Activities theories posit that neighborhood factors such as family structure, homogeneity, residential mobility, the presence of suitable targets and the absence of capable guardians contribute to the level of crime in a neighborhood. Physical properties such as building density and access to major thoroughfares have also been implicated in a neighborhood's vulnerability to crime. Overlooked in this research tradition has been how residential street patterns contribute to a neighborhood's vulnerability to crime. Social geographers have identified residential, or tertiary, streets as important community building blocks. Some researchers have suggested that tertiary street patterns influence the degree of community organization. We contend that communities whose tetiary street patterns have low access to major thoroughfares are less vulnerable to crime. Other community-level factors also contribute to a neighborhood's vulnerability, but we believe that tertiary street patterns influence levels of social control. This research builds on the longstanding traditions of conmunity-level explanations by examining the relationship between tertiary street patterns and neighborhood crime. Our data is drawn from physical street maps, census data and official police records (both official reports and calls for service).
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