Jane Jacob’s, the articulate grass-roots urbanist, promoted the “eye-on-the street” theory, where sidewalks crowded with pedestrians deter criminals and create a self-policing safety zone.
Usually these places are well-lighted which makes them safer after dark. In addition, even along busy avenues, with a host of pedestrians, vehicle drivers tend to drive slower, and watch out for pedestrians and cyclists. Wide sidewalks, with on-street parking, makes these “pedestrian pockets” safer still. Good signage, including clearly marked street crosswalks, timed traffic signals, make it safer for everyone.