The Effect of Controlled Access and Entrance Fees On Park Visitor Safety and Security


  • James Edward Fletcher


crime, depreciative behavior, law enforcement, nonuse, perceptions safety, security, visitor protection


In recent years, park managers and user publics have become increasingly concerned about crime and depreciative behavior in parks. Research on the effectiveness of management techniques addressing these problems is needed. The research discussed here was focused on evaluating the effectiveness of controlled park access coupled with park entrance fees in reducing safety and security problems at a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reservoir. The research design for this two year study was a "pretest-posttest nonequivalent control group design.''Visitors' perceptions of crime and depreciative behavior problems declined significantly in two parks after their conversion from uncontrolled access areas with no entrance fee to controlled access parks with entrance fees. This was consistent with the first year findings that controlled access parks with entrance fees were perceived by park visitors to be more safe and secure than parks with uncontrolled access and no entrance fees. The evaluation techniques used in this study should be applicable to evaluating the impact of similar management options on safety and security at other outdoor recreation areas.?





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