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Old 02-19-2012, 03:59 PM
 
Location: Kansas City
50 posts, read 67,639 times
Reputation: 26

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I was born/raised in neighboring Illinois so I've seen how bad ESL is, but that was 30+ years ago, wasn't sure it was the same or worse.

I guess I'm not clear on what KC residents consider ghetto....for me growing up near Chicago, it would mean block after block of vacant lifeless boarded up buildings, graffiti in every direction, and garbage strewn about...basically neighborhoods left for dead....ie. west chicago. Google maps just doesn't give me that impression of KC.

Thank you for the info, stats, and different angles, that's all I wanted to know in case I was missing something, but I'm always game for a good discussion too.

In any respect, I'm looking forward to Kansas City, it's a place I've had my eye on for almost a year.
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Old 02-19-2012, 04:09 PM
 
Location: Kansas City
50 posts, read 67,639 times
Reputation: 26
I'm kinda hijacking my own thread here, but it's on topic I think.

Ok, I know Troost seems to be the western border of the neighborhoods that need to be avoided, but what would be the southern, northern, and easthern boundaries? Other cities have natural barriers such as expressways, parks, water, and trains, does KC have anything that keeps the bad news confined....does it spill over the western side of Troost at all?

The reason I ask is because even though I'm staying with a buddy until I'm on my feet and will be getting dropped off/picked up a lot, there will be times when I will be busing it. So naturally I'm concerned about safety. I might start a separate thread about it.
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Old 02-19-2012, 09:59 PM
 
Location: Kansas City, MO
5,758 posts, read 9,490,760 times
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I live in Kansas City, MO proper; however, I live north of the river too. I never feel unsafe and I leave the door to my house unlocked and often leave my cars unlocked. I did have a GPS stolen once and I had my apartment broken into once but that was part of a string of robberies from someone that didnt even live in KC; they came from Topeka and were hitting up areas with lots of apartments.

I have worked downtown and go downtown often. I have gone out to bars downtown leaving my car blocks from where I was and walked to my car by myself at 2AM and didnt even think twice about it.

The only two areas of KC that I would be worried about are the Troost area and then some areas over in KCK. Other than that, I wouldnt feel unsafe anywhere.

Something about crime statistics that bother me and I think makes them misleading is that it doesnt compare targeted crimes to untargeted crimes. Someone killing someone they know for a purpose such as revenge or a gang killing is much different than a random killing such as someone robbing someone. Not that a targeted killing is justified but rather the only person that was really in danger was the person that was targeted rather than the general public. It seems like a lot of the murders in KC are part of gang shootings. Kansas City does have a lot of gang activity and I think that raises the stats over cities they do not have as high of a population of gangs.
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Old 02-20-2012, 07:25 AM
 
1,830 posts, read 3,111,236 times
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First you need to start a new thread as it is incorrectly titled... KC is not 'most dangerous' and don't think it ever has been. There's an unusual amount of fear mongering on this site and I don't get it.

The crime is high in certain areas (particularly E Site) but the city as a whole is nothing like Chicago, where it's more intermixed in the city. KC's downtown/midtown do have their share of crime but have a lower crime index than many other city cores...

http://www.city-data.com/forum/22102540-post80.html

I just got back from LA... I rode the bus through primary areas of the city and while I enjoyed it during the day, there's no way I'd ride the bus at night in LA (city) again while I do it often in downtown/midtown KC.
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Old 02-20-2012, 08:47 AM
 
Location: Tower Grove East, St. Louis, MO
12,064 posts, read 27,216,465 times
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I lived in Chicago for two years and the vast swaths of that city that are impoverished and blighted is almost unbelievable. We have spent afternoons driving through KC's worst neighborhoods and I have never seen anything even close to the kind of poverty and gang activity we saw in numerous Chicago neighborhoods. Ever drive down Pulaski? Jeez, that's scary. So if you lived there and understood that crime can be block by block and there were many very safe neighborhoods as well, you'll do just fine in Kansas City.

Oh and to the poster who was talking about East St. Louis -- they're not a part of St. Louis and in no way included in St. Louis' rankings -- it's an entirely different state.

St. Louis gets an unfair rep because it's a teeny tiny 61 sq miles. KC is more than 300 so they get to include some very safe, completely suburban, areas, which allows their numbers to "even out" in a way St. Louis doesn't get. That's the key difference in the statistics and the main reason the FBI says their statistics should not be used to make these city-to-city comparisons as Morgan-Quitno insists on doing.

Generally speaking, OP, the neighborhoods that hug the state line are the safest -- from downtown all the way to Waldo. As far as busing it, I'd have about zero concern with anything along the Main MAX line and anything west of that. If your share a bit more about the areas you think you'll be, we can definitely give you a better idea of what to expect.
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Old 02-20-2012, 09:01 AM
 
Location: Denver, Colorado U.S.A.
14,174 posts, read 22,505,000 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xenokc View Post
Then most every city has a 'cancer' area. In LA it's S Central/Compton. In SF area, it's Oakland. In Chicago, it's S Side, etc. You implied KC as a whole has cancer but it's not even in the top 20 for crime, though sometimes it is.
I don't know about "cancer", but KC is pretty bad compared to many other cities. I compared KCMO to Denver murders for 2010 and Denver had something like close to half the murders of KCMO, even though Denver (the actual city) has nearly 50% more population in half the area of KCMO. And while Denver has its rougher areas, it doesn't have vast areas of "ghetto" and intense poverty.
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Old 02-20-2012, 09:36 AM
 
1,830 posts, read 3,111,236 times
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Well KCMO ranked 22nd last year and 21st year before that for overall crime so yes, KCMO is worse than many other cities including Denver, but is improving as KC used to rank around 10th. The point though is most of the violent crime is on E Side and those who are involved in crime related culture.

I checked murders for last 8 months and none were in Midtown/Downtown, nearly all were E Side or along Troost. Downtown/midtown do have murders once in a while but it's much much less than it used to be and random is pretty rare. Is also significantly lower than Minneapolis or Chicago's city core.

http://os.cqpress.com/citycrime/2011...Lo-Hi_2011.pdf
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Old 02-20-2012, 09:43 AM
 
Location: Kansas City, MO
3,572 posts, read 6,200,497 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluecollar View Post
I'm kinda hijacking my own thread here, but it's on topic I think.

Ok, I know Troost seems to be the western border of the neighborhoods that need to be avoided, but what would be the southern, northern, and easthern boundaries? Other cities have natural barriers such as expressways, parks, water, and trains, does KC have anything that keeps the bad news confined....does it spill over the western side of Troost at all?

The reason I ask is because even though I'm staying with a buddy until I'm on my feet and will be getting dropped off/picked up a lot, there will be times when I will be busing it. So naturally I'm concerned about safety. I might start a separate thread about it.
The northern boundary of KCMO's "ghetto" could vary depending on your standards. Many consider Historic Northeast not so bad, plus it's busy, which would put the northern border about Independence Ave, but most probably would consider the northern border Cliff Dr (which is north of what would be 1st St). The southern border could be considered 75th St or Bannister (95th), although ghetto areas extend southward from Bannister (95th) in a less uniform manner, like over to the former Bannister mall area and south as far as Grandview along Blue Ridge BLVD (Ruskin Heights, Hickman Mills), which is south of 435 and just west of Longview Lake. The eastern boundary is mostly the Blue River between KCMO, Raytown, and Independence.

^While the area I describe is absolutely HUGE, the true epic center, the one Xeno remarked as having been one of the top 10 worst areas in the nation, is just southeast of downtown KCMO. I'm not sure of the exact boundaries, but roughly the Prospect corridor and a wide swath on either side of it east of downtown through Brush Creek.

The ghetto areas are mostly buffered from the Missouri-side neighboring suburban cities by bluffs, industrial, and rivers, except for where the ghetto has leapfrogged a bit in far southeast KCMO. My biggest beef is that I like the urban core (Plaza through Waldo) and the ghetto is merely separated by a street, Troost Avenue, and go one block either side and it's night or day and the narrow width of both the good side and bad side of the city means the good urban neighborhoods are always only a few blocks from the bad.

However, if you don't like older neighborhoods, walkability, city living, etc., you can live in the suburbs and be mostly far away from this problem KC has. But I still think having so many "off limits" areas people are warned about and the sheer amount and size of those areas takes away from KC overall and makes people scared of the city here, which keeps it from reaching its potential. Since I don't think we're going to fix the ultimate underlying and huge social issues that are the reasons things are the way they are, the only way to make our city better is to drown out the bad by proportion, which involves types that just don't care how bad it really is or sugarcoat it and rationalize it and unfortunately by minimizing the reality and encouraging new folks to move, hoping we'll reach the critical mass that makes it all better. Personally, I think people should be well informed and make an ultimate decision based on that. When you explore here, you'll have lots of boundaries people tell you not to cross.

Quote:
Originally Posted by denverian View Post
I don't know about "cancer", but KC is pretty bad compared to many other cities. I compared KCMO to Denver murders for 2010 and Denver had something like close to half the murders of KCMO, even though Denver (the actual city) has nearly 50% more population in half the area of KCMO. And while Denver has its rougher areas, it doesn't have vast areas of "ghetto" and intense poverty.
Yup, Denver is a great example of a city on the opposite end of the spectrum in regard to cities plagued by social problems that are very much due to being cities for former industrial glory.

Last edited by MOKAN; 02-20-2012 at 10:23 AM..
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Old 02-20-2012, 09:41 PM
 
Location: Washington, DC area
10,705 posts, read 18,504,291 times
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I don't know. While crime in KC has never really bothered me, it has always kinda freaked me out that KCMO ranks even in the top 20-30, let alone top 10.

Why? Because so much of the city limits of KCMO is not even urban. A lot of KCMO is affluent or at least middle class suburbia, but then again, mmuch of KCMO’s 1980s suburban areas have flipped to suburban ghetto.

I can see kcmo ranking so high if the city limits were only from the river south and within 435, but there should be plenty of okay areas to cancel out the bad areas more.

If KCMO can rank 5 or 10 or 15 with its current city limits, I would not want to know how the city would rank with its 1950 city limits let alone 60 square miles like St Louis.

Are there any other cities like KCMO that rank high? I mean very geographically large cities with a lot of suburban areas or even rural areas inside the city limits? I honestly don't know, but how does Indianapolis, Louisville, OKC, Jacksonville, San Antonio etc rank? I never hear of them in these lists.

I love KC, but I gotta agree with denverian here. Metro KC is pretty blightened. While there are some great neighborhoods in central kcmo, so much of the city and so many of its suburbs have a lot of issues. Huge areas like most of KCK, much of Jackson County east of Holmes and west of Lee's Summit Road, parts of southern Clay etc. Percentage wise, there is a lot of blight and ghetto type areas in metro KC. Parts of the city are slowly getting better like midtown, but I think sprawl in all directions and the whole joco/state line thing has done far more harm to metro KC than most there will ever admit.

Take a map of metro KC and cross out the areas that you would not really want to live in. Forget KCK, Independence, South KC, Raytown etc, I’m talking about outer belt suburbs like Grandview and now I even hear negative talk about people avoiding Blue Springs etc. The middle part of the northland south of 152? Even a lot of Olathe is seems sort of run down.

I'm not downing kc, but just being realistic. A lot of the metro is run down and the crime stats are not great.

It's just one of the downfalls of kc. The lay of the land.
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Old 02-20-2012, 10:22 PM
 
Location: Middle America
35,818 posts, read 39,375,570 times
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Agreeing that there is nothing in east KC that isn't in poverty-stricken, rundown areas of any sizeable metro. Just like in any city, you have high-crime pockets that for the most part affect those who are actively involved in the the drug trade in some regard, and those who lack the resources or wherewithal to move from the areas affected by said drug trade even if they are not actively involved themselves. Like other communities with the same issues, the social issues are cyclical, in part because there are limited opportunities to break cycles of generational poverty, an issue that things like the disintegrating public school system does little to help.

That said, I lived in Chicago prior to living in KC, working with youth and families in extreme poverty, and nothing I see in KC that touches the situations I saw in Chicago firsthand and daily. I have always worked in helping professions, so I am in touch with that sort of thing, and if you've seen poverty and gang/drug trafficking activity in Chicago, nothing in KC should shock you. I currently work in one of the neighborhoods categorized by many in the metro as "ghetto," and to my perspective, it's really pretty ghetto-light. Run down, but I've not once been concerned for my personal safety. There ARE parts of the city I absolutely steer clear of (the aforementioned midtown-Prospect/Troost corridor, mainly), at least when alone, at night, etc., but no more than in any other urban area in which I've lived. I see pockets of crime, but not the wide swaths of dangerous ghetto wasteland that others seem to see. It's a really geographically big metro, but the highest-risk parts where crime is concentrated don't really make up as big a percentage of it as some would imply.
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