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Old 10-21-2009, 01:25 PM
 
5 posts, read 32,055 times
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I'd like to move close to downtown and the urban center, but at the same time I don't want to be in an unsafe area. I grew up in West Philly so I know how to look out for myself, but my wife and children have never been in an urban environment so I would like to find out more about the safety of these areas. I've been checking the crimemapper and I have those stats, but I'd like to hear some opinions from people who actually KNOW these areas. I'd appreciate any help you can offer!
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Old 10-22-2009, 06:49 PM
 
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I live in Duke Park with my wife and young son and feel totally safe. Virtually all the crime in these neighborhoods consists of break-ins when nobody's home -- thieves are just looking to grab a laptop and go. We go out walking every evening through Duke Park and Old North Durham, or occasionally Trinity Park, and always see plenty of other people out walking -- young and old.

I wouldn't call it an "urban environment," but we moved here from San Francisco. I realize that "urban" means different things to different people.

I recommend subscribing to the various neighborhood listservs -- you'll quickly get a sense for the feel of each area, and all of the neighborhoods you mention have active listservs and neighborhood associations.
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Old 10-23-2009, 02:24 PM
 
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Thank you! What types of things would you recommend to prevent a daytime break-in? Are the neighborhood associations taking any actions?
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Old 10-23-2009, 02:51 PM
 
Location: Cary, NC
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Neighborhood listservs? How do you find them?
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Old 10-23-2009, 03:36 PM
 
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I found them on the neighborhood association websites. Start here with the Duke Park site and then go to the links section so that you can see the other neighborhood sites:

Duke Park Neighborhood Association (http://www.rtpnet.org/dukepark/ - broken link)
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Old 10-23-2009, 05:56 PM
 
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The central Durham neighborhood listservs are generally run by Yahoo Groups (with the exception of Watts-Hillandale's listserv). You should be able to find them all on google.

My wife is currently staying at home with our 7 month old, which is a deterrent -- the criminals around here want an empty house to break into. The neighborhood associations are meeting with police to try and address the recent rash of break-ins, but it's not easy to deal with these things.
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Old 10-28-2009, 12:00 PM
 
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Thanks for the help. Any other info out there?
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Old 10-29-2009, 11:40 AM
 
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You're going to have a hard time getting feedback on entire neighborhoods. Durham is so small/close-knit that anywhere you are you won't be too far from the 'bad areas.' IE - you may live in SW Durham which is very nice, almost rural/suburban and you're still not far from the West End or Lakewood areas which aren't as nice... (they're not horrible though.)

What I can tell you:

Old West Durham - nice neighborhood, very safe but also very expensive.

The same can be said for the Hillandale area, it's a little more suburban too.

Trinity Park is one of the nicest looking areas in Durham, just IMO. Beautiful homes, it's very close to everything and it has much more of an urban feel generally. But, there are also some bad areas to the Trinity Park neighborhood (which is sort of vaguely defined). It's one area where the "have's" and "have-not's" are obviously visible. You can drive down Markham and coming from the East you'll pass through 'rougher' looking neighborhoods until you get close to the East Campus and you'll be like, Jesus - these are the nicest houses I've ever seen.

Regardless, you should be safe. I would avoid some areas around Washington St, Buchanan has rough spots, Macon St etc. Driving around you should quickly get a feel. I grew up off Monmouth Ave when I was younger and never had any real problems.

Old North Durham is a similar story to Trinity Park, except that there are more ghetto parts to that area. I'm not slamming the area because I would rather live in the worse off parts than somewhere like Hope Valley or some other suburban community, but if you have real money to spend then you can really get a nice spot. Roxboro St and Mangum are the two 'main roads' that go through that neighborhood and you can get a feel for that there... I would just recommend staying away from Geer St, Dowd St & Canal St. I'm not trying to scare you away because the 'bad' of Durham has always been overblown, especially considering how nice it has become recently, but you just need to be conscious of the good and the bad. Old North Durham has a great vibe to it and I would really recommend checking it out.

Now... for Duke Park.

Duke Park is an interesting neighborhood and I really don't know how to explain it. I live in what is considered the 'Duke Park' area and I get some news letter that I don't really care for, but I have never heard anyone from where I'm 'from' at the moment, claim to live there.

It's the same old story in the Durham in that there are some very nice, almost yuppieish areas to Duke Park. You'll find that off Markham. There are some very, very nice houses and it is a predominantly white area. This is where you'll find people with Duke Park Neighborhood stickers on their car (and silly signs about shooting speeders with paintball guns )

Now, when you head a little further east, you will hit Avondale, which is what I live off of, and that area tends to have a worse reputation. It's predominantly black and poor and there's more crime, drug problems, people wandering around, police presence etc and all that. I'm just being honest here, not trying to scare you away, because I actually really enjoy living here and like anywhere in the world, if you're smart and mind your business you generally won't find trouble. It's just something to consider because of your family. It is night and day from the area off Markham though.

Hope that helps!
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Old 10-30-2009, 08:12 AM
 
Location: Chapel Hill
732 posts, read 1,005,777 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Urban_classical View Post
Thank you! What types of things would you recommend to prevent a daytime break-in? Are the neighborhood associations taking any actions?
We lived off of W. Knox St. in Duke Park from 1997 through 2005. During that time I experienced two theft that could have been avoided had I been more careful. The first time my car was broken into and the stereo was stolen. I had parked the car out on the street. This is unlikely to happen but someways to avoid it are a) park you car in your driveway, not the street; b) don't keep any valuables in the car. The second theft was a bike. If was not diligent about closing the garage door this wouldn't have happened.
Our home also came with a security system so we just continued the monitoring contract for $150/year. We put a sign on the lawn and stickers from the alarm company on the porch door in the back. We never had a break in.

So basically, just try to avoid doing dumb things that invite theft. Thieves usually look for the steal. Heck, this advice applies to anywhere.

Things were a little sketchy when we first moved to Duke Park but once they tore down the Chesterfield Motel, where a lot of the illicit activities like drugs and prostitution was occuring, to widen I85, things became infinitely better. If I was a younger person starting a family and was looking for an affordably priced home I'd live in Duke Park again.
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