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Old 01-24-2012, 01:28 PM
242 posts, read 583,652 times
Reputation: 57


So we moved to Bryant Woods area in Wilde Lake village @Columbia two months ago so that my wife could access the public transportation system to B'more. She now walks about 10 min to get/from the commuter bus stop at Columbia Mall. She used paths through those condo/town house communities for the most part, but did have to walk on Twin Rivers for a little bit.

Before we move to Columbia, I actively searched in this forum and asked for advice, and generally people said it should be a fine and pretty walkable area. Crimereport.com did not spit out a lot horrible crime records either. However, I got to know spotcrime.com after we moved, and the more I check that site the less confident I am with this neighborhood. At least 3 armed robberies for the past half year, one @ Twin Rivers and Governor Warfield Pkwy back in July and two actually happened half a month ago at the Wilde Lake Village center, which is less than 0.3 miles away. The most horrible part is some of these crime actually happened in the early evening say 630p when people are getting back from work.

The only upside from my research is that looks like the Wilde Lake village center is a boundary point, closer to mall from that point, less to none violent crime. I can understand theft kinda crime rate would be high close to a shopping mall, but don't want to mess with robbery or worse.

So any personal experience about the safety issue at that neighborhood? Or she should avoid walking altogether?

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Old 01-25-2012, 06:57 AM
Location: Sneads Ferry, NC
11,542 posts, read 20,716,464 times
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Originally Posted by Niubee43V3R View Post
So any personal experience about the safety issue at that neighborhood? Or she should avoid walking altogether?
For personal experience, your wife should ask the other riders on the bus what they know about. Perhaps she could find someone who leaves their car at the Mall and ride with them. Or, is it possible for you to pick her up? I would be nervous about the traffic on Twin Rivers Road after dark. If she has seen anyone who makes her uncomfortable, she could get a purse-sized loud siren or whistle.
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Old 01-27-2012, 01:30 PM
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I agree with the above poster. I think I responded to your previous post as well. I would not walk the pathways alone in the dark. Technically they close at dusk, anyway. The pathways are great but they are tucked away and there are lots of places to hide out of sight. I do not think your wife will have a problem on Twin Rivers during the daytime. There is a decent amount of traffic on that road plus there are some walkers in that area. I see men and women walking, running and walking with pets in that area. I will see people walking to church, and going to the local stores. Could something happen, yes, chances are that in the daytime on a mainstreet it will not. The safest route would be to drive to the mall and drive home. I'm risk averse, so this would be the route that I would choose but she should look out no matter where she is. There have been robberies at the mall, I believe their was one recently. If she is aware of surroundings then she should not have a problem. Robberies do happen in Columbia, it is a city, ~100k in people. Often times if you see a string of robberies, it is the same individuals committing them and it will continue until they are caught. Most criminals eventually branch out because hitting one area increase their chance of getting caught. I live pretty close to the area that you are in and I have walked the paths alone (in the daytime and with others at night) but I keep an eye on the surrounding area. I have never had an issue and I did and do follow the Police Blotter and was shocked by the armed robberies that happen throughout this area. They really need to throw the book at those committing this type of crime here because it is a really nice area. As I have said, it is usually the same criminals doing all of the armed robberies. The risks are still relatively low for having this happen to you.

Personally, I would not want to walk many places in Maryland after dark alone. Sorry, but in general, it is just less safe compared to other places that I have lived. I think the big difference is that criminals are more integrated into all communities into Maryland and more of them venture out into surrounding areas. Most of the crime, including robberies happen near shopping areas. You see it throughout Howard County, at all of the shopping areas. It is rare that anyone is ever hurt because they give the criminals their phones and money. I know the first time I was walking a Centennial Park alone, I was taken aback by the signs saying not to walk alone. As I thought about the walk, the turns, trees and seclusion in some areas that there was risk when walking in areas like this. Chances are nothing will happen, but unfortunately criminals take advantage of places that offer cover.

Also, people have been approached at home while either leaving their homes or after driving home. So please be careful, either way. I have also heard of a few home invasions in Howard County (which is rare in Howard but it does happen), I believe it recently happened in Glenelg.

Do you know if the Howard County bus goes to your neighborhood? It will be quicker to walk but if your wife is coming home after dark I would see if she could take the local bus and get closer to home or I would let her drive. I know when you guys were looking being close to transportation going in two different directions was important, did you look at the park and ride on Snowden? There are nicer areas in Columbia and other areas but there is still a chance of these things could happen after dark.

Good Luck and sorry you are having issues or concerns.
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Old 01-29-2012, 10:24 AM
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Thanks for all the replies. My wife generally is a very cautious girl, so she kept an eye on any strange/abnormal scenes around. She did complain one time, a group of teenage/young female cursing out loud (not really sure if it's toward her or not) when she walked back home at around 630pm. Nowadays, I tried to pick her up after dark on my drive back from White Oak, and she can walk to the stop in the morning. Criminals normally do not get up early in the morning, and if they do, they could've been working a real job and making honest living without problem for such effort.

It's just out of my expectation somewhat, since we used to live in White Oak, which has worse reputation than Columbia. We did have a lot minor crime (shoplifting, theft of vehicle etc), but honestly I have not been aware of much violent crime at all, and I walked to my office on daily basis (10-15min), and never been bothered at all.
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Old 01-31-2012, 03:24 PM
Location: The Bay and Maryland
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I, personally, walk on the sidewalks adjacent to the main roads (i.e. Twin Rivers, Harpers Farm Rd) in Harper's Choice/Wilde Lake. I avoid walking the bikepaths because it is not uncommon to run into rowdy shiftless teenagers and young people who hang out all day getting drunk. The Harper's Choice Village Center is a magnet for these types of always-in-trouble and always-drunk locals. Most of them are friendly and harmless. The Wilde Lake Village Center is pretty quiet most of the time. Although some people believe Columbia is some safe haven, robberies (sometimes with guns and knives) do occur almost every week of the year on these paths. Guns and knives are rare however, most robberies in Columbia are intimidation robberies where a group of spineless teenage boys robs a single person walking by themselves of $20 and maybe roughs him up. I was robbed last year on the path near the hospital near Waverly Winds, which is a public housing development off of Cedar Lane, in broad daylight by a bunch of teenagers who should have been in school. After that, I no longer walk on the paths; I only walk where a lot of cars can see me. Most shady activity is centered around these developments in Harpers Choice and Wilde Lake. Another somewhat shady area is the 5400 block of Harpers Farm Road in Fall River Terrace and Rosyln Rise near Wilde Lake High school. Although I know most of the people living in these areas, those people might not hesitate to rob a stranger if they think they can get away with it. However, there is a very small chance your wife would be robbed or assaulted. Columbia is still much safer than average and I think a young minority male (teens through 20's) walking by himself is more likely to be victimized and even that would be pretty rare. But all in all, as I said before, crime is pretty petty in Columbia compared to the rest of the country. I would just utilize the bus, only walk the paths during daylight hours and walk on the sidewalk on the side of the main roads in Harper's Choice and Wilde Lake. Having a big dog would also help fend off a few opportunistic petty bored teenage wannabe thugs.

Last edited by goldenchild08; 01-31-2012 at 03:40 PM..
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Old 02-01-2012, 09:35 AM
242 posts, read 583,652 times
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Thanks for the useful info. I'm not sure about the difference between "side walk adjacent to the main road" and "bike path" you referred to. I only see the "side-walk" which is right by the side of Twin Rivers Road, and traffic on Twin Rivers and pedestrian can pretty much see each other clearly. Also there are some paths in the condo/town house communities too, and you have houses/condos on each side. We normally just walk on those walk ways, and never noticed any dedicate bike path. People did ride bicycles on those side walk too.

The shady place you mention on Roslyn Rise near Wilde Lake high is actually right across the street from our place, it actually intersects with Twin Rivers instead of Harpers Farm rd. My wife has to walk pass that intersection on her way to the Mall.
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