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Old 08-08-2013, 11:14 AM
 
30 posts, read 74,480 times
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We are a young couple moving from NYC to SF in September. I've been to SF before and a little familiar with the city.
We will probably look for a one bedroom in Oakland/Daly City/Pacifica/Alameda and Walnut Creek.
I've heard that Oakland is not safe. Is it true? If so please advice which areas are safe there.
And what about other places I mentioned? Are they safe?
I was shocked with the number of homeless people last time I was in SF that's why this issue is so important for us.
And btw we don't have a car so we need smth close to the public transportation. Please advice.

thanks
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Old 08-08-2013, 11:29 AM
 
Location: Oakland CA
295 posts, read 427,050 times
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Oakland is your best option transit wise. I would recommend the Jack London Square area, its safe and close walking distance to the Lake Merritt BART station. Alameda is a good choice as well, though transit there is more sparse than more dense parts of Oakland or Berkeley. It is a nice Island though and is very safe with lots of shops and things up and down its main drag. If your looking for a more urban feel though I would say JLS or an area around the lake like Adams Point. Piedmont Ave is also a nice area though not near a BART station there are many buses that can get you where you need to go.

Walnut Creek has a nice downtown shopping center and if you live in the Pleasant Hill area there is a BART station that can get you into other parts of the bay area. Buses are sparse out there though and I'm not sure how well you can do without a car.
It really sort of depends on where you are working what area is the best.
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Old 08-08-2013, 11:59 AM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
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I just moved to Jack London Square after living in a neighborhood in West Oakland near Uptown for the past 5 years or so, and I couldn't be happier. Honestly, it's the perfect location. I'm 5 blocks from the BART station and a few blocks from the 880 freeway. The neighborhood has lots of great restaurants and some nice bars, and it feels very clean and safe. Lots of people walking their dogs and I've noticed a lot of couples in my complex with small children. You should check it out.

Rockridge is also another good option for Oakland, but it's a bit farther out. I also don't think the housing stock is nearly as nice.
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Old 08-09-2013, 03:04 AM
 
Location: Silicon Valley
18,817 posts, read 28,205,980 times
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Without a car and needing to be close to BART, I'd say Walnut Creek, with your list. Safe and nice.

2nd I'd choose Alameda. Safe and quaint.

I wouldn't choose Oakland, no matter the neighborhood. You can find bad crime stories for Oakland, including Jack London Square, even very recently.

Figure the cost of commuting. It may be worth it to live in the city (SF).
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Old 08-09-2013, 03:14 AM
 
Location: US
23,317 posts, read 22,670,385 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by michaelivanov View Post
We are a young couple moving from NYC to SF in September. I've been to SF before and a little familiar with the city.
We will probably look for a one bedroom in Oakland/Daly City/Pacifica/Alameda and Walnut Creek.
I've heard that Oakland is not safe. Is it true? If so please advice which areas are safe there.
And what about other places I mentioned? Are they safe?
I was shocked with the number of homeless people last time I was in SF that's why this issue is so important for us.
And btw we don't have a car so we need smth close to the public transportation. Please advice.

thanks
Daly City, Pacifica, Alameda and Walnut Creek are definitely safer than Oakland (generally speaking). However, Oakland does have safe areas such as Rockridge. Crime is expanding in Oakland though in case your are very paranoid. I would cross Walnut Creek, Alameda and Pacifica off your list since you don't have a car. Daly City and Oakland are still a bit difficult without a car, but doable.

Without a car, I personally would rent a room from a shared apartment in San Francisco (if you can't afford a private unit).

What is your budget? Also, are you worried about crime or homeless people? These are two different issues in the Bay Area. Most crime against "normal" people, especially violent crime doesn't happen by the homeless.
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Old 08-09-2013, 09:05 AM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
28,234 posts, read 33,505,853 times
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There are plenty of spots in Oakland that you can go car-free. Many of my friends are car-free in various areas.

Serious crime in Oakland is fairly concentrated, like in most cities. You can check out areas like Jack London Square and Downtown Oakland (East of 980, South of Grand and North of 880.). These areas feel more urban and have the newest apartment stock. Many parts of DTO (downtown Oakland) aren't quite 7 days a week areas. The drugstores close early and many places aren't open on Sunday. Pretty safe, very safe for a downtown area, you just need basic common sense and street smarts.

Personally, I like to visit Downtown, but groceries are a bit of a hike. Whole Foods at the north end of downtown, markets in Chinatown, and the Lucky's on the east side of the lake are the only options.

Other areas that are good in terms of transit access and convenience? Try Temescal or Rockridge. Rockridge has good transit access, housing stock is a bit older, but the neighborhood is pretty self contained with Trader Joes in the middle of the main street, and a Safeway/CVS at the edge. Temescal is west of Rockridge, fairly convenient for transit, but a little bit of a hike for groceries (you would head to neighboring Rockridge or the Whole Foods in Berkeley for groceries).

Piedmont Ave is decent from a transit perspective, a little better if you live towards Temescal, than on the end I live on. Good proximity and amenities nearby. It is about 1.5 miles (or less) from Uptown, the Lake, and Rockridge. I live here, and drive and take transit depending on what I need. After about 8-9pm, I have about a 4 block walk to the 51 which is the bus that goes to downtown Oakland. Before that, there are 2 buses that go there within 3 blocks, commuter bus service to SF, and a relatively frequent bus within a block that heads to the Lake or Macarthur BART (at least 15 minute service most parts of the day). Bus to BART is a 5-10 minute ride, and 1-1.4 miles away (Macarthur/19th St). My sister lives at the Broadway end of Piedmont Ave, near the Temescal line, and doesn't drive at all. She gets around just fine!

I'd write off Walnut Creek. It is pleasant, but car oriented suburbia. Would not be easy to go car-free there, there isn't much bus service around town.
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Old 08-09-2013, 10:35 AM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
5,961 posts, read 7,311,989 times
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Unless you live right downtown, Walnut Creek is not going to be easy carless.

Jade and I actually live in Oakland, so our perspective on safety and crime is different from other posters who don't live here. Jack London Square is VERY safe for an urban setting. My apartment complex has private security guards that monitor the block, the OPD headquarters is just a few blocks away, and the BART police headquarters are located right by the Lake Merritt BART stop. I lived in West Oakland for years in a neighborhood that many would call unsafe or dangerous, and still I never had any problems there- aside from seeing bums pushing shopping carts and addicts wandering around. Compared to my old, 'scary' neighborhood, Jack London Square feels like Times Square in NYC. What 'feels safe' to you will all depend on what you're comfortable with, but don't rule out nice, safe neighborhoods in Oakland just because crime happens on the opposite side of the city. Rockridge is also a very safe neighborhood that's easy to go carless, and many of the bars and restaurants there have hired their own private security also.
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Old 08-09-2013, 11:13 AM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
28,234 posts, read 33,505,853 times
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I am a single female, I feel fine walking around downtown alone on the busy blocks. I'd go in pairs (obviously) on the blocks with less foot traffic. I also walk home from downtown at night, pretty often, if the bus timing doesn't work out for some reason (I am only about a 1.25 miles from Uptown, so it isn't too far for me).

I don't flash my iphone at night and try to check facebook and walk down the street (i.e. typical street smarts).

If I didn't feel safe, I obviously would have moved a long time ago. I have been living in Oakland for about the past 9 years, and I went to Berkeley, so did spend a bit of time in Oakland then as well. Downtown has changed a lot over the past 10 years. It is way more active and more of a destination than it was a decade ago, but even then I felt find walking around downtown. It has only improved since then.

Things have changed a bit, with the recent hipster explosion and good press. There are some areas of town where crowds are a little less mixed than they used to be. On the flipside, the coffee selection has improved a lot. Lots of high quality coffee and cocktails all over town. All in all, Oakland is a great place to live. I do think the city government sucks, but that true in a lot of places.
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Old 08-09-2013, 12:17 PM
 
7,280 posts, read 9,970,429 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by michaelivanov View Post
We are a young couple moving from NYC to SF in September. I've been to SF before and a little familiar with the city.
We will probably look for a one bedroom in Oakland/Daly City/Pacifica/Alameda and Walnut Creek.
I've heard that Oakland is not safe. Is it true? If so please advice which areas are safe there.
And what about other places I mentioned? Are they safe?
I was shocked with the number of homeless people last time I was in SF that's why this issue is so important for us.
And btw we don't have a car so we need smth close to the public transportation. Please advice.

thanks
Pacifica. Bus service to SF is a breeze. Very little crime (no easy way for hoodlums to get out) just be prepared for the fog and overcast days with sunshine in the early afternoons.

Get a car, even if it is a used one so long as it is in good condition. Sooner or later you'll need one.
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Old 08-09-2013, 03:21 PM
 
2,006 posts, read 3,069,621 times
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I know this is going to make some people mad but i like to remind everyone that there are some very bucolic areas of oakland that don't get a lot of press and people who don't live in oakland can be very ignorant about life in oakland.
listen to the people who know the city
Skyline Ranch
Gallery | Redwood Ranch



cue the trolls
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