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Old 08-27-2013, 03:00 PM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
1,148 posts, read 2,860,766 times
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Hi, I know that safety in Oakland has been discussed to nauseum but I have some specific questions:

1. Is the immediate area around Lake Merritt safe? Like, would I be approached and mugged like the other guy was on International Blvd. in the other thread? Is it safe at pretty much all hours?

2. Are the nice parts of Oakland contiguous, meaning I can walk from one nice neighborhood to another without having to pass through a bad area?

3. Is the Jack London Square area safe at all hours? Especially for people who commute by ferry?

4. Living there, do you constantly feel fearful and worry about violence and/or being mugged?

5. Is it safe to be a woman walking or biking around the areas around the lake, Chinatown, and downtown/uptown?

I am really digging Oakland lately. I want to move out there but the violence statistics and reputation scare me.

Thanks!
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Old 08-27-2013, 03:08 PM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
6,135 posts, read 7,652,860 times
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1. Generally, yes. Unless you are being totally clueless or walking around a dark unlit part of the lake at night, the odds of you being mugged are pretty low. There's too much foot traffic going on for you to be a target unless you make it way too easy for a mugger.

2. Oakland is a pretty big city. In general the 'nice' parts are next to other 'nice' parts. The odds of you walking from a 'nice' part and suddenly stumbling into gang territory aren't very good unless you don't seem to notice things deteriorating.

3. Where I live in JLS seems very safe. There's private security and lots of foot traffic. I haven't noticed any car break-ins in the blocks that surround my place, but that doesn't mean it can't happen.

4. No.

5. During the day, it's as safe as any other major public park with lots of foot traffic. Uptown/Downtown/China town are filled with people during the day too. If you're out jogging with your iPod on at 3am around the lake I really don't know what to tell you.
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Old 08-27-2013, 05:24 PM
 
27,938 posts, read 60,131,404 times
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My cousins nieces are staying with me and have spent a lot of time exploring SF and the Bay Area... two 19 year olds using public transportation and lots of walking.

Many warned them of coming to Oakland and SF... so far... people could not have been nicer... even when they got off the bus at Eastmont Mall.


They have been leaving the house early and coming home around sunset.
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Old 08-27-2013, 06:15 PM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
28,234 posts, read 34,706,193 times
Reputation: 28475
Quote:
Originally Posted by mini_cute View Post
Hi, I know that safety in Oakland has been discussed to nauseum but I have some specific questions:

1. Is the immediate area around Lake Merritt safe? Like, would I be approached and mugged like the other guy was on International Blvd. in the other thread? Is it safe at pretty much all hours?

>>> Yes, but there are some dark areas that I wouldn't go alone at night. A little too quiet and deserted. I wouldn't walk around the lake path alone at night. Commercial streets near the lake? Sure.

2. Are the nice parts of Oakland contiguous, meaning I can walk from one nice neighborhood to another without having to pass through a bad area?

>>> Generally so. Anything north of the Lake and east of Telegraph is generally pretty good. Same with above 580 below the Lake. There are some pretty clear lines. Around downtown is fairly safe (using common sense) but there are blocks with not much foot traffic that I would go alone at night? With someone else? Sure.

3. Is the Jack London Square area safe at all hours? Especially for people who commute by ferry?

>>> Yes, but you'll run into a few homeless people here and there. Also, use basic common sense. There are some quiet blocks with little foot traffic. I don't like to go there alone at night (or really in any city.)

4. Living there, do you constantly feel fearful and worry about violence and/or being mugged?

>>> No, I am on year 9 at this point. I walk around my neighborhood, take the bus, walk to downtown and so on. Just use basic street smarts: walk on well-lit streets and so on.

5. Is it safe to be a woman walking or biking around the areas around the lake, Chinatown, and downtown/uptown?

>>> Mostly, but there are some quiet streets. Again, use common sense. Some of my friends live in areas downtown that I think are a little sketchy, and they mostly use transit. They feel fine.

I am really digging Oakland lately. I want to move out there but the violence statistics and reputation scare me.

Thanks!
To be honest, generally speaking the nice areas have no issues. The "decent" areas have a few issues that came be avoided or minimized with street smarts. And the super sketchy areas where most of the violent crime is concentrated is generally not somewhere you need to go.

Personally, I think if an area is up and coming, it is really really important to learn about the boundaries. There are boundaries in Uptown, where the "up and coming" part is at up. And other parts where it is just starting, so it is good to be aware. (Uptown those lines are basically north of Grand and West of San Pablo or MLK.)

I have been hearing about a few more incidents of purse snatchings and stuff lately, and I have no idea of the cause. But in terms of actual numbers? I think I heard about 3-4 in a year a few years ago, vs 5-7 this year to date. But people are also more proactive these days too. Is it a trend? Who knows, but when were are talking about a dozen or so incidents, it isn't necessarily meaningful data.
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Old 08-27-2013, 07:35 PM
 
Location: South Korea
5,242 posts, read 12,551,022 times
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Biking is the best car-less way to get around Oakland. It's too big to walk as easily as in SF, and AC Transit sucks, and BART stations are far apart.

I'd try and live in Rockridge--maybe a little easier said than done considering how few apartments there are there. You can take BART to SF, it's very safe, and it's a 15 minute bike ride to Lake Merritt. Otherwise you could look at the Grand Lake area (the area just north of Lake Merritt, centered around Grand) which will be cheaper and a bit less polished but just about as safe. The Temescal is like Rockridge but a bit scruffier, just make sure to stay east of Telegraph.

Also if you're used to living in SF, a nice neighborhood in Oakland like Grand Lake or Rockridge will be a cakewalk, they're much tamer. Yeah Oakland has crappy areas but they're easy to avoid.
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Old 08-27-2013, 08:51 PM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
28,234 posts, read 34,706,193 times
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You can also try Piedmont Ave area. Easy commute and safe.


I am on my phone, please forgive the typos.
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Old 08-28-2013, 10:19 AM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
1,148 posts, read 2,860,766 times
Reputation: 851
Quote:
Originally Posted by 04kL4nD View Post
1. Generally, yes. Unless you are being totally clueless or walking around a dark unlit part of the lake at night, the odds of you being mugged are pretty low. There's too much foot traffic going on for you to be a target unless you make it way too easy for a mugger.

2. Oakland is a pretty big city. In general the 'nice' parts are next to other 'nice' parts. The odds of you walking from a 'nice' part and suddenly stumbling into gang territory aren't very good unless you don't seem to notice things deteriorating.

3. Where I live in JLS seems very safe. There's private security and lots of foot traffic. I haven't noticed any car break-ins in the blocks that surround my place, but that doesn't mean it can't happen.

4. No.

5. During the day, it's as safe as any other major public park with lots of foot traffic. Uptown/Downtown/China town are filled with people during the day too. If you're out jogging with your iPod on at 3am around the lake I really don't know what to tell you.
Thanks for your responses to each of the questions. How do you like living at Jack London Square? Does the train bother you?
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Old 08-28-2013, 10:20 AM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
1,148 posts, read 2,860,766 times
Reputation: 851
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ultrarunner View Post
My cousins nieces are staying with me and have spent a lot of time exploring SF and the Bay Area... two 19 year olds using public transportation and lots of walking.

Many warned them of coming to Oakland and SF... so far... people could not have been nicer... even when they got off the bus at Eastmont Mall.


They have been leaving the house early and coming home around sunset.
Really? Even at the Eastmont Mall? I haven't been there but I have a bad perception of that place. But Oakland is a place full of surprises.
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Old 08-28-2013, 10:23 AM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
1,148 posts, read 2,860,766 times
Reputation: 851
Quote:
Originally Posted by jade408 View Post
To be honest, generally speaking the nice areas have no issues. The "decent" areas have a few issues that came be avoided or minimized with street smarts. And the super sketchy areas where most of the violent crime is concentrated is generally not somewhere you need to go.

Personally, I think if an area is up and coming, it is really really important to learn about the boundaries. There are boundaries in Uptown, where the "up and coming" part is at up. And other parts where it is just starting, so it is good to be aware. (Uptown those lines are basically north of Grand and West of San Pablo or MLK.)

I have been hearing about a few more incidents of purse snatchings and stuff lately, and I have no idea of the cause. But in terms of actual numbers? I think I heard about 3-4 in a year a few years ago, vs 5-7 this year to date. But people are also more proactive these days too. Is it a trend? Who knows, but when were are talking about a dozen or so incidents, it isn't necessarily meaningful data.
Oooh, yeah it looks like I will need to learn about the boundaries. I've lived in SF for 3.5 years and visited Oakland a few times during that period. I've always felt that I could not wrap my mind around "Oakland". I think one needs to really get to know that place, to know it.
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Old 08-28-2013, 10:25 AM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
1,148 posts, read 2,860,766 times
Reputation: 851
Quote:
Originally Posted by mayorhaggar View Post
Biking is the best car-less way to get around Oakland. It's too big to walk as easily as in SF, and AC Transit sucks, and BART stations are far apart.

I'd try and live in Rockridge--maybe a little easier said than done considering how few apartments there are there. You can take BART to SF, it's very safe, and it's a 15 minute bike ride to Lake Merritt. Otherwise you could look at the Grand Lake area (the area just north of Lake Merritt, centered around Grand) which will be cheaper and a bit less polished but just about as safe. The Temescal is like Rockridge but a bit scruffier, just make sure to stay east of Telegraph.

Also if you're used to living in SF, a nice neighborhood in Oakland like Grand Lake or Rockridge will be a cakewalk, they're much tamer. Yeah Oakland has crappy areas but they're easy to avoid.
I like what you wrote about the biking. =) I love using my bike as a means of transport as well as recreation. I like the idea that I can bike more easily in Oakland than SF. Now that congestion and road rage has gotten worse in SF, it is harder and more stressful to bike. Plus, I have a bad foot right now due to an injury so I can't climb hills. It seemed to me Oakland would be easier to bike even if I wasn't the most athletic biker, and what you are saying makes me think so even more.

I really like the areas around Lake Merritt, like Lakeside. Last time I passed through Rockridge, I wasn't as drawn to it. I don't know if I'd feel different now or when I am actually living there.
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