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Where are the good and bad spots of town?

Hceux

Cyburbian
Messages
1,028
Points
22
So tell what city you live in, and where the good parts of the town and bad parts of the town are? I'll start.

Kingston, Ontario.

The good parts of Kingston, the old city, is anything between Princess Street - the main drag - and Lake Ontario. Why? Because of this area consists of a leading university, of many well-built large brick and/or limestone homes, and of the proximity to the downtown core. Yet, it has a "bad section": the student village - that's self-explanatory, I believe. Otherwise, the housing prices are ridiculously high in this area. Maybe even ridiculous by Toronto standards! 8-!

The bad parts of Kingston, the old city, is largely anything north of Princess Street, all the way to hwy 401. I can't even think of a small street that's decent. Oh, there's a small block or two of an old street that is considered decent, but it's often overlooked. The housing stock, in general, is not as healthy or structurally sound as those that are found south of Princess Street. Otherwise, it's a sad-looking entrance for anyone to drive down any arterial streets that branch off from Hwy 401 and goes into the old city of Kingston. :-#

As for the rest of Kingston - aka the suburban city - it is largely considered to be "good." However, I'll admit that socio-economic classification is visible in different suburban neighbourhood. For example, McMansions for the uber class are in one area and 1960s single-floor monotonous-looking bungalows for the lower middle class are in another. There's not enough arterial roads out there so the roads are just so full and congested. Huge tracts of land kept aside for institutional pruposes are partly a blame, I believe. Anyways, the suburban growth are found both in the west and in the east ends of Kingston (as they're divided by the Catarqui River), but there is more in the west end as the east end area is largely constricted by the CFB (Canadian Forces Base) that sits right in the middle of the area AND by the fact that there's only one street that crosses the wide river (other than jumping on the Hwy 401 bridge). :-\

Perhaps if this thread gets going, I'll share my thoughts about my hometown... :-b
 

BKM

Cyburbian
Messages
6,463
Points
29
Well, let's see. Its maybe too long and complicated, but...

I live in an exurban city of 100,000 named after the founding family, not cows is about 50 miles from San Francisco, located largely in the Sacramento valley next to the last mountain range in the coastal range system. There are some fine views, nice creekside corridors, and great rolling hills immeidately north of town. Historically, the Vacaville area was a fruit-growing region-most of the agriculture is now limited to hobby farms, country estates, and specialty crops sold in farmers' markets and the like. Industrial-scale agriculture begins immediately east and north of Vacaville.

Vacaville is a largely blue-collar-midle class town, a little nicer than Dan's "Town Next Door" but there are a lot of tradesman's pickups parked in local driveways. Many residents commute to the Bay Area or are Travis Air Force Base personnel and employees. Ethically, it is diverse, being more "white" than my employer (Fairfield, 10 miles south) but still having a large "Hispanic" population.

As for "good" and "bad," my biases are AGAINST California post-war tract home neighborhoods (80% of the town).

Given that, I feel that I live in the most attractive part of Vacaille, the old downtown. I live in a 9-unit condo complex, and my immeidate neighborhood consists of mostly older cottages in varying conditions of repair (I live in a very "mixed" neighborhood income-wise) A block away is an old "Mansion row" of large houses that range from two pretty spectacular, gigantic Victorian mansions to classic Spanish revival to quite nice ranchers on very large lots. Behind that are two streets of very nice bugalows and cottages. There are also some really nice Mid-Century Modern houses comparable in quality to the mansions, imo.

Outside of downtown and Buck Avenue (the prestige street mentioned above), Vacaville becomes pretty suburban. The nicer neighborhoods tend to be directly west of my home, within walking distance. There are decent, but screamingly dull, tracts that are nicely maintained, with views of the hills, a nice creek corridor, and a really well done neighborhood park. To the southeast is a mixture of middle class and blue collar subdivisions of varying quality and architectural interest. Vacaville is laid out on a large grid of arterials with the neighborhoods intertwined inside. Luckily, except for a couple of routes, Vacaville has avoided endless ugly strip development.

The "bad" part of my town consists of a collection of older apartment buildings directly north and east of downtown. These are still vary suburban in character, with a lot of stucco "dingbat-style" apartments and a few streets of shabby cottages. Conditions of the building stock vary.This is a mostly hispanic neighborhood. Interestingly enough, the newest "prestige area" Browns Valley, is the poorer (above) "Brown Street/Markham area described above. Browns Valley to me is very unattractive. Vacaville's design review is mediocre at best. Fairfield's newer neighborhoods at least have consistent street trees that will grow in nicely in a few years. Browns Valley just bakes in the sun, and the streets are the typical over-engineered four-fire-trucks-driving-simultaeously Public Works designs (engineers-meh!) Still, Browns Valley is popular among the suburban commuter middle and upper middle class.

The wealthiest areas lie in the semi-rural English Hills north of town, and in a (controversial) "gated" subdivision along Vine Street. the English Hills can be nice if you want to raise llamas or grow a few grapes. Vine Street is a prime example of the truism that money does not equal taste. God, some of the houses are gigantic messes, with huge blank retaining walls and cheap detailing. UGLY!!!!

Well, if you've goten through this long screed, that's my town. My hometown (Fort Wayne, Indiana, would requIre an even longer post. :)
 

Cardinal

Cyburbian
Messages
10,080
Points
34
In the "old days" it used to be that the east side was less desirable. The university and the new housing were on the west. That has changed in the last five years (and I like to think I had a role in that) as most of the new housing, including some of the city's most expensive, has been built on the east. I live(d) on that side of town and found it to be a lot more welcoming and a lot less pretentious.
 

boo

Messages
20
Points
2
i live in the northern cass corridor area of detroit, an area that has earned a national reputation for, basically, going to hell. the couple blocks surrounding my apartment are rather nice- the street to the south is full of historic early-20th century homes, my street has homes and apartment buildings in varying states that were built in the 1930s, and there is a popular bar and market on the corner.

to the north is the sprawling campus of wayne state; back in the fifties and sixties, wsu caused a lot of controversy by gobbling up apartment buildings and homes in their efforts to expand their campus. in the process they pissed off a lot of preservationists while crafting a decent inner-city university for detroit. to the west of my neighborhood is woodbridge, a charming area of homes that were once dilapidated but have seen since the benefits of gentrification- some of the homes were so lovingly restored that they now fetch in excess of $300,000, despite being located in an area where if you walk a block or two out of the way you can see the full effects of detroit's white flight from the seventies. to the east is the sprawling and busy campus of the detroit medical center, a mish-mash of architecture from many different periods. finally, to the south, is the lower cass corridor, one of the most depressing and dilapidated areas of the city. this area has seen little benefit from the $2 billion in redevelopment efforts that have gone into the midtown area and is still populated with many homeless people and hookers. they have started building prefabricated loft-style housing for lower to middle income families- an exciting development in such a decimated area.

a certain sadness hangs over the whole area even as it moves forward. it is truly the shining example of detroit's redevelopment efforts but, because there is so much work left to do, there won't be a semblance of a traditional neighborhood feel for decades more.
 

jresta

Cyburbian
Messages
1,474
Points
23
essentially, all the neighborhoods in blue are the "bad 'hoods" and the neighborhoods in shades of red are the good ones.



this map is slightly outdated and a little misleading so -
the blue in 57 as well as the blue just to the south of it (on either side of the 76 shield) is all parkland so i don't know why that's not just green - same goes for the blue in the northeast (between 52 & 53).

add to the blue/bad side
11
28, 49, and 50 are in danger of becoming blue.
38 and adjacent parts of 39 and 40

for the reds
3,4, and the northern part of 5 and 6
13 and the adjacent parts of 12 and 14
22 and the southern part of 2
33, 34, 35, 36, and 37 are red
 

Jess502

Member
Messages
20
Points
2
Very generally, the West End is the bad part of town and the East End is known as the best part of town.
The West End is defined as West of 18th street, but to most people, really starts around 9th/Roy Wilkins Blvd. It goes north to the Ohio River and south to the Shively area (ZIP 40216) approximately.
The nicest area of the East End is really the Northeast side of the city, namely ZIP 40207. East of Zorn Ave, north of I-64, and especially following the river northward is the nicest area. Prospect is a wealthy suburb in the far Northern portion of Jefferson County. Jeffersontown in the Eastern part of the county is sort of another story...it's not a bad area by any means, yet isn't nearly as posh as other areas of the East End. It is full of apartments and lower-middle class homes. The nearby Hurstbourne Lane corridor is a commercial strip, with many chain restaurants, car dealerships, movie theatres, anchor stores, etc. The area surrounding Cherokee Park, especially to the west of it, is the Highlands, home to older homes, Victorians, bungalows, and Craftsmans. Bardstown Road is the heart of the Highlands and is home to eccentric shops, cafes, great restaurants, and trendy boutiques.
The South End of Louisville is rather blue collar and home to many of the cities' "less classy" establishments (strip clubs), but is not all bad.
Dumesnil St., running through the West End, is Louisville's most notorious thoroughfare for crime. About the last place you would want to be caught alone at night is in the vicinity of 32nd & Dumesnil (pronounced "DOO-men-ill). I've gone on a quest for the worst place in Louisville and don't think I have found it yet. Our West End, though the worst in the city, isn't as bad as some other cities' "bad areas", e.g., East Chicago, South Detroit.
 

jordanb

Cyburbian
Messages
3,232
Points
25
jresta: So the Fresh Prince's neighborhood is still in the dumps? ;)

Generally the near north side, Gold Coast, Lincoln Park, Lakeview, are the worst parts of town. Worthless, lifeless areas full of futon stores and vacuous, uninteresting people. Places like Wicker Park are trending in that direction too.
 

DetroitPlanner

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
6,241
Points
27
We don't have good and bad parts. We have bad and worse areas!

Just kidding, the good parts are the rich areas and the bad parts are the ones taken over by the lumpen proletariat. These two people mix their geographies on a regular basis though.
 

Man With a Plan

Cyburbian
Messages
223
Points
9
You wouldn't believe it but

Arlington, VA does not have a bad area. There are no areas that I would be afraid to walk through. I would not have believed it before I moved here 5 months ago, but it's true. This City/County containing 200,000 +- people has escaped the urban blight cycle.
 

Suburb Repairman

moderator in moderation
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
7,419
Points
34
There aren't any real terrible areas in the City I work in, though there are some borderline colonias outside of town because the county environmental health people are a bunch of wimps.

At the lake I live at, the north side of the lake is generally better than the south side. The worst area is the southwest area of the lake, which has the highest crime rate in the county outside of my TOWN NEXT DOOR. Being in an unincorporated area, most of the housing at the lake has some kind of code violation and anything built prior to about 1995 probably has some major violations.

The closest city to my house, my TOWN NEXT DOOR, has its worst areas on the southwest side, especially near the batch plant.

In San Antonio, I'd say the problem areas are the near east and south sides, both likely a result of 1960s highway and urban renewal projects. The next couple of years may get interesting for these areas though as people are beginning to reinvest in these areas and bring living-wage jobs to the neighborhoods.
 

illinoisplanner

Cyburbian
Messages
5,335
Points
25
Well, since I have spent my entire life in the Northwest Suburbs of Chicago, I will tell you which suburbs/parts are good in this area and which are bad.

Generally all of the McHenry County/eastern Lake County suburbs are good with the exception of remnants of rural poor and slight influx of immigrant population along isolated sections on the immediate shores of the Fox River...you're "down the river"-type people. These rural poor water people can also be found near the lakes and in developed unincorporated areas. Woodstock, Harvard, and Marengo also still have a good presence of rural poor and hispanics. Crystal Lake, Algonquin, Lake in the Hills, Cary, Fox River Grove, and Huntley are among the best suburbs in this area. Lake Zurich and McHenry are both pretty good as well. Wauconda, Island Lake, and Wonder Lake...not so much.

In Carpentersville, Dundee, and Elgin...everything east of the Fox River is bad. Everything west is good.

In Cook County, Barrington is good. But it is by far the snobbiest area in all of Chicagoland. Barrington proper is very nice and very compact and has a lovely downtown, but the surrounding Barringtons (Barrington Hills, Lake Barrington, South Barrington, Long Grove) are some of the worst wastes of land imaginable with million dollar homes. We're talking towns with only 5,000 people having 50 square miles of land!!

Palatine, Arlington Heights, Mount Prospect, Des Plaines, and Park Ridge are the region's chief hot spots, with immaculate, upwardly growing, beautifully-designed downtowns along the NW rail line. But these suburbs all have their sore spots...such as the cheaply-built condoplexes along Route 12 in Palatine or Route 62 in Mount Prospect and Des Plaines.

Wheeling has a nice downtown, but much of town's population is the result of post-WWII housing which has suffered from white flight from Hispanic immigrants. Prospect Heights is nice, but NOT the condos off of Route 21/45. Buffalo Grove is a little snobby and also has its share of condoplexes, but it is still OK.

Schaumburg and Hoffman Estates are going through a not-so-good transition, as much of the housing in these large suburbs is all the same age. While it is still the corporate and entertainment mecca of the Northwest Suburbs, it needs to improve its transit and its appearance...quick.

Suffering from too much housing that's all the same age and pretty much no commercial tax base...Streamwood and Hanover Park have already gone downhill.

Elk Grove Village is still pretty nice, but it will likely be fully consumed by O'Hare airport within the century. ;-)

EDIT: Oops...I forgot Rolling Meadows. Let's just say that it is commonly referred to as "Rolling Ghettos"
 

Breed

Cyburbian
Messages
592
Points
17
Man With a Plan said:
Arlington, VA does not have a bad area. There are no areas that I would be afraid to walk through. I would not have believed it before I moved here 5 months ago, but it's true. This City/County containing 200,000 +- people has escaped the urban blight cycle.

That's a little misleading, as Alexandria isn't really self-contained. Bad areas exist, but they just aren't technically within the area.
 

Man With a Plan

Cyburbian
Messages
223
Points
9
Breed said:
That's a little misleading, as Alexandria isn't really self-contained. Bad areas exist, but they just aren't technically within the area.

My intent was not to be misleading. As a planner, it is interesting that this densely populated City/County does not appear to have a "bad" area. As Arlington has practiced innovative city planning since the 30s, one could also deduce that our profession has played the major role in contributing to this. That being said, yes, if one walks over to DC or Alexandria they could go into a rough area. So now we have a great research topic for our regional planners.
 

Jess502

Member
Messages
20
Points
2
DetroitPlanner said:
Come on, who is to make the judgement call between a bad area and a good area?

I think the idea was to speak in generalities, misleading as that may be. You're, right, it's a judgment call. It can give people who don't know a city a general idea though.
 

jordanb

Cyburbian
Messages
3,232
Points
25
DetroitPlanner said:
Come on, who is to make the judgement call between a bad area and a good area?

I agree, which is why I gave the answer I did.

Isn't it interesting that certain "types" of neighborhood get the label "bad" and that it is so unquestionably accepted an euphemism that people don't have to be any more explicit even on a board like this?
 

PennPlanner

Cyburbian
Messages
435
Points
13
The Philadelphia map was interesting-Chestnut Hill, the richest neighborhood in the city, wasn't one of the red areas.

I now live in Denver, which has no truly bad areas. The good parts of the city have traditionally been the south/southeast corridor stretching down towards the County Club/Cherry Creek and both south and east from there, along the parkways.

LoDo Denver is the happening part of town with significant new condo/apartment construction over the past decade, and it, along with Washington Park and the Highlands, are the new "hot" areas that people talk of these days.

Now, my hometown of Baltimore is an entirely different story. Bad areas galore! The nice areas are around the waterfront in the newly gentrified neighborhoods and apartment/condo complexes, and the central corridor heading north from downtown, to the old-money districts of North Baltimore (IMO one of the prettiest semi-urban, semi-suburban district in the country). Much of the rest of the city is especially bad, endless miles of abandoned, rundown, ramshackle rowhouses, empty lots, despair, crime, poverty, and drugs.
 

BKM

Cyburbian
Messages
6,463
Points
29
jordanb said:
I agree, which is why I gave the answer I did.

Isn't it interesting that certain "types" of neighborhood get the label "bad" and that it is so unquestionably accepted an euphemism that people don't have to be any more explicit even on a board like this?

I was thinking the same thing, actually, while being of course guilty of the same implicit racism.

I would actually argue that the "worst" part of Vacaville is the faceless stucco subdivisions (Browns Valley, California Drive) that most people consider the desirable part. It's not an ethnicity thing, either, the newer McMansion country in Solano County is quite ethnically diverse. It's to me that these neighborhoods are so raw and segregated and over-engineered and...let's be touchy feely...soul-less.
 

Bear Up North

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
9,329
Points
31
Toledo, OH

Like most mid-size USA cities, the central core of Toledo, OH, would be refered to as the "bad" area of town. Like everybody else, tough to be clear on "why" an area is considered good or bad. In Toledo, it really isn't a race issue.....it's an economic issue.

Here's a brief description of areas close to the CBD.....

South Toledo
Mostly poor residents, mostly older homes. Along the Maumee River, though, the homes are nicer and well-tended. Across the street....more of the south end poor.
A large number of Hispanics are in this area. (The President of Mexico visited this neighborhood a few days before 9-11.)

Door Street - Nebraska Avenue
Solid ghetto here, with many older homes now torn down. A trip on some of these streets back in the early 1960's would have displayed smaller, well-kept homes. Today, mostly empty lots or homes that are not doing so well. This area was the scene of urban riots in the 1960's.

The Old West End
Considered to be one (1) of the best collections of old and well-kept homes (and turn-of-the-century mansions) in the country. The annual Old West End Festival brings in hundreds of thousands of visitors to tour the neighborhood. Mixed populace, with a lot of professional people.....just down the block from gang-bangers. (Do a Google....you will be amazed at some of the homes.)

The North End
Mixed neighborhood that may now be Toledo's toughest area. Lots of street-walkers, drugs, gangs. Jamie Farr (from TV's MASH) is from this hood. Good Irish bar in this neighborhood. ;)

The East Side
Small and older homes, oil refineries, abandoned ship-building factories, grain elevators.....and a lower middle class populace that loves drinking, fighting, and hockey.
_____

In any of the above-described hoods, you would be taking a chance walking through the area.

(Curious to see if Toledo's Cyburbian resident SAC has the same views.)

Bear
 

ICT/316

Cyburbian
Messages
488
Points
14
Here is a map of the violent crime areas of Wichita for 2004.

1. The North Central part is known as Midtown.
2. Just N. E. is the Near North East side.
3. South of the center is South Broadway (Ladies of the night area).
4. East central area is known as Hill Top.
5. The area in the far S.E. is called Planeview.




Source: http://www.wichita.gov/NR/rdonlyres/0F28FD11-810B-4782-9EC5-294F7C5EFF04/17364/violentcrimes.jpg

Bill

_____________


“I'm proud of you fellas. You all kept your head on a swivel, and that's what you gotta do when you find yourself in a vicious c*ck fight.”


- Ron Burgundy
 

Dan

Dear Leader
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
18,752
Points
69
In the Cleveland suburb where I live, South Euclid, there's really no place that's considered bad. The northwest portion of the city, next to the Cleveland city line, has a "hood" reputation, but housing and property maintenance there isn't different than what you would find in the rest of the city. Generally, the perception of "niceness" increases the further south and east you go in the city. (FWIW, I live close to the geographic center of the city.)

Like most of Cleveland's inner ring eastern suburbs, the city has very aggressive code enforcement, and a host of programs intended to ward off decline. I was cited for an outdoor electrical outlet that wasn't properly covered -- in my backyard!

Typical South Euclid.

south_euclid_101.jpg

south_euclid_003.jpg

south_euclid_016.jpg

south_euclid_014.jpg

South South Euclid.

south_euclid_008.jpg

south_euclid_006.jpg

south_euclid_009.jpg
 

mokbubble

Cyburbian
Messages
56
Points
4
I don't find any part of San Diego scarry. San Marcos is pretty lifeless. The city's major problem is that it is so young and has no sense of importance really. It's a sprawled out sunbelt city with no mass transit. I like it. I think it is very diverse in many aspects. Ethnicity isnt the only sense of diverse, there are conservatives, milatary, yuppies, immigrants, evangelists, surfers, corrupt politicians. It's not as static as people believe.
 

SkeLeton

Cyburbian
Messages
4,853
Points
26
Well basically in Valdivia the good parts are in the West, Teja Island (where I live, and the main campus of the local university is at) and the semi-suburban developments that are streching to the southwest on the west bank of the Valdivia river nearby the road to the coast. Beyond that there are a few good parts in the Northern part, a big part of a former farmland in the south. And of course the southern suburban developments that are just big ranches of rich people that will soon be absorbed by the city growth. The bad parts are the East, South East and the "low parts" that subsided after the 1960 quake that usually flood when it rains heavily (quite usual here) those neighborhoods are below the high tide level of the river.
Downtown is also a good part, specially the riverside part.
 
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