Not So Safe Areas, Atlanta

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  • Sitting in comfort in the warmth
    Sitting in comfort in the warmth
    by BruceDunning
  • He took her picture!
    He took her picture!
    by Yaqui
  • Celebrating my birthday in Woodruff Park
    Celebrating my birthday in Woodruff Park
    by annaegardner
  • Atlanta: Avoid East Point and College Park

    by DavidR96 Written Feb 26, 2014

    We stayed at a hotel called the Wellesley Inn in the East Point area of Atlanta. We went walking at night to the local Arby's and saw three Atlanta police cars in the side lot of the hotel checking someone. On our way back to the room, we saw an Atlanta CSI vehicle going to the same part of the hotel. Also, avoid the fast food restaurants such as Arby's as the cashier there was nasty and had a major attitude. I don't know if it was a racial thing or the girl was just a witch. Stay indoors at night and get out of there in the morning to a better area. Generally, any areas north of the I-20 corridor are better.

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    Safety Tip-Stay Outside of I-285 and North of I-20

    by Sharon61bio Written Feb 19, 2014

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    Downtown Atlanta and MARTA are NOT places to turn your kids loose. I have lived here for 50+ years. I finally got wise and moved to the Eastern outer suburbs. Any areas inside of I-285 are sketchy. Some more so than others. Panhandling is prevalent around the State and Capitol buildings downtown. As you travel around the inner perimeter, every bridge abutment and embankment is staked out to some homeless person(s). Gang activity is prevalent among the Southeast and Southwest metro counties. These include South Fulton, Clayton, Henry, South Dekalb and Bankhead. Good places are Gwinnett, Snellville, Centerville, Walton, Monroe, Rockdale, Kennesaw, Cumming, Alpharetta. The airport is okay for an in and out but I wouldn't recommend a stay close by. I have taken MARTA during the day and mostly encounter the mentally challenged. I would not recommend travelling MARTA after dark. Hope this helps someone.

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  • Relocation advice from locals please

    by knottymama Written Jan 10, 2014

    I'm planning a move with my family but I'm so confused with all the neighborhoods! We're pretty low income but after scouring the rentals it is apparent that rent could actually be cheaper there (500-800 for 3 br home is our price range.)
    Which "shady" neighborhoods are cool and which ones are dangerous? There are plenty of reasonably priced rentals, but which ones are accessible to public transit and safe for teens to use on their own? We've finally nailed down the right neighborhood for us here, which many consider shady but we feel safe taking a night time walk (other than that one apartment complex down the road) reasonable rent, a yard, teen center and park across the street, bus stop on the corner, walking distance to many amenities...But alas, it's time to move. I'm actually excited but overwhelmed as I know nothing about Atlanta other than the tourist attractions and don't want to make a huge mistake in selecting a home.

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  • Just use common sense

    by ace1413 Written Jan 7, 2013

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    The most important safety advice I can give about Atlanta is to watch out for the bad drivers, and to not get lured into a false sense of security by the way a neighborhood appears, because there are decent parts of the city that also have problems with muggings and carjackings. Atlanta has grown much safer than what it was in the past, so just use common sense.

    Don't walk around or ride MARTA flashing expensive jewelry, clothing, or money

    Don't leave money or other valuables in your car where people can see it

    Just firmly say "no" to the panhandlers. If they persist, just ignore them and walk away

    ALWAYS pay attention to traffic when crossing streets, as many drivers in ATL like to go over the speed limit

    If going through rough looking areas bothers you, then avoid residential areas close to the Georgia Dome, neighborhoods immediately Southwest of downtown, and places that are south of Grant Park

    I grew up in Southeast Atlanta, most of the shady areas of Atlanta are not close to anything touristy, so you likely won't be in any of the places mentioned. Just keep your eyes open for the bad drivers.

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  • Does anyone commenting actually live intown?

    by Mblankford Written Jun 20, 2012

    I've read some of the reviews and they're making me confused...some weird names, nicknames, and neighborhoods that don't really exist. Simply put, stay away from SW Atlanta. Look at a map and you can see the division. If you are a tourist, stick to midtown, buckhead, or the 400 corridor. There are gritty areas like EAV and L5P that suburban tourists are scared of, but just don't be stupid and you'll be fine.

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    Moving to Atlanta

    by boblotabrasil Written May 31, 2012

    Hi All,

    I am going to work in a hotel in the Airport, and I am moving to Atlanta in mid June. I am looking for apartments to rent in Midtown, Centennial Park, around Memorial Dr., because I will need public trasnportation near me, since I don´t have plans to buy a car. I have read here most of the reviews about the dangerous in the city, and some I agree, others I just can´t understand. I live in a city with 15 million people in Brazil, full of really dangerous places, and I feel comfortable living in USA because I know not many places are as dangerous as my home city. I am a tall, white dude, and I love to walk to get to know the city and its attractions. I am thinking asbout buying a bike to ride to work. How safe it is to walk around during daytime and also riding a bike?

    Thnaks for the reviews...It´s helping me a lot.

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  • Lived in East Metro my entire life

    by Atlgurl Written May 16, 2012

    I've lived in East Metro my entire life. My best advice is to pay attention anywhere you go in Atlanta. The area around the airport...used to be Stewart Ave, is a hooker hangout; anywhere around the old and new Braves stadium, The GA dome definitely, parts of Stone Mtn, the town not just the attraction, basically anywhere south of I-20 and west of 75. East Atlanta North of I-20 isn't that bad other than the parts of stone mtn. Marta avoid it. some friends and I were almost jumped one time going to a venue in Atlanta. Buckhead has lots of clubs and bars. Used to be a place where some celebrities would visit and caught the wrong attention. Stay away from there too. The zoo is nice but don't stray too far.
    As for more metro areas...parts of douglasville/Lithia Springs, Marietta, parts of Lithonia and Decatur, parts of Griffin....Hmmmm just stay north and East!!!!

    I did break down one time west of 75, north of I 20 and East of the (west part of 285)...
    I was on the way to alabama for a funeral, called my mother to let her know what had happened, meanwhile a car pulls up behind me and he was just a harmless older man wanting to help...while I was on the phone with my paranoid mother, it slips and battery comes out/disconnecting phone.

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  • Oh please this is luxury

    by rottenapple_nyc Updated Apr 20, 2012

    I moved here to Atlanta from a really rough place in NYC. Atlanta is a walk in the park as long as you have common sense (not too many people here do) you will be okay. I am a little white woman who doesn't care about race so I've been all over from the West end to the Blvd, College Park, Riverdale, and even worked off Bankhead Hwy for a while. I had no problems.at all. The thing I can say is some areas do look run down which can intimidate people that aren't use to it (MLK Blvd., , parts of the Blvd.) but the main problem is the overwhelming selfishness and self entitlement these people have.

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  • Ignore the previous review— this one is updated.

    by bryantm3 Updated Feb 27, 2012

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    Okay, most of the people who have written things on here are giving you information that is terribly misleading, such as 'don't go south of interstate 20'. That is entirely moronic, as the worst neighbourhood in all of Atlanta, right west of the Georgia World Congress Center, is north of 20.

    Overall, Atlanta is not an unsafe place. We do have a lot of homeless people, but that's our fault, not theirs. Our city doesn't take care of those who can't take care of themselves, and that is a damned shame. Many of the homeless in Atlanta are veterans. The homeless, for the most part, will not bother you. And they aren't stupid either— if an area is too rough, they won't hang out there either.

    We do have a few bad neighborhoods, and it's sometimes easy to drive into the wrong area. Just be aware of your surroundings. Here is a list of neighborhoods to watch out for.

    The only *really bad* place in Atlanta is a neighborhood called the bluff. I'm pretty street-savvy and even I won't drive through there in the daytime. Its location is immediately west of Northside Drive (US Highway 19), bordered by Donald L. Hollowell (Bankhead Hwy) on the north, and Joseph Boone (Simpson Street) on the south. If you've seen the show "The Walking Dead", it's like that in real life. Huge heroin hub, mostly abandoned houses, and really narrow creepy streets, some of them are dirt roads. There is a really bad vibe emanating from this place, it even looks dark in the daytime— it's like a third world country. Believe it or not, it's full of historic homes and buildings. Hopefully someday it will be a nice place. But it's not now. So don't go.

    Fortunately, this neighborhood is pretty small and self-contained. There are neighborhoods within a half mile of this that are actually pretty safe. The rest of the neighborhoods I'm going to mention, you won't get shot or anything, but they aren't the nicest places to go and there's a lot of burglary and property crime.

    Most people avoid the entire westside of Atlanta north of 20 and south of 75. This is a bit drastic, but I would caution that when you're in downtown, you definitely do not want to go west of Northside Drive. There are parts of the westside that are really nice, but it's easy to get lost since we're not on a grid, so I would just avoid it. The westside around 285 is generally okay.

    The second place to avoid is a small section of Boulevard, which is what Monroe Drive turns into if you head south— this is around the Atlanta Medical Center. It's really not all that bad to drive through, but I wouldn't get out and walk. If you keep heading south Boulevard gets nice again.

    The third place is the triangle formed by interstate 20 east, interstate 75 south, and 285, or Southeast Atlanta. Generally, don't go too far south of I-20 or you get into kind of a rough area. Grant Park, East Atlanta, these neighbourhoods are very safe. But much further south, not so much.

    The fourth area is Southwest Atlanta. Parts of this area are rough, such as directly south of I-20 and west of I-75/85— this is where Mechanicsville and Pittsburgh (the place where the guy got beat up for being gay) are.

    West End is borderline, Capitol View was getting nicer but the recession has set that back some. College Park used to be bad, but is now almost entirely safe. Parts of East Point you will want to avoid, but much of it is nice. Roads to avoid are Metropolitan Parkway (or Stewart Avenue) and parts of Campbellton Road and all of University Avenue.

    I know this sounds like a boatload of places to avoid, but it's not all that much— the city of Atlanta proper has around 300 neighborhoods and there are only a handful that are not safe. Overall, a lot of places that used to be dangerous are now very nice and walkable. Atlanta has really seen a revitalization in the last few years, and it is a wonderful place to live, with our violent crime rate having dropped 40%, and all of the projects having been torn down.

    I hope y'all take it safe and have a great time in Atlanta.

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  • Most people who have written on here are morons.

    by bryantm3 Updated Feb 27, 2012

    Okay, most of the people who have written things on here are giving you information that is terribly misleading, such as 'don't go south of interstate 20'. That is entirely moronic, as the worst neighbourhood in all of Atlanta, right west of the Georgia World Congress Center, is north of 20.

    Overall, Atlanta is not an unsafe place. We do have a lot of homeless people, but that's our fault, not theirs. Our city doesn't take care of those who can't take care of themselves, and that is a damned shame. Many of the homeless in Atlanta are veterans. The homeless, for the most part, will not bother you. And they aren't stupid either— if an area is too rough, they won't hang out there either.

    We do have a few bad neighborhoods, and it's sometimes easy to drive into the wrong area. Just be aware of your surroundings. Here is a list of neighborhoods to watch out for.

    The only *really bad* place in Atlanta is a neighborhood called the bluff. I'm pretty street-savvy and even I won't drive through there in the daytime. Its location is immediately west of Northside Drive (US Highway 19), bordered by Donald L. Hollowell (Bankhead Hwy) on the north, and Joseph Boone (Simpson Street) on the south. If you've seen the show "The Walking Dead", it's like that in real life. Huge heroin hub, mostly abandoned houses, and really narrow creepy streets, some of them are dirt roads. There is a really bad vibe emanating from this place, it even looks dark in the daytime— it's like a third world country. Believe it or not, it's full of historic homes and buildings. Hopefully someday it will be a nice place. But it's not now. So don't go.

    Fortunately, this neighborhood is pretty small and self-contained. There are neighborhoods within a half mile of this that are actually pretty safe. The rest of the neighborhoods I'm going to mention, you won't get shot or anything, but they aren't the nicest places to go and there's a lot of burglary and property crime.

    Most people avoid the entire westside of Atlanta north of 20 and south of 75. This is a bit drastic, but I would caution that when you're in downtown, you definitely do not want to go west of Northside Drive. There are parts of the westside that are really nice, but it's easy to get lost since we're not on a grid, so I would just avoid it. The westside around 285 is generally okay.

    The second place to avoid is a small section of Boulevard, which is what Monroe Drive turns into if you head south— this is around the Atlanta Medical Center. It's really not all that bad to drive through, but I wouldn't get out and walk. If you keep heading south Boulevard gets nice again.

    The third place is the triangle formed by interstate 20 east, interstate 75 south, and 285, or Southeast Atlanta. Generally, don't go too far south of I-20 or you get into kind of a rough area. Grant Park, East Atlanta, these neighbourhoods are very safe. But much further south, not so much.

    The fourth area is Southwest Atlanta. Parts of this area are rough, such as directly south of I-20 and west of I-75/85— this is where Mechanicsville and Pittsburgh (the place where the guy got beat up for being gay) are.

    West End is borderline, Capitol View was getting nicer but the recession has set that back some. College Park used to be bad, but is now almost entirely safe. Parts of East Point you will want to avoid, but much of it is nice. Roads to avoid are Metropolitan Parkway (or Stewart Avenue) and parts of Campbellton Road and all of University Avenue.

    I know this sounds like a boatload of places to avoid, but it's not all that much— the city of Atlanta proper has around 300 neighborhoods and there are only a handful that are not safe. Overall, a lot of places that used to be dangerous are now very nice and walkable. Atlanta has really seen a revitalization in the last few years, and it is a wonderful place to live, with our violent crime rate having dropped 40%, and all of the projects having been torn down.

    I hope y'all take it safe and have a great time in Atlanta.

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  • 2AtlantaPolicemen Shot in USA's worst neighborhood

    by 212guyeast Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Two Atlanta police officers were shot Saturday night while on duty in the Pittsburg community near Adair Park in southwest Atlanta They were rushed to the trauma center at Grady Hospital.

    Atlanta Police Chief Richard Pennington gave a press conference at Grady Hospital and described the shooting.

    According to Atlanta Police Chief Penningon, the officers were part of the Red Dog Unit, specializing in narcotics investigations. They were patrolling the 700 block of Lexington Avenue when the officers spotted a suspicious vehicle with two people in it.

    Pennington said two officers got out of their car and approached the driver side of the vehicle. One of the perpetrators got out of his car from the passenger side and began shooting at the officers.

    Six year police veteran Mark Cross was shot in the head and is in critical condition. Officer Andy Griffin was shot in the face. The bullet exited through his jaw. His injuries do not appear to be life threatening.

    One suspect, who was the driver of the car, was shot and killed by a third officer who was in the police car. The other suspect is in custody after a foot chase.

    A strong gathering of fellow officers has formed at Grady Hospital, Atlanta Police Chief Richard Pennington among them.

    According to Chief Pennington, the Red Dog Unit was patroling the area because of drug activity. The police department had received numerous complaints about the area.

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  • Homeless in ATL

    by annaegardner Updated Oct 7, 2010

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Celebrating my birthday in Woodruff Park

    I look at this site and see a ton of people who are afraid of the homeless it's sad really. The homeless can not be grouped together into one big bad lump, yes you should be careful watch your purses but all in all sit down with one talk with them half of them are not bad people there down on their luck. I used to be scared of the homeless as well then I moved to ATL near underground right across from Woodruff park a huge homeless community lives there I never got hurt I even sat with them played some chess and made some new friends friends who in the end would look out for me say hey don't go to these neighborhoods there not the best or hey I wouldn't talk to that man he's not safe. I never got hurt or mugged my car got broken into but who's to say a homeless man did it? all in all the homeless are the least of your problems. be responsible don't give them money don't be out to late by yourself things like that. I do agree though Underground ATL is not the safest place to be alone especially if your a girl. So be smart but don't be afraid of the homeless.

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  • come on guys

    by druidhillsresident Written Jul 16, 2010

    You know Atlanta gets a bad rap for being a bad place with crazy crime. The truth is that there is crime and stuff but they have that everywhere. In reality places you should avoid are generally south Atlanta but really it's not that bad. the Bankhead and surrounding areas are not good but Capital view and other neighbourhoods down there are actually really friendly. I have friends that live there and everyone in the neighbourhood knows everyone else. People have the views of "your my neighbour, I will help you out and you will help me out". Mostly because that's what good neighbours do. I live on the north side of Atlanta in the north druid hills area which is a wonderful and diverse community with lots of stuff going on. I lived down town for a year and had no problem at all. It can look scary at night with no one else around but it's a mind thing. As long as you are aware of your surroundings you will be fine. No need to be all scared and not come here. We are a great city and most of the "bad" neighbourhoods people talk about are on the up anyway. Little 5 points is a great place to go, Midtown, Candler park, inman park, grant park, buckhead...the list goes on. All these are minutes from the down town area and are great. just avoid bankhead and the surrounding areas and that's only if you are walking alone and look like an easy target.

    In the end, have fun and don't let people scare you and give you a big list of neighbourhoods to stay away from. If all what they are saying is true then most people who live here have to be extremely brave and insane. It's not though. I have been all over the city and about 90% of it is alright.

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  • Yaqui's Profile Photo

    Underground Atlanta at Day or Night

    by Yaqui Updated Jul 7, 2010

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    He took her picture!

    We did not feel completely safe in this area even during the day. We could see that many of areas in and around the Underground might be a problem. Lots of homeless were right across the street in Woodruff Park, in fact we were going to head over there to take pictures, but changed our minds right away. We couldn't get over how many homeless were hanging around near the entrance. It was bad enough being approached a lot for money or cigarettes.

    While exploring the Underground at his last visit here, a woman asked if he could buy her a meal. Well, being a soft heart, he could not say no to that. So they walked over the food court and he told her to pick out a place she like and make her choice. She did, so once she got her food, she said thank you so he started to walk away. She asked if he would sit there with her, because she didn't want to be run out while she ate. So he did politely and listened to her stories. She even showed her bruised arms to him and they didn't look good. She was a lost soul having a tough life. He gave her some suggestions, once she was done, he decided to get out of there before it got dark. He told his classmates the next day what he did and they thought he was a sucker, but didn't care because he was glad to help.

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    Midtown area - Georgia Tech

    by hotlanata Written Feb 25, 2010

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    There have been a lot of recent muggings in and around Midtown and Georgia Tech. Not sure if it is the new 17th street bridge which is bringing the crime element to higher levels. Be careful. Atlanta is not a safe city at night. Try not to look like a tourist and don't flash your money. I try not to open my entire wallet when paying for things. I keep a credit card and a small amount of cash in a separate wallet. Most important, be aware of your surroundings.

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Comments (2)

  • Sharon61bio's Profile Photo
    Feb 19, 2014 at 3:53 PM

    Stay away from inside of I-285. There's not much to be proud of south of I-20. Gwinnett is still good. Cherokee and Kennesaw. Good. Cumming and Duluth. Good. Rockdale and Walton. Good! Stay far away from southeast and southwest Atlanta, Clayton, Henry and Fayette. Lived in this area for 52 years.

  • May 4, 2013 at 5:30 PM

    I am planning to move to Atlanta this November 2013, and I have read these old post from 2005, is there any change or update posting that I can read about Atlanta. I have two teen -agers who never lived in the city and both are good in school. I was thinking about Eastpointe, Jonesboro, or College Park, are they good areas?

    • leics's Profile Photo
      Jun 12, 2013 at 10:46 AM

      As I said in my post above....it is much better to ask your question on the VT Atlanta travel forum here:

      Atlanta Travel Forum

      where far, far more people will see it and you will get helpful replies/

    • Yakisaki's Profile Photo
      Nov 6, 2013 at 9:26 PM

      Clayton co is by far worse than Fulton at this point. There are resonable parts of jonesboro and the rest is not good. Bad or immediately dangerous neighborhoods in my opinion are: Bankhead, vine city, west side of Boulevard, parts of North ave by GA Tech, MLK and near Simpson rd and parts of Marietta st. , backside of grant park/peoplestown hank Aaron by turner and near metropolitan and Fulton st. Donald
      Lee hollowell parkway mechsnicsville Pittsburg communities

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