Not So Safe Areas, Atlanta
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.
For anyone moving to Atlanta, I clearly recommend avoiding Clayton County (Riverdale, Forest Park etc.) at all costs. Once all the projects were torn down, the people moved south into what used to be a very quiet and peaceful area.
Back in the city, use common sense. If someone looks suspicious, they probably are. Don't give money to beggars. Don't travel alone at night until you know the lay of the land. Any apartment complex/residental area ending in the word "Homes" is probably a project. Do not fear any area south of I-20. Some of the city's best food and friendliest people are there. If you're non-White, AVOID FORSYTH COUNTY. In 1987, the Black population there was 0. Today (2006) it's 14. Not too progressive. There is a very good chance that you will have a run-in with the Klan. Parts of East Atlanta and central- and southern-DeKalb County can get hairy, as can the lower part of Northwest Atlanta.
The city has come a very long way, and Chief Pennington has brought crime down 40%. Ignore ignorant White racists equating crime with the Black area. If you are one, stay where you are.
I'm in real estate, so I travel quiet a bit around Atlanta. I'm only referring to things ITP (inside the perimeter). This is a generalization... there are actually a LOT of nice homes in these areas, but sometimes the people are dangerous and sketchy. So you may want to steer clear. This is only intended to be helpful; keep in mind you can get mugged/shot/raped anywhere!
- adair park
- west end
- capitol view
- vine city
- grove park
- college park
- east point
- memorial drive
- bankhead hwy
- "boulevard" before it becomes monroe
- ponce de leon (it's hit or miss)
- 30312 (some of it is grant park which is nice, but some is not so nice)
- 30315 (mixed, like 30312)
- 30318 (mixed, but some areas are BAD)
- 30032 (not terrible, but not good either)
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.
1. Atlanta is not as dangerious or "sketchy" as people make it seem
2. Use the "guidelines" your parents or guardians taught you: Dont talk to strangers
Dont give or take anything.
3. People steel from all over the country. *** happens.
4. Yes, I have gotten a brick thrown threw my window and my things stolen but thats why
responsible people have insurance.
5. Not to do: Walk around in dark alley's or streets (just dont walk around in the dark period)
and dont leave a car in an empty parking lot.
I have lived in Alanta Georgia for some 31 years now and I love it. There is much to do here. If you are smart you will know whats safe and whats now. If you arnt, then i guess in a way you deserve what happens to you. Common Sence should be used to its full advantage in this city. Atlanta is a great place, why do you think we have so many damn tourist's?
Besides the areas surrounding the Underground, there is also a faction of homeless people and beggars around the CNN center. While we were there in January, about 20-30 were sitting at the tables in the food court of the lobby of CNN. They do not disturb you inside, but the mere sitting there is a sight that takes away form the CNN image, in my opinion. Many security people are around, but leave the homeless undisturbed, unless they get "roudy".
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.
PRIOR TO VISITING ATLANTA I WAS E-MAILED PLACES NOT TO GO WHILE VISITING:
and MANY others
Well-traveled areas such as the Georgia Aquarium, etc. are safe enough during daylight. Near the Children's Museum, & a little farther away is the Center for Puppetry Arts.
Bottom-feeders can sense when you are afraid to "be rude" to a homeless person. Practice being rude. People are homeless for a reason; drug addicts, mentally unstable, or too combative to get along with family.
Fulton Industrial-Close to Six Flags AND crackheads. Lodge farther west in Lithia Springs. A teenager was recently beaten severely at a bus stop outside the park. http://www.11alive.com/news/article_news.aspx?storyid=99896)
Lakewood - I once saw what looked like a 10 year old girl there on the street during school hours with what looked like a 7-months belly.
Zoo Atlanta-Grant Park is popular with locals as a place to have picnics & play loud music. You may be uncomfortable if you require a wide margin of personal space. Leaving the zoo by way of Moreland Avenue my friend & our kids passed a woman wearing a miniskirt which she flipped up to every passing vehicle to reveal her naked underparts.
Little Five Points-Interesting venue for Goths, gays, & other artsy types. A local store [used to, at least...] have a back room of literature on the drinking of blood & how to obtain it.
Underground Atlanta-Near the capitol building and the World of Coca-cola; refurbished several years ago. A very large hole in the ground with lots of scary, dark corners. Think dripping water and rats the size of 'possums.
Buy your gas anywhere but on the southern crescent of I-285. If you are coming south from the east coast, wait until you get on I-675. If you are coming south down I-75/85, buy your gas no further south than Marietta or wait until you get below Exit 50 or so on I-85.
On the top end of I-285, stopping anywhere between I-75 and I-85 should be okay if traveling with children.
One last word: The farther south you go, the more agressive the drivers become. On the southwest quadrant of I-285 people have no regard for safety whatsoever.
Whoever started this "warning" that is not from Atlanta should shut their mouth. I am from Atlanta and lived there for 20 years. It is a fantastic city. Of course there is going to be crime in certain areas, but as usual, some racist, ignorant White people want to stick it all on the Black Area. First of all, why would you be out near the projects in the middle of the night? That's completely stupid. Secondly, this is AMERICA -- THE FIRST WORLD NATION WITH THE HIGHEST CRIME RATE. You can get robbed or shot in any city! Luckily, you're more likely to get robbed than shot (in Atlanta).
As for gangs, the New Americas (Mexicans, El Salvadorians and Southeast Asians) have all brought that with them. Go to Gwinnett County if you want to get shot by an Asian. Go to Clayton County or Dalton to get shot by a Mexican or El Salvadorian.
Immediately west of the Georgia Dome is Vine City which has always been rough. West of that is Hunter Hills which is middle income. The western end of Cascade has Black people living in half a million dollar homes (tell that at your next Klan rally, vtanonymous). The Peyton Woods area and B.E. Mays area also have affluent Blacks. Obviously there are ghettos on Hollywood and Simpson Roads, and by the penitentary (two projects across from one another).
On the whole, Atlantans are friendly helpful people that mostly aren't out to hurt you. If you want to talk about thugs that kill you for nothing, let's talk about virtually everyone in California...
ATL is a big city with millions of people moving through it on a daily basis. Like any other city of its size, it has problem areas. Use common sense and you'll be fine. Don't go wandering around areas of ANY city you are not familiar with in the middle of the night. By the way, most of the people you see out on the streets downtown at night are not gang members or drug dealers--they're some of the city's 10,000 homeless. Most of them will not bother you. However, always use common sense!!!!!!!!!!!! You can get mugged just as easily in the parking lot of Lenox Square as you can in Sweet Auburn. My husband works in EMS in the city of ATL. He has seen it all and I'm sure he would also tell you that most of the people there are not criminals, most are poor unfortunates. I found the posting refering to one of the city's housing projects to be very amusing! Hello, who in there right mind would go there without having any business being there?! Can you say, "Not a tourist attraction?" Also, the posting refering to the shooting of APD officers, "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." Yeah, narcotics officers got shot on the job, pulling someone over in a known drug area in the middle of ATL--who is surprized? In 2003, in the city I moved to GA from in North Alabama--which by the way has a population of maybe 25,000--a schizophrenic who had just gotten released from the hospital shot and killed two police officers with a high powered rifle when they responded to his 911 call. Needless to say, now days you have to watch your back everywhere---from the backwoods to the big city.
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.
Despite what many VT'ers (not coincidentally, living oftentimes in Atlanta's wonderful Leave It to Beaver suburbs) may spout about Atlanta's business district, I find that more general crime happens around the entertainment areas in Buckhead. You are seriously more likely to have a gun pointed at you there, and are most likely perfectly safe staying downtown. Thugs, and I mean thugs, don't often hang out in, say, the Peachtree Center area just because there's nothing for them there. But I would seriously advise caution near the sporting venues.
One of the most dangerous things a visitor can do in Atlanta is act panicked. Don't act like you expect to be mugged, and you probably won't be.
So first off and foremost, Atlanta is a beautiful enjoyable city. However like most citys, after dark, *** can get real. I have been to many bad areas in atlanta, and have had experiences ranging. So, First off with what is in my opinion one of the worst neighborhoods in atlanta. The Bluff. It is dangerous. Huge open air drug market. Google the streets of the bluff, you can even get a picture of the abandoned houses, just imagine 20 people standing on each corner yelling trying to get you to buy some drugs. And they will surround your car. Next georgia tech.(still downtown) it is not the safest area by any means. Don't let your ego fool you. Then I would have to go with kirkwood, bordered by Decatur, kirkwood has gang activity and is all around not a safe place at night for someone who doesn't really know what's going on. Then you have decatur, it is very nice and artsy and awesome, but the east side of decatur is not safe. Same with the decatur projects, not safe either. Bankhead on the westside of atlanta is not safe either.(where the bluff is) College park isn't too safe. South atanta isn't safe. Like clayton county; jonesboro. Riverdale. Really south of I-20 you want to make sure you have gas in your car. Oh and don't ride marta, especially at night. Be sure to read more reviews in case I missed anywhere which I'm sure I did.
But hey. Aside from these dangerous spots, atlanta is a great, wonderful, awesome place. And it's nothing to be afraid of. Just use your best judgement and have a great time!
As for some nicer spots try buckhead, mid town, brookhaven, etc.
Have a great time in Atlanta! Woo!
Hope this helped :)
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.