On the East side of Milwaukee, don't leave stuff that looks valuable to theifs in your car. I had my car stereo stolen, and I know someone that had their crappy old boom box stolen from their car. I don't know about other parts of Milwaukee, just the East side.
While I was at the Rock Bottom Brewery one night along Milwaukee's Riverfront, the bartender told us to be careful walking home. He continued to tell us about how a beautiful young waitress from his restaurant had died last year (1993) after leaving the restaurant. She was beaten with a tire iron raped, and then robbed.
This is a beautiful city, however it is a city, and cities always have their criminal element. My advise is just to always be aware of your surroundings, and travel with others, and not alone.
I looked into this story after I returned home, and have included the picture of the murderer below, as well as a website to the story about this tragic event.
On my last visit to Milwaukee I was heading for a restaurant on the east side when I noticed these two large rodents climbing up a steam-venting pipe.
It looks as if they are preparing to pour something down the stack. Perhaps Homeland Security should be notified?
I am form the city of Milwaukee. I recently read other peoples opinions and safety tips about Milwaukee. They say Milwaukee has low crime rate. Please that is not true. Milwaukee has a high crime rate. I grew up on the streets. It is so hard. There were so many encounters where i was forced to do things or i might have been killed. Ive seen so many girl get raped as young as 5. there are some very sick people there. I grew up in the projects. Being a young black boy, i struggled everyday with drugs, breaking into peoples cars. At least everyday i saw at least 3 people get shot. So many people break into other peoples cars for their boom boom boxez and radios and cd players. My father has had his cd player stolen at least 10 times literally. Ive seen so many car jackings. do not drive at night in a Monte Carlo. The worst gang there is Tre 7. They are along with Tre 6 which is from Chicago. Because Milwakee is so close to Chicago, the crime increases everyday. And for the ladies, dont walk by yourself. Try to carry a cell phone. If you do not, i garunteee you will be threatened, or robbed or murdered. Life in Milwaukee is very hard, so please, be careful and do not stare at any one and do not race when you get to a stop lite with someone, because if they loose, ,you will die. Sounds bad but its true. Stay away from fights. Just be careful its no joke when your're there. Also the worst part is over on N. 76th and Madison High is the worst school there. Please Stay safe.
There's been a lot of conflicting information posted in this section about the dangers of living in Milwaukee. As someone who lives in 53212, the highest crime zip code in Milwaukee - and in Wisconsin - I'd like to share a few pointers.
Milwaukee is one of the largest cities in the US - by some measures, 22nd in population. It's also part of the high population density "megapolis" that rings the lower shores of Lake Michigan, and includes Chicago. So it does have the issues that face any area with lots of highly mobile people crammed into a small space - gangs, property crime, muggings, traffic, etc. However, these problems are generally avoidable by behaving intelligently, and there certainly isn't any anarchy here. These issues shouldn't dissuade anyone from coming to the city, nor should you feel unsafe, as long as you show a bit of common sense.
Basically, don't tempt potential criminals. Don't leave doors unlocked or windows open. Don't park in dimly lit streets or alleys. Don't leave belonging visible on the seats or floor of your car. Don't wear flashy jewlery or walk around rougher neighborhoods wearing obviously expensive clothing. Don't walk the streets after dark alone, or drunk.
My own neighborhood, where I live and work, is pretty rough. There are definitely a few drug dens, which leads to property crime (people will do anything for a fix, sometimes). But during the day in good weather, it's not at all dangerous to walk around. After dark, you drive - with your doors locked. It's as simple as that.
Basically, be aware of your surroundings, and be cautious. Be ALERT, but there's no reason to be AFRAID. Yes, there's crime. No, you're not randomly going to be beaten or shot in the street.
Maybe for me 7-7-07 was a lucky day as in UNLUCKY! I wish I could blame my lucky day injury on alcohol but all I have to rely on is sheer klutziness. We were up at Summerfest in Milwaukee to see a band, in the pursuit of a better seat, I was climbing over some metal benches, put my foot down and my ankle twisted to a position I didn't know was possible for a foot and ankle, it was like something out of a horror movie. My ankle proceeded to balloon to twice it's size instanteaneouly!
Did I go home then? No, of course not, that would have been something a
sensible person would have done. But I had driven all the way to Milwaukee, paid $30 for the two of us to get in, nabbed a perfect parking spot and damn if I was going to leave. So David went off to get a compression bandage and ice and then I proceeded to stand for 90 minutes (all my weight on the other foot at least) and then walk back to the car.
So I go to the doctor and he says "well I have good news...sort of...it's not broken, it's sprained. So you don't have to wear a plaster cast but sprains don't always heal right." And then he proceeds to whip out this GIANT boot (this is the good news???), it looks like I should be auditioning to play a storm trooper in Star Wars!
Three weeks in an aircast, during which I had vacations to NYC and Maui plus Pierogi Fest, three weeks in an ankle cast which I dutifully wore while traipsing around Swizterland, France and Liechtenstein. After 7-8 weeks, it's still swollen but at least I can walk unaided again!
I've done a lot of driving and walking in Milwaukee and the same rules apply for this
city as any other large one. It is a good idea
to have a good roadmap and plan ahead. The city is actually pretty easy to get around once you know some basics. There is pretty good logic to the series of one-ways downtown. Freeways are often under construction and delays can be long in rush hour traffic as well. If you are looking to head downtown from the west side in the afternoon, you may try what we did and come in on Wisconsin Avenue instead of the freeway. There are surprisingly few traffic lights and the route is pretty safe. I will add
that at least on Wisconsin Avenue there are times when many intersections will flash a
"NO LEFT TURN" Sign to keep the flow of traffic going. Know this in advance and you should do ok.
The downtown and riverwalk district is well-lit
and police presence is strong. I asked
a local officer about that area and he said
it's generally pretty safe. If I were a female,
I'd probably go in a group, but anything south of Juneau always seems decent. North of Juneau the buildings start looking rundown and we noticed enough rough looking characters to not wish to venture further. We spent a good deal of time in the riverwalk and Water Street section on this last
trip and nothing seemed even remotely out of place. Just the same, I would keep valuables hidden as car break-ins are frequent.
IT IS A LARGE CITY and serious crime does occur here.. Even in the better sections I wouldn't be stupid and walk around juggling a camera and a fistful of cash with a map in one hand. That would just be inviting trouble. If you have a few "street smarts," you should have a very enjoyable stay.
I work downtown and live on the East Side. I've been here about 2 1/2 years so am pretty familiar with the area. I have never had any issues, except while walking downtown during my lunch break (with my nice suit on) being harrassed a couple times. You may come across a drunk in some parts of downtown during the day. The best thing to do is to not make any eye contact, ignore any comments, and continue on your way. The homeless are different from Chicago. They don't bother you too much, they usually stay to themselves and are harmless. I wouldn't walk alone early morning or late night. You'll come across weirdos here and there but nothing to be afraid of. The diversity in milwaukee is lacking...it's mainly just black and whites and both seem to hate each other. there's a lot of racial tension and you'll rarely see black and whites mixing.
I live near Milwaukee and don't be fooled by the bad remarks made about it. Yes, there is crime, but so does every city, no matter how large it is. If you are smart about your actions, then you wont have any problems. There are bad parts of town, but no town is exempt from that, Milwaukee included. Just be aware of your surroundings and use the same common sense you would use in any other big city. As for the comment about Mayfair (which is in Wauwatosa, outside of Milwaukee) there have been problems in the past but there have been improvements (i.e. restriction of unaccompanied minors at night on the weekends) and all of the past problems occured later at night. I have never felt threatened or unsafe in Milwaukee. If you are a tourist, the "bad parts" arent anywhere where you would be anyways so dont fear.
I lived in Milwaukee (city, not suburbs) for over 20 years and moved away approximately 10 years ago. I still visit frequently and know the city well. I have to say it's always been sketchy if not downright bad in some neighborhoods but is very clearly trending for the worse. 25 years ago the "bad areas" were confined to a large part of the North Side and a much smaller part of the near South Side. Since that time the Northwest side (a very large area) has declined rapidly, portions of the East side (generally the nicest part of town) have declined and the "bad area" on the South Side has expanded both Southward and Westward. Some areas have indeed progressed (Brewers Hill and the area betwen it and the Milwaukee River, the area around Conordia College) but they are overwhelmed by those that have slid toward the undesirable.
Property crime (burglaries, auto breakins in particular as I personally had my car broken into at least ten times in as many years) has always been quite prevalent but violent crime used to be a relative rarity and mostly gang related and confined to known "bad areas". This no longer seems to be the case. The city is gaining a reputation for mob beatings. There were 28 people shot in one recent holiday weekend. I personally had a brick thrown at my car recently out of nowhere by a couple of thugs. Having said that, most any area a visitor would actually care to see (Downtown, East side, pretty much any burb, most of the Southside) are all decent and desirable areas to visit and the city has a lot going for it.
Don't listen to the woman who says not to go to mayfair mall! It is the nicest mall in the city! I see she did not leave a name or email address so we can comment to her! What the hell would she know about Gang activity? Please. I think she is just scared of Black People.
I've lived in the suburbs of Milwaukee my entire life and within the city limits of Milwaukee for the past 5 years. I have never seen a crime take place. I've never had a crime happen to me or anyone I know with one exception - a friend recently had her wallet stolen at La Fuente, a local Mexican restaurant. Yes, there are areas of the city that are high crime areas; every city has them. But they certainly aren't going to be the areas you'll be vacationing in. And no, we do not have 3 shootings a day, even in the really bad areas.
It is common sense to use the buddy system no matter where you are. So when out at night have at least one other person with you.
Also, downtown Milwaukee is very well lit at night.
Plain and simple, the Northwest side of Milwaukee is where you do not want to visit (day or night). It extends pretty much in the section West of I43 and North of I94. Marquette area is OK, can be slightly sketchy at night, so just travel in groups. The south side (South of I94, western side of I43), can be very sketchy too, but I have no problem riding my bike there during the day. Downtown and areas east along the lake are the safest parts of the city. Use your best judgement, it's overall a pretty safe city.
Before I let on my trip to milwaukee last week.
I read some of the warnings. After I got there I found some to be overblown . My wife and i stayed in south Milwaukee near the airport.
We were told by another traveler at the hotel not you use any side streets in the city. only use the highways to get to where we had to go. My wife trusts what she calls my sixsence
about bad areas. so I did not take the advice of that traveler and took back streets to where
we had to go. and as you guessed nothing happened. the only area we were told not to go was the north west area of Milwaukee from a worker at the Cheese mart on old world 3rd. Every were you go in every city there are problems. The best way to find out where not to go is to talk to people that live or work in the area your at and also trust your own feelings. first golden rule is "IF IT DOES NOT FEEL RIGHT TURN AROUND UNTIL IT DOES".
downtown Milwaukee at night is an average metro city... if you are a woman DO NOT walk the streets of downtown alone!! I made the mistake of doing this ONCE and I was harrassed by a bunch of men in a van that wanted to give me a ride..
but even during the day time you will find your occasional nuts.
there are pockets, or bubbles, of really nice neighborhoods, and really scary neighborhoods, the funniest thing is that you can be driving down a straight road, 12 blocks, nice, 12 blocks, ghetto, 10 blocks, rich neighborhood, 9 blocks white trash... It is the weirdest thing that I have EVER seen in my life.. if you ever want to experience this take Wisconsin Avenue, starting in downtown around 2nd or 3rd street traveling west you will drive through 500,000.00 home neighborhoods, then into a very Ghetto, and scary neighborhood, then into a 250,000.00 home neighborhood, etc. it really is trippy to see the dramatic changes.