April 28, 2008

High Crime Rates Are One Thing, Random Muggings Quite Another

While the Chronicle reports a recent spike in Glen Park and Bernal Heights muggings, according to a couple of plugged-in tipsters and local residents the rash of armed robberies (often at the end of a shotgun) have been going for months (not weeks).

Muggings spike in Glen Park, Bernal Heights [SFGate]

First Published: April 28, 2008 8:33 AM

Comments from "Plugged In" Readers

Contrary to numerous previous posts by Bernal Heights residents that their neighborhood is safe, this news story confirms that this is absolutely not true.

If you are not familiar with this area and considering living here, think twice about Bernal Heights before you might become the next victim.

I have only seen a slight improvement in the last 30 years.

Posted by: John at April 28, 2008 9:05 AM

Is there a housing project in Bernal Heights or nearby? When I lived in Potrero Hill, there were certainly a fair number of instances where a group of youths would walk up to someone waiting on a bus and demand their iPod or wallets. There's a housing project on the south side of Potrero Hill ... and the crimes tended to happen not too far away from that area. It is what it is ...

Posted by: jamie at April 28, 2008 9:25 AM

This is very sad. I wonder if it is in fact the youths nearby or is it a few people that live in the area on drugs etc.

Posted by: Michael L. at April 28, 2008 9:28 AM

Right now I'm living in what is arguably one of the most exclusive and expensive neighborhoods in SF. Even so, we've had our fair share of break-ins and muggings over the past few months. My apartment building has had multiple break-ins, even during broad daylight. The was an arrest during one of the attempts. The robbers simply drove over here from the Tenderloin.

Posted by: Sleepiguy at April 28, 2008 9:41 AM

Bernal Heights and Glen Park are just a freeway overpasss away from crime-ridden blighted neighborhoods.

The downturns in RE touches the worst neighborhoods hardest. It means more vacant/squatted houses, slow de-gentrification (I am one to believe that gentrification is better than blight for these neighborhoods), less people complaining and reporting crimes, meaning more territory for thugs and drug dealers.

Once the thugs have a solid territory, they can easily strike the contiguous Nabes and quickly go back to their safe havens.

Posted by: San FronziScheme at April 28, 2008 9:52 AM


A while back I mapped most of the public housing in SF on
maps.google.com . You can find the list at SFHA's website here. Enjoy.

Posted by: John W at April 28, 2008 9:54 AM

Miraloma had number of muggins and few cars broken into to. There are not enough cops on sf streets and criminals know the chances of being caught are slim. With gas prices hitting 4 dollars per gallon i suspect there will be more street related crime. Maybe these are muggins are related to people failing on their mortgage payments. Have we seeing a spike on mortgage related murders in the city? Is that what will happen next?

Posted by: misha at April 28, 2008 9:56 AM

John's comments are silly. There was similar spree of robberies in the Marina last year, which was noted on this board, but nobody says the Marina is too unsafe to live. A while back, there was a spree of laptop robberies in various nice neighborhoods, ranging from the Castro to Valencia to Pac Heights.

I've live in Bernal Heights since 1995, and have never had even the slightest incident happen to make me feel unsafe. By contrast, when I lived in 94114 in the early '90's, I was assaulted and/or mugged twice, and a friend visiting from Europe was robbed while staying at my home. I feel much safer in Bernal.

Of course, it's concerning to read about this recent crime spree, reportedly caused by youths driving in from outside the neighborhood. Hopefully the police will crack down on this quickly. It's likely then that the next spree will take place in another part of town.

Posted by: Dan at April 28, 2008 9:59 AM

as someone who lives near these areas, the article was unsettling. What was interesting is that I had not heard anything about increased muggings in BH or GP, but everyone has noticed a clear decrease in police presence in the last few months. Until the last 2 weeks or so- I suppose timed with rising complaints to Ingleside station- we were hardly seeing any officers at all patroling our area when we were used to seeing a frequent police presence. That doesn't seem to be a coincidence.

Posted by: anono at April 28, 2008 9:59 AM

Bernal Heights and Glen Park were both way more crime ridden five years ago than they are today. Five years from now will probably reveal a similar decrease in crime. Of any neighborhoods in the city, these two have gentrified the most in the shortest amount of time.

I used to think that they would be the first to turn back the other way, once the market truly shifted. Yet if you look at YoY stats, month in and month out, these two hoods are actually the same or more expensive. I went to an open house on Manchester street Saturday. A smallish 4 br 1.5 ba is going for $1.049M and I think they'll get it easily. That didn't even exist two years ago.

Posted by: fluj at April 28, 2008 10:13 AM

John, you're buying the Chronicle hype. Note, first of all, that the figures they quoted are for the entire Ingleside police district. Not saying that there hasn't been an increase in Bernal/Glen Park, but if you look at the crime maps, the relative incidence of all crime in these two neighborhoods is very low. Go ahead...search crime in Pacific Heights vs. South Bernal on SFGOV. There are far more muggings in Pac Hts. than S. Bernal over the last 30 days. Really. But perhaps because the number is not "spiking" in Pacific Hts, it's not newsworthy. I lived in Noe Valley for 5 years and was mugged twice during that time, both way up the hill on 23rd St., a supposedly safe area. And we won't even talk about the crime in the Castro. I think this article is skewed and meant to be sensational.

Posted by: BernalDweller at April 28, 2008 10:19 AM

SF's legendary leniency about crime has come back to bite. Even criminals committing *violent* crimes using weapons are far less likely to be sent to state prison than in neighboring jurisdictions - let alone drug dealing or so-called nuisance crimes. The word is out: crime pays in San Francisco.

Posted by: zzzzzzz at April 28, 2008 10:25 AM

zzzzzzz - I think we have pretty much proven in this country that harsher punishments don't deter people from committing crimes, all the harsher penalties does is fill up prisons.

We looked on the North slope of Bernal a few years back and ended up in Corona Heights (94114), we have never had an issue with crime here, ever (we are on a quiet street, however). I always felt the walk from BART to Bernal was sketchy, especially at night.

Relative to most cities, I consider it very safe here and these stats prove that it is not that bad. Papers sell copies by writing these kind of articles to scare some people, but Bernal is closer to high crime areas than most of the rest of the city, so it should be expected to have some crime issues there.

Posted by: The Bunk at April 28, 2008 11:13 AM

A small qualification here - crime is way up in Oakland and Richmond, too, and even a very safe city like San Jose has seen its murder rate rise. So there's clearly something going on region-wise as regards rising crime. Nonetheless, SF's crime rates are consistently far higher than what would be predicted based on its demographics. In my opinion, this is a self-inflicted injury based on a dysfunctional criminal justice system that simply doesn't believe in punishing crime.

Posted by: zzzzzzzz at April 28, 2008 11:17 AM

Rudy Giuliani has proven that cracking down on crime can work if the political will is there. Why wouldn't SF do the same?

I remember Gavin Newsom wanted to apply Central Park's rules to GG Park regarding homelessness. Does anyone know if our beloved mayor has grown cojones against activists in this matter?

Another interesting Giuliani action was the crackdown on blight. He was aware of the so-called "broken window principle".

A broken window that goes unrepaired is a sign the landlords/tenants do not care about their neighborhoods. He imposed hefty fines but most importantly ENFORCED them to any sign of vandalism or abandon.

Posted by: San fronziScheme at April 28, 2008 11:31 AM

To also qualify my earlier statements, I believe that allowing the homeless issue (and related misdemeanor crimes) to continue as is certainly has been an extremely negative issue for this city (poor enforcement and punishment), but that is different than the "thugs" from the projects coming to rob people at gun point in nicer neighborhoods, those are fundamentally different issues and should not be convoluted.

I don't believe that crime is committed by teens based on the law and how they are prosecuted when caught, it is a much deeper problem than that. Has the death penalty deterred people from killing people? Of course not, no statistic shows that has ever been the case.

Before we decide the answer is to throw 15 year olds in jail, lets see if we can build a better school system and social network that might deter them from the crime in the first place. I really can't stand the "lock em up" mentality.

This article talks about Glen Park and Bernal Heights, there are not a lot of "broken windows" in these million dollar neighborhoods, that strategy in NY was mostly used for the subway system and more run down neighborhoods.

Posted by: The Bunk at April 28, 2008 12:52 PM

i expect this will get worse as the downturn will hit the biggest bubble areas like glen park and bernal heights especially hard. these are some of the areas where people stretched themselves the msot thinkking that it was the only place in SF they could afford.

unfortunately, there are a few who couldn't really afford. as unemployment rises and housing prices fall, these are not neighborhoods that will weather the storm unfettered/

Posted by: Spencer at April 28, 2008 12:55 PM

Dan, you are in denial.

Posted by: Stan at April 28, 2008 12:57 PM

Bunk - "We" have proven no such thing. In fact, quite the opposite. Harse crminal penalties have a proven deterent effect (although the deterent effect of the death penalty is suspect). While the article may be sensationalist, San Francisco has a crime issue. Police response is poor. San Francisco can and should address the issue.

Posted by: Publius at April 28, 2008 12:58 PM

To BernalDweller & Dan, you are wrong.

Attn: readers; IF YOU WANT THE REAL TRUTH, ask any police officer patrolling Bernal Heights and you will see that crime, auto theft and robberies has spiked up dramatically. It will only get worse.

Also, just because Mi Lindo Peru restaurant and other fine establishments are there doesn't mean you should live there.

Posted by: Steve at April 28, 2008 1:05 PM

This article talks about Glen Park and Bernal Heights, there are not a lot of "broken windows" in these million dollar neighborhoods

Very true, but Bayview and other marginal Nabes are going way down, which impacts BH and probably also Glen Park. The blighted neighborhoods are just a freeway pass away from those "million-dollar neighborhoods" that have seen million dollar homes only for a few years or so as they became an overflow of the "1.5 million dollar neighborhoods".

For instance, the southern BH zone next to the 280 is seeing some gang activity. I don't know if it's receding or expanding, but I didn't get the "million dollar neighborhood" feeling last time I walked there.

Posted by: San FronziScheme at April 28, 2008 1:10 PM

I 100% agree with San FronziScheme.

Posted by: Steve at April 28, 2008 1:23 PM

"...Before we decide the answer is to throw 15 year olds in jail, lets see if we can build a better school system and social network that might deter them from the crime in the first place. I really can't stand the "lock em up" mentality...."

Giuliani proved dramatically and decisively that good policing was the key to reducing crime - not an endless, fruitless chase after so-called "root causes" of crime. Nearly twenty years later, we see that fact indisputably reinforced by the fact that SF's crime rates are grossly higher than New York's, including a murder rate that's twice as high. I'll bet that no city in the country spends as much proportionately on social services as SF, with precious little to show for it in terms of making us safer.

Posted by: zzzzzzzzzz at April 28, 2008 1:27 PM

I would like to see statistics that "prove" harsh penalties as a deterrent. I think you just need look a the re-incarceration rate in California to show that criminal penalties have not deterred people from committing crimes, even after spending time being "rehabilitated" by the criminal justice system.

Again, I want to re-iterate that a petty crime problem SF certainly has, but armed robbery and other class 1 felonies are not generally the problem in most areas, IMO. I've had my car broken into at least 5 times and bikes stolen from my garage numerous times, but no gun in the face yet. By and large you are talking about two different kinds of assailants and crimes, we should not lump them all into the same crime bucket and assume harsher penalties will deter them from happening.

I would very much like to see the city step up its efforts with the homeless encampments, this is where a majority of the non violent crimes are coming from in many areas.

Posted by: The Bunk at April 28, 2008 1:27 PM

The bunk, I live in Corona Heights as well, and I've recently seen thugs around the Saturn Stairs, and up all the way to Lower Terrace. I was quite surprised that they walked up there.

Overall, there appears to be much more criminal activity in SF, I was actually assaulted last year on Van Ness next to Opera plaza.

I don't agree that we need to find root causes, lock them up and throw away the key. I don't need to baby sit 15 year olds just because their parents failed to do so. So what if we lose a generation of thugs, we'll all be better off for it.

Posted by: view lover at April 28, 2008 1:51 PM

ZZZZZ

America, as a whole, has already adopted your tough on crime approach and the jury is in (forgive the pun)--it's been an abysmal failure. We have adopted a punitive model of crime and punishment unparalleled in the world. We imprison more people per capita than any other country in the world (including communist China and despotic regimes like Saudia Arabia, North Korea, and Egypt). This incarceration and deterence based approach has not worked. Americans still have high rates of violent crimes compared to other "advanced" nations. It just doesn't work. But, you and many Americans love you some tough guy cowboys so I doubt this conservative and barbaric approach to policing will continue.

Look. I believe in punishing people. Especially violent criminals that commit strong-arm crimes. I've been a victim and I've actually testified against a couple of guys that robbed me here in San Francisco. But I'm happy to live in San Francisco. The main problem in San Francisco is not that the police or prosecutors don't like putting people in jail or that San Francisco is tolerant of violent crimes--the problem is in getting a jury to convict. And frankly, I think we have a healthier and better community when we follow principles like making the government prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt. So I would rather live here than in Texas where they convict anyone that sits in the defendants' chair no matter the evidence.

We cannot imprison our way out of violent crime. We are seeing an uptick in crimes (and in Oakland and Richmond) because of economic factors.

Posted by: SFHawkguy at April 28, 2008 2:09 PM

As a Glen Park resident, I can't overlook the fact that this neighborhood has such a small town feel despite being in the City that people let their guard down. Which makes us easy pickings. The police have been swarming about on reports of crime and two of them managed to even have an exceptional moment a week ago when their cars slammed into each other in pursuit of a suspect. Despite that, I have hope that the police will run them off to some other neighborhood. And certainly the Glen Park Parents Board is alive with a crew of parents ready to run those little punks out of town. So I feel no need to run out to arm myself yet. I still feel pretty safe here.

Until then, you can see me trudging around the village with a good f*you face instead of a smile.

Posted by: nowonderitcostsomuchhere at April 28, 2008 2:12 PM

Stiffer punishments do not have a deterrent effect. That has been proven beyond a doubt now; see http://www.econ.berkeley.edu/~jmccrary/crime_myopia.pdf

The essence of that paper is as follows: As pretty much everyone knows, when people turn 18, they are tried as adults rather than as youths; in effect, they face longer prison sentences. Thus, if longer prison sentences deter crime, we should see a substantial drop in criminal behavior among those who are 18.1 years old relative to those who are 17.9 years old. But we see no appreciable effect.

The internal validity of this research design (known as Regression Discontinuity to statisticians/economists) is extremely high - you are basically guaranteed that there are no confounding factors tainting the findings. Its weakness lies in question of generalizability, however - the findings really only apply to teenagers near the age 18. But in our case, that's exactly who we are talking about, so we can be confident that there will be no deterrence effect.

Of course, there could still be incapacitation effects (e.g., criminals can't commit street crimes when they are locked up). But that's not the same as a deterrence effect.

Posted by: anon at April 28, 2008 2:13 PM

"Rudy Giuliani has proven that cracking down on crime can work if the political will is there. Why wouldn't SF do the same?"

SF can't do the same because there are too many people here that worry more about the rights of the criminals. They are more concerned with why the police had to shoot the ten time convicted felon on parole with a gun rather than why he was back on the streets in the first place.

Posted by: anonosaur at April 28, 2008 2:15 PM

I am not against good policing, I am against throwing every person that commits a crime in jail, there is a difference. If we double our police force and have officers walking the street in these neighborhoods, then crime will go down, I have no doubt about that. That is a deterrent. Giving someone 5 years instead of 10 when convicted of crime, is not. No data shows that harsher penalties make people change their behavior, unless you want to cut off hands for stealing, that "works" too.

view lover - your comments are all too familiar and that short sightedness is why we are where we are. people aren't born criminals, they commit crimes based on the circumstances of their lives, usually because of poverty and desperation. and by the way, when you pay 35k per person per year of prison, you are babysitting them, so are your tax dollars.

I'm not confirming or denying that crime stats are up or down in SF, but there are smarter ways to deal with it than "throw em in prison", less expensive ways too.

Posted by: The Bunk at April 28, 2008 2:23 PM

We are not making a generation of thugs disappear by incarcerating the most people in the world. We are sowing the seeds of more generations of thugs. It saddens me that the United States has forgotten this reality and we have chosen to go down the hard road of incarceration and deterence and cowboy justice. Our morality and our basic foundational principles of society have been so polluted the last 20 or 30 years. No wonder we lead the world in war and incarceration and wars on words (drugs, terrorism, etc.).

The war on thugs is also misplaced and doomed to fail.

You really don't make these "thugs" disappear by putting them in jail. Unless you want to start doing more executions. We pay to incarcerate people. A great amount of money, actually. And you also ensure that this thug will be a thug for the rest of his life because we punish criminals even when we reintegrate them into society. They will not be able to get good jobs. You also negatively effect the thugs family and community. We have desimated black communities by locking them up and applying laws in a racially biased manner.

Posted by: SFHawkguy at April 28, 2008 2:25 PM

Spencer (and all of your alts): I don't need you to tell me what Bernal is like-- you're one of those afraid-to-go-below California St. types. I've lived in Bernal since 1995, and I felt safe here then as well as now.

At least in my part of Bernal, very few homes have turned over since the latest real estate run up. So it's unlikely that a downturn (which hasn't happened yet in the few homes around mine which have sold) will cause many people to lose their homes. My neighbors were middle-class to affluent even when I moved here in 1995. (The previous owner who sold to me in 1995 was a well-known lawyer.)

Posted by: Dan at April 28, 2008 2:41 PM

The war on thugs is also misplaced and doomed to fail.

SFHawkguy, I agree that our policies and culture has led us to that point.

But do you see a better short-term solution? Some of those guys are damaged beyong repair. The gang culture has been in their brains since they were born. It's going to take a lot of work to change this sub-culture, and last time I checked the hip-hop charts, the thug culture is not receding but expanding.

For our current culture, all that counts is financial success and not the way to reach it. Hard work and dedication are a waste of time when you can flip a few house and make 200K net a year with a few months or manual labor (OK, you can't anymore). What about a CEO who rakes in 300M after running his company into the ground? Who cares if people despise him. They'll still gwawk in envy at his 30,000sf mansion.

In this general background, "honest" is just another word for "sucker". No wonder rappers are so popular. This cultural mindset needs to be corrected

Posted by: San FronziScheme at April 28, 2008 2:43 PM

"Spencer (and all of your alts): I don't need you to tell me what Bernal is like-- you're one of those afraid-to-go-below California St. types. I've lived in Bernal since 1995, and I felt safe here then as well as now. "

not sure why I am being personally called out here. I spend a lot of time south of california. personally i have never seen that as an important distinction. although, i do choose to stay out of the mission and tenderloin alone at night. I have been stabbed in a mugging in the past and really don't see the point in pushing my luck.


my comment had more to do with the rapidly appreciating prices in BH and GP. The areas that appreciated most rapidly in terms of costs and lifestyle are also the ones that are most prone to repid depreciation.

Posted by: Spencer at April 28, 2008 2:54 PM

We need to stop carrying able bodied persons on the public dole. How many of these criminals actually have jobs they need to go to, to support themselves? Probably not many. Sink, swim or get out of town, baby!

Posted by: fred at April 28, 2008 2:57 PM

"...view lover - your comments are all too familiar and that short sightedness is why we are where we are. people aren't born criminals, they commit crimes based on the circumstances of their lives, usually because of poverty and desperation...."

This is where the thinking becomes so utterly misguided. People who commit crimes must be held accountable for their acts; criminal behavior cannot and should not be rationalized because the criminal is allegedly a victim of poverty, societal indifference or social injustice. Moreover, people who commit heinous criminal acts must be separated from society not just as deterence, but to protect law abiding individuals. In any case, San Francisco's policy of lenient sentencing and generous social services has manifestly failed. I might add there's a powerful argument that harsher prison sentences *do* work. From the New York Times 4/23/08:


“...As one might expect, a good case can be made that fewer Americans are now being victimized” thanks to the tougher crime policies, Paul G. Cassell, an authority on sentencing and a former federal judge, wrote in The Stanford Law Review.

From 1981 to 1996, according to Justice Department statistics, the risk of punishment rose in the United States and fell in England. The crime rates predictably moved in the opposite directions, falling in the United States and rising in England.

“These figures,” Mr. Cassell wrote, “should give one pause before too quickly concluding that European sentences are appropriate.”

Other commentators were more definitive. “The simple truth is that imprisonment works,” wrote Kent Scheidegger and Michael Rushford of the Criminal Justice Legal Foundation in The Stanford Law and Policy Review. “Locking up criminals for longer periods reduces the level of crime. The benefits of doing so far offset the costs...”

Posted by: zzzzzzzz at April 28, 2008 2:59 PM

San FronziScheme claims that Guliani's "get tough on crime" policy is more effective than the San Francisco rehabilitation first techniques, but the facts show the exact opposite: San Francisco's crime rate has dropped faster than NYCs in the same amount of time.

http://www.cjcj.org/pubs/windows/windows.html

Since 1992, San Francisco has outperformed New York City in violent crime rate declines and has received virtually no media attention. For example, in reported violent crime between 1992 and 1998 San Francisco's rates decreased 47% while New York's rate declined 46% (see Table 2 below). Since 1995, one year after Guiliani was elected, San Francisco recorded a 33% decrease in reported violent crime compared to only 26% in New York City (see Table 3 below)

And San Franciso's murder rate is almost exactly the same as New York Cities, not double, as zzzzzzzzzz erroneously stated.

Posted by: NoeValleyJim at April 28, 2008 3:16 PM

Yeah, Spencer - not to single you out or anything, but I think you may be a little off the mark in describing 1) what attracts people to the neighborhood and 2) what kind of people purchased here. I didn't see too many people buying here as a last ditch effort nor do I see people who are seriously cash strapped. I saw a lot of people selecting the neighborhood because it's close to 280/101, it has BART access, and a decent selection of SFRs. It's a neighborhood in transition for sure - the old timers are largely very middle class workers (the guy who owns the house behind me is a longshoreman!) and "newbies" seem to be yuppie-ish types (I'm beginning to wonder if there's a lawyer attracting beacon around here). Of course, my neighbor (who has lived here since '47!) thinks were quite insane to have paid that much for a house. So I'm sure there's room to go down.

Posted by: nowonderitcostsomuchhere at April 28, 2008 3:24 PM

I think the shortsightness is actually believing that these "kids" have some redeeming qualities. Or that it's societies duty to instill decency in their rotted souls.

You can always try and understand and sympathize with people that are less fortunate, but that only goes so far. After all, it's not like we don't have public housing or financial aid. Many kids stray and because of economic trouble have to leave school and work. The problem is many choose crime instead of work. Trying to talk some of these thugs into being good citizens is useless, they don't value human life and once you get to that point, you are not going to convert to being a good person without having learned a lesson. The problem is that the "lesson" usually involves an innocent person being killed so that the jail time/slap-on the hand/punishment serves as the lesson to the poor misguided thug. Maybe some of the more liberal elements in our society can volunteer to be the "killed" bystander and the rest of us can be in charge of rehabilitation and coddling to help them apologize or feel remorse for having killed someone.

As far as tax dollars, I'd rather spend them on jails and keep the criminals in them, than spending the money on well-intentioned, but useless programs being spent on useless people.

As hard as that may sound, they do exist, not everyone is a treasure after all. It's hard work being good, and that's the bottom line. These people don't want to be good, they want to have a good life at expense of someone else's. That's the problem, how do you change that mindset? I for one believe that we have a lost generation(s), and they will need to be scrapped. So it goes.

Posted by: view lover at April 28, 2008 3:24 PM

zzzzzzzz- you are entitled to your world view, and at least you are passionate about it. Maybe this story will help you understand, my grandmother was a pick pocket. Her husband committed suicide during the great depression, and she was left with 3 sons under 10 years old to feed and care for, so she did what it took to get by. Now, you can call her a criminal, and lock her up, and you may have even saved a few unsuspecting people their wallets, but you will have done nothing to help cure the ills of society, or the reason for which she felt the need to commit the crimes in the first place. I use this as my basis of understanding every time someone like you wants to lock up the "criminals" to "keep us safe". These criminals all have stories and they are all people that may just be good and decent, but you have painted all people who commit a crime as "criminals" that need to be shipped off to prison. Yes, there are some bad people out there that should not be on the streets for all of our safety. Are there more bad people in America than any other country in the world? We have more prisoners, so must be, right?

Posted by: The Bunk at April 28, 2008 3:28 PM

Sweden has 1/10th our incarceration rate and yet has a much lower crime rate. Their murder rate is less than 1/5th of ours. How can that possibly be nowonderitcostsomuchhere? They also make sure everyone is fed, housed, has medical care and doesn't want for basic necessities. I suspect there is a correlation.

Posted by: NoeValleyJim at April 28, 2008 3:30 PM

Fronzi, you are lacking knowledge of S. Bernal. Bernal south of Cortland was never, is not now, and will not be anytime soon a "million dollar neighborhood." There are some rare exceptions for larger, remodeled homes very near Cortland (a friend of mine sold a home on Anderson between Jarboe and Tompkins in 2006 for $1.2M) and certainly north of Cortland their are a lot of remodeled gems, but certainly not further down the hill. In fact, Bernal next to 280 is the Alemany Projects and the rest are condos going for 300-400K. So yes, the closer you get to the projects, the lower the values. Current values for SFR along Crescent and south are closer to $500-600K, with the exception of some nicer ones in St. Mary's Park. Overall, South Bernal has already dropped by 15-20% since 2005 (25-35% inflation-adjusted), and I expect after this year's selling season we will see a further 10-15% drop. But don't expect to see $400K SFR's as the norm in S. Bernal. Inflation alone since 2000 would put S. Bernal in the range of $600K averages, and frankly we're almost there when you look at today's listings.

Posted by: BernalDweller at April 28, 2008 3:30 PM

I would suggest taking a step back and looking at the broader economic picture. It seems to me crime rates ebb and flow with the overall economic condition. Crime rates across US cities had been at nearly all-time lows during the late 1990's through the last few years. This time period correlates with a period of really good economic times for many, barring the short recession after 9/11 and dot bomb.

Now that most agree we are in or headed towards recession, crime is increasing across much of the country. SF, the East Bay, and more broadly, Chicago, NY, Boston, etc.

If this theory is correct, expect only more crime as the economic downturn continues and intensifies.

Posted by: greater fool at April 28, 2008 3:32 PM

I don't have the link handy but a lot of demographers argue that crime rates can be predicted almost entirely by the number of males between the ages of 15-24 (or thereabout) because they commit the most dynamic portion of crimes. Right now we have a huge spike in this age range, after a big lull in the mid to late 1990's. I think this year and next is seeing the one of the largest groups of 17-19 year olds the country has seen since the baby boom. More adolescent boys equals more crime, no matter the economic times. But combine it with a poor economy and a lot of relatively affluent people in S.F. to steal from and it shouldn't surprise anyone. More police patrols and neighborhood watch groups would probably be an effective deterrent against this type of crime.

Posted by: anono at April 28, 2008 3:46 PM

That's it, I'm moving to Oakland. Oh wait a minute, never mind....

Posted by: Rillion at April 28, 2008 3:48 PM

Per NoeValleyJim:

"...Since 1992, San Francisco has outperformed New York City in violent crime rate declines and has received virtually no media attention. For example, in reported violent crime between 1992 and 1998 San Francisco's rates decreased 47% while New York's rate declined 46% (see Table 2 below). Since 1995, one year after Guiliani was elected, San Francisco recorded a 33% decrease in reported violent crime compared to only 26% in New York City (see Table 3 below)...

And San Franciso's murder rate is almost exactly the same as New York Cities, not double, as zzzzzzzzzz erroneously stated...."


Uh, you forgot to mention the intervening 10 years since your quote, during which time New York's crime rate continued to plummet while SF's once again rose. I don't have the exact figures handy, but off the top of my head the ball park numbers last year for murders were on the order of 500 for New York; 100 for SF. Do the math: that works out to a per capita rate twice as high in SF as New York City. I can certainly say that subjectively I feel far safe in New York than in most San Francisco neighborhoods.

Posted by: zzzzzzzz at April 28, 2008 4:07 PM

there are not a lot of "broken windows" in these million dollar neighborhoods

-- The Bunk at April 28, 2008 12:52 PM

BernalDweller, me quoting Southern BH served as a counter-example of "The Bunk" comment.

Of course, it is not a "million dollar" neighborhood as a whole, hence the quotes around Million and Dollar.

There are some nice places in BH, and whether they are worth one million clams in this changing market is a matter of opinion, but they're surrounded by a so-so ring of run-down nabes and when you cross the freeways it's downright ugly.

It's only a matter of time before the rings close down on the top.

Posted by: San FronziScheme at April 28, 2008 4:27 PM

Let's see 98/800k people in 2007 = 12.25 per hundred thousand. Manhattan was 7.3 per hundred k in 2006.

Posted by: Jay at April 28, 2008 4:47 PM

San Francisco's crime rate continued to drop all the way until 2005 or so, the economy really started to stagnate. This is keeping with nationwide trends. It is true that the crime rate has continued to drop in NYC since then, which is quite impressive, but can hardly be credited to Giuliani.

I apologize for misstating the respective murder rates: I was going off 2003 data, which is the best I could find using Google. Since then, the SF murder rate has gone up. It is, in fact, almost double that of NYC.

But there is no general evidence that the "broken window" theory of crime fighting is effective. If so, why have so many cities who have tried it have failed? What has changed in NYC is that it is more gentrified and expensive than ever. Perhaps that is all we need to reduce crime in San Francisco: run out all the poor.

Posted by: NoeValleyJim at April 28, 2008 4:49 PM

NoeValleyJim wrote:
"Sweden has 1/10th our incarceration rate and yet has a much lower crime rate. Their murder rate is less than 1/5th of ours. How can that possibly be nowonderitcostsomuchhere? They also make sure everyone is fed, housed, has medical care and doesn't want for basic necessities. I suspect there is a correlation."

I suspect it's more as likely related to us having a lot of what Sweden does not...

Posted by: brid at April 28, 2008 4:52 PM

Wait, are we comparing Manhattan crime rates to SF or NYC? Let's compare Pac Heights crime rates with NYC, shall we?

Posted by: NoeValleyJim at April 28, 2008 4:53 PM

"I expect this will get worse as the downturn will hit the biggest bubble areas like glen park and bernal heights especially hard. these are some of the areas where people stretched themselves the msot thinkking that it was the only place in SF they could afford. unfortunately, there are a few who couldn't really afford. as unemployment rises and housing prices fall, these are not neighborhoods that will weather the storm unfettered/"

Spencer, I can't say I know lots about the Bernal housing market but as someone who's lived in Glen Park for many years this comment is clearly something you just decided to make up. Where's the facts? There's no indication that Glen Park will not more than hold it's own relative to other neighborhoods in San Francisco. For lots of people like me who work in the Peninsula, want to remain in the city and yet avoid some of the typical SOMA quality of life issues, GP is simply ideal. One anectodal article from the Chronicle really doesn't necessarily represent the reality.

Posted by: Willow at April 28, 2008 4:53 PM

Go figure, Its safe to say these are young African American men from the nearby projects....

Posted by: Mike at April 28, 2008 5:16 PM

Spencer his lost neighborhood-description believability some time ago.

A lot of us thought that GP and Bernal Heights would take a hit, like, third. It would be like Bayview Hunter's Point first, then Parkside, then Glen Park and B.H. Well it hasn't happened. In fact values have actually risen in these hoods. Meanwhile much of the rest of the country is 2 1/2 years into a downturn.

Posted by: fluj at April 28, 2008 9:20 PM

Does anybody realize that there are hundreds of HUD housing buildings on Diamond Heights Blvd, Addison St., Gold Mine Drive, Bemis St, Moffitt St., Sussex St., etc.?

I think they were built in early 70's. Crime, robberies, car thefts have always been very high on these streets since they were built. They're less than 1/2 mile from center of Glen Park.

Posted by: Steve at April 28, 2008 9:33 PM

Too many of our officers have discovered they can avoid doing dangerous, challenging, honorable police work like chasing down armed robbers. Instead they've found it's easier, less dangerous to themselves, and more popular with real estate interests to spend their time abusing unarmed poor people for sleeping in doorways.

Posted by: Martha Bridegam at April 28, 2008 10:28 PM

Let's see if I can resume.

Step 1 - the BA is different
Step 2 - the Real BA is different
Step 3 - SF is different
Step 4 - SF excluding Bayview is different
Step 5 - SF excluding Bayview and Excelsior and Sunset is different
Step 6 - SF excluding Bayview and Excelsior and Visitacion Valley and Sunset and Richmond and SOMA and all the new condos built all over is different
Step 7 - SF excluding Bayview and Excelsior and Visitacion Valley and Sunset and Richmond and SOMA and all the new condos built all over and the lower parts of Bernal North, South, East and maybe some streets on the West and don't forget the Western Addition and some parts of Hayes Valley and Van Ness and "I will attach an excel spreadsheet with all the bad streets in the good neighborhoods" is different.

What's left?

Millionaire playgrounds. The rest is going down.

Posted by: San FronziScheme at April 28, 2008 11:19 PM

No neighborhood is immune. We are going into a recession and criminals have increasingly very little to lose. As for the comparisons to NYC, you should know that New York has at least double the number of police per capita than San Francisco.

I don't have a recent stat but in 2000, SF had about 27 police per 1,000 residents. NYC had 55 and DC had 67. So, the debate about prison versus schoolbooks is a bit misguided, IMO. Put enough feet on the street and you will deter a lot of this behavior.

But apparently here in SF, we (voters) would rather have more crime, horrible schools, um, and free sex change operations for city workers. At least we have our priorities...

Posted by: "Dave" at April 29, 2008 6:22 AM

It basically boils down to this: The closer you are to the projects (including HUD housing) the more likely you are to be victimized. The solution is to tear them down, sell off the land and give the residents rental vouchers for a fixed period of time; not the free ride they currently get.

As for putting teenagers in jail, if do the crime, they should do the time.

Posted by: Mystery Realtor at April 29, 2008 7:34 AM

"and free sex change operations for city workers"

Mandating that insurance companies that provide plans for city workers also cover trans care has cost the city almost nothing. Nice job showing your prejudices, though.

The city's other generosities-- for example, the quick vesting to lifetime health insurance for retirees and their spouses, as well as generous retirement benefits, especially for those who boost their pay with excessive overtime-- are big money drains that must be addressed.

Posted by: Dan at April 29, 2008 8:15 AM

"A lot of us thought that GP and Bernal Heights would take a hit, like, third. It would be like Bayview Hunter's Point first, then Parkside, then Glen Park and B.H. Well it hasn't happened. In fact values have actually risen in these hoods. Meanwhile much of the rest of the country is 2 1/2 years into a downturn."

I for one, still think it is going to happen. i didn't expect it this year. and i think the downturn only atarted in SF in the summer of 07. We are beehind the curve but are getting there. the subprime crises only affected areas like Bayview and HP. the alt A and otehr resets in late 08-2010 will heavily affect areas like GP and BH.

I have always said that the biggest downturn in the SF market will happen in 09-10.

Posted by: Spencer at April 29, 2008 9:22 AM

"Spencer, I can't say I know lots about the Bernal housing market but as someone who's lived in Glen Park for many years this comment is clearly something you just decided to make up. Where's the facts? There's no indication that Glen Park will not more than hold it's own relative to other neighborhoods in San Francisco."

This is based ona little data, personal anecdotes and gut. i don't expect anyone to buy into what i think, but am free to share my personal opinion. i have quite a few friends who decided between 05 and 07 that they absolutley had to buy something before they got priced out forever. They wanted to buy in Pac Hts, Hayes Valley, Noe Valley, Cole valley and other neioghborghoods, but jsut couldn't afford it. They then found cheaper places in both BH and GP and decided to go for it with 3-5 year IO ARMS and 10% down. They were in good credit standing and were able to secure loans at 5%. Unfortunately when these loans get reset in 2010-2011, some of them are not going to be able to make it.

Also, the appreciation reates in GP and BH have been some of the highest in the city. When apprciation rises rapidly with no underlying change in fundamentals, then depreciation also tends to happen rapidly when the credit market goes sour. while there may be many long-time residents in these areas, there are also a lot of new buyers who never consider GP or BH a prime area, but they could "afford" to buy there.

Posted by: Spencer at April 29, 2008 9:35 AM

Noe Valley evolved in the same way that you describe, Spencer. It was a total slum many years ago (when people would laugh if you mentioned Pac Heights and Noe in the same sentence). So don't be too quick to toss GP in the dustbin.

It's not irrational that someone would move just over the hill from Noe, especially when there's not that much of a difference. (It's certainly not like you get your kids into a better school...)

Dan, no offense. I'm not singling out a group. I'm using the "trans care" as an example of our collective voter priorities here in the city. You can't deny that we have underfunded schools and underfunded police. You also can't deny that, in the face of those conditions, we choose to provide benefits to city workers that are far and away beyond what other cities provide.

Posted by: "Dave" at April 29, 2008 9:58 AM

I wouldn't bet against high ground appreciating over a long time horizon in any city. GP and Bernal are high ground.

Posted by: fluj at April 29, 2008 10:17 AM

Fluj - I hope you're not alluding to rising sea levels inundating low lying areas making high ground more valuable in the long run.

If sea level rises enough to threaten even low lying sites like Mission Bay, RE values will be the least of our worries !

But if you were referring to view potential then yeah, there is some link between altitude and the awesomeness of a view. But you don't necessarily get good views on higher ground and visa versa.

On the flipside, the higher you are the more vulnerable you are to being consumed by a firestorm. Not that would prevent me from living on a hillside.

Posted by: The Milkshake of Despair at April 29, 2008 12:12 PM

Yeah, we know that you tried to time the market SFS and that so far you lost a lot of money doing so. When did you sell your building(s) in San Francisco? What neighborhood were they in? How much would the market have to go down to make your decision a smart financial move?

Complaining that the market is not doing what you expected it to do is unlikely to have any effect though.

Posted by: NoeValleyJim at April 29, 2008 12:54 PM

Does anybody realize that there are hundreds of HUD housing buildings on Diamond Heights Blvd, Addison St., Gold Mine Drive, Bemis St, Moffitt St., Sussex St., etc.?

I think they were built in early 70's. Crime, robberies, car thefts have always been very high on these streets since they were built. They're less than 1/2 mile from center of Glen Park.

Posted by: Steve at April 29, 2008 10:12 PM

Great point Steve. Its like an astronomy class here.

Posted by: Galileo at April 29, 2008 10:39 PM

Just a quick response to Spencer: Don't discount the folks in this town who choose to live AWAY from the Marina, PacHts, Cow Hollow, South Beach, etc. There are a boatload of us, and many of us gay couples, although I know my share of straight couples who recoil from that crowd as well. When my partner and I were looking to buy in 2001 (chose SOMA), and then again in 2005 (chose Bernal), we never even considered those other neighborhoods, as we find it creepy to live amongst the social climbers, and prefer to have a large gay population around us (we're of a generation that is not so used to assimilating to the straight crowd). We prefer down-to-earth to above-the-crowd, and alternative to mainstream. Just sayin' that not everybody aspires to what are normally considered the prime neighborhoods. We're quite comfy, thanks.

Posted by: BernalDweller at April 29, 2008 10:56 PM

Good point, BernalDweller. I haven't met anyone who lives in the Marina since 1991-- which is the last time I've been there except driving through on the way to Fort Mason.

There are many San Franciscans (including many affluent San Franciscans) who would never live in the northern part of the city, which is far away from nightlife, from where are friends live, and from where we work.

I can't speak to

Posted by: Dan at April 29, 2008 11:49 PM

Not again. Some of us chose to live in the Marina not so that we can "live amongst social climbers", but because it is just a nice place to live. I happen to run every morning along Crissy Field to the Golden Gate Bridge and back, passing seals, windsurfers, and amazing views and would not give this up just to live in a more trendy part of the city.

Here is a shock for you Dan. Gay people live in the Marina! On Avila St, two young guys who I met are doing an amazing remodel on a house they bought last year. On my street which is Prado, there is a young lawyer who is gay who seems to like waking up as early as I do who goes surfing before work. Around the corner on Scott Street are two homes owned by gay couples also.

Dear Bernal Dweller, since you have not visited the Marina since 1991, how can you have so many negative things to say? Perhaps the stereotypes are really a mask for something else?

Posted by: anon94123 at April 30, 2008 6:57 AM

I was the one, not BernalDweller, who has not visited the Marina (as far as I can recall) since 1991, except to drive though. Nothing against the Marina (as far as I'm concerned), I just don't know anyone who lives there, and it's far from Bernal, so there is no reason to visit. I meet more people from Walnut Creek than from the Marina, but I wouldn't go to Walnut Creek unless I was visiting someone I know.

When I bought my home in Bernal, I could have afforded to buy a house in the Marina, or a Pac Heights condo. But I never considered it. If I had bought there, I would have been far away from friends and work, and it would have been hard to convince friends to visit, since it is so far from where my friends live. Those are things to consider when buying a home. Just wanted to dispel the notion that people only buy south of California St. because they can't afford to buy north of California St. That's not true at all.

But that's not to dis the Marina. I'm sure for Marina people, it's a fine place to live.

Posted by: Dan at April 30, 2008 10:32 AM

"When my partner and I were looking to buy in 2001 (chose SOMA), and then again in 2005 (chose Bernal), we never even considered those other neighborhoods, as we find it creepy to live amongst the social climbers"

nice prejudice.

I also live on the northside of the city because it is safe and quiet at night , the daylife is great, close to the water, chrissy field and the presidio. i didn't know social climbing was a pre-req for living in the northern part of SF. otherwise, i dont think i would've made it.

BTW, i ahve nothing against BH and GP and have visited both in the past month. I was simply stating that they have always been seen as less prime and are certainly less expensive than the northern side of the city. Many people who wanted to live in the traditional prime areas moved to GP and BH because they could not afford the areas they considered more prime. I never stated that all people consider the north to be more prime. And quite frankly, most of my friends who made this move to BH and GP are quite happy with it. But i do think they stretched themselves to live in a rapidly appreciating area in 05-06 that could easily become a rapidly depreciateing area in 09-10. regardless of what one considers "prime", market forces are at work and traditionally expensive areas will be able to remain expensive much easier than recently made expensive areas.

Posted by: Spencer at April 30, 2008 10:42 AM

anon94123 - I think you are confused on your responses. So I'll address what you said to Dan. I never said there aren't any gay folks in the Marina. I said there are plenty of gay folks who would rather stick needles in their eyes than live there. Big difference. Your anecdotal observations notwithstanding, the US census by zip code says otherwise.

Posted by: BernalDweller at April 30, 2008 11:19 AM

What is it about the Marina that would make "folks who would rather stick needles in their eyes than live there".? I have never seen any seen any broken car windows on my block, am able to sleep with my windows open at night without constant noise from a freeway or train, and don't have to look over my shoulder when walking to Chestnut or Union to go to restaurants or shops. I don't have a problem with the southern parts of the city, but since I work in the financial district, the Marina Express is very fast for getting to work. Crissy Field is my outdoor gym and I love being able to be on the waterfront before and after work. Is it so horrible to want to live in a clean, safe, attractive neighborhood?


Posted by: anon94123 at April 30, 2008 11:47 AM

anon94123: I hear you, and I will take a stab at this one!

Before .com beginning in around 94, the marina was where all SF's "rich d**chebags" (high-income careerists) lived -- this was the stereotype, mostly because of all the financial folks who lived there, for as you say it's an easy commute downtown. This was when SF had a vibrant "artist/alternative/bohemian" community who could live elsewhere in the city.

Of course, with .com, SF's gentrifying d**chebag-epicenter has diffused out from the marina to neighborhoods more-friendly to a peninsula/SOMA commute, but the old stereotypes stubbornly remain. It's instructive the commenter had not visited the marina since 1991.

You will all note that SF is now full of d**chebags in almost any neighborhood worth living in, especially in the southern parts of the city -- not that there's anything wrong with that, and as others have pointed out, it's practically a requirement for home ownership in SF.

Disclaimer: I've never lived in the marina, but I used to live in Noe, which is arguably the 21st-century equivalent.

Hope that helps! ;)

Posted by: dub dub at April 30, 2008 12:19 PM

I was in Baretta restaurant on 23rd and Valencia last night while it was robbed at gunpoint. The gunman had us all lie on the floor and look down. He proceeded to rob the till. Very scary stuff. I know of a recent home invasion on North Potrero. A friend of mine had his wife's laptop stolen while he was in the shower in his own home in Noe Valley. Then there's the rash of muggings in Bernal and Glen Park. I saw a guy roll up on another guy and then get shot at by the driver of the car he meant to himself assail two weeks ago on the corner of Cesar Chavez and South Van Ness. They sped off down Cesar Chavez street at 100 mph. One of the kids who was killed by that asshole over pizza in the Sunset lived in a friend of mine's building. He was shot in the face. The killer remains at large because his girlfriend wouldn't i.d. him. That was the best they could come up with. San Francisco needs to step up the policing. It's getting ridiculous.

Posted by: fluj at April 30, 2008 1:24 PM

Holy crap -- what time did Beretta get robbed? I got some takeout risotto (very good btw) around 8:15 and the place was hopping. Couldn't find anything on sfgate.com about it.

Posted by: MattP at April 30, 2008 1:48 PM

It must have been around 11:30 or so? The kitchen was closed. The guy was very composed and he got out of there in a flash. I didn't see it on SF Gate either. Yeah that octopus risotto is awesome.

Posted by: fluj at April 30, 2008 2:04 PM

Hey, I write for The Examiner and we're going to do something on this. If anybody has any recent robbery stories to share, let me know. bbegin@examiner.com

Posted by: SFreporter at April 30, 2008 3:02 PM

Dub dub,

I think you summed up the anti-marina feelings pretty well there. That's about how I felt about the marina whenever I used to visit. Haven't been that way in about 5 years so don't know what it is like now so I won't comment on its current state of d-baggery. But right or wrong, there are quite a few people still in SF that harbor anti-marina folk feelings.

Posted by: Rillion at April 30, 2008 4:41 PM

Thanks Dub dub. Who knew when I moved here as a newbie from Chicago, that choosing a condo because of it being adjacent to the waterfront, and being able to see part of the golden gate bridge and bay, that I was buying into such a hated hood? I cannot begin to tell you the reactions I get from some people in social settings when I say I live in the Marina. Still, I find that people who do not judge me for where I live tend to make the best friends.

Posted by: anon94123 at April 30, 2008 5:32 PM

"I cannot begin to tell you the reactions I get from some people in social settings when I say I live in the Marina."

I lot of people in SF carry very divisive prejudices, especially if you look "traditonal".
people seem to judge on surface instead of based on people's ideas. where you live should not get you judged in my book

Posted by: Spencer at April 30, 2008 5:53 PM

I can't believe how paranoid and prejudiced some people are.

I've lived near 23rd and Harrison in the Mission for over a year. I'm a young woman and walk around the neighborhood--the Mission or Bernal--by myself all hours of the day and night. I have never been followed. I have a car and it's never been messed with in any way. I have very very rarely felt the need to "look over my shoulder," and never during the day. I've gotten catcalls, but that's about it. I only occasionally get asked for handouts. There are homeless people sleeping in doorways in my neighborhood, but not a lot of them, and they mostly mind their own business.

Contrast this to when I lived in Pacific Heights. When I went for late-night walks I was followed by shady characters on two separate occasions. I once had a guy pull over and proposition me for sex. There were several outright CRAZY homeless folks in the area who regularly threatened, insulted or harassed residents, by day or night. I was always getting asked for money, too.

There's crime everywhere. The streets might have been a bit cleaner and less graffiti'd back in PacHeights, but I feel a hell of a lot safer in the Mission.

Posted by: Linda at April 30, 2008 10:39 PM

"I lot of people in SF carry very divisive prejudices..."

I seem to remember someone saying he wouldn't go to the Excelsior (and Mission/Bernal, and Hayes Valley) without a kevlar vest, despite the fact that the area around the Excelsior house that was being discussed is a middle class area of single family homes, with relatively few reported crimes. (Some people explained the paucity of reported crime by stating that the kind of people who live in Bernal and the Excelsior don't report crime to the police.) Could the fact that some of those homes are occupied by immigrant/Latino families have been responsible for the fact that perceptions were different than discussions of homes in the Richmond and the Sunset, despite the fact that census data shows the Excelsior has a similar median family income?

Others on this board routinely describe neighborhoods that are more ethnically diverse as "the hood" or as blighted-- these descriptions have been used on this board to describe nearly every neighborhood between California St. and Daly City.

Sorry, any prejudices I have about "conservative" people have only been confirmed by posts on this board.

Posted by: Dan at May 1, 2008 8:22 AM

Sorry, any prejudices I have about "conservative" people have only been confirmed by posts on this board.

The usual name calling on this board (bear v. bull) sure has gotten out of hand in this thread (bigot, loony liberal, conservatard). I think people are jumping to a lot of conclusions about others' political leanings, but to also say that all liberals are soft on crime and all conservatives are practically nazis? Please.

Whatever your leanings, it doesn't take a genius to see that homicides in this city are concentrated to certain neighborhoods: http://www.sfgate.com/maps/sfhomicides/ And if you scroll through all the victims names/age/gender it's pretty easy to draw some other conclusions as well. I think all will agree to the "who", and we can continue to argue about the "why". Any other info you want to lay over that map (median income, etc) is up to your personal interpretation as to what causes violent crime.

As far as the effectiveness of our police and courts... when the witnesses won't come forward there's nothing they can do. Sure seems that crime is being reported, though.

(And if you really want to pick at a bloated city agency turn your attention the fire dept.)

Oh! FWIW, I live in 5C, and routinely refer to it as my 'hood. So there.

Posted by: PN at May 1, 2008 8:49 AM

Forgot to include that race and cause of death are also listed on the map.

Posted by: PN at May 1, 2008 8:50 AM

dan ,
glad to see your prejudices have been confirmed via an internet blog and your lack of physically visiting a part of the city since 1991. let the hate and ignorance continue.

i'm on the left, but i am a liberal who has been victimized too many times and thinks security is more important than anything else in my choice of living locales.

Posted by: Spencer at May 1, 2008 9:30 AM

What a bunch of nervous nellies. Random violence is part of living in a city. It's been a consistent fact my whole life in SF. Even so it's rare compared to random accidents. And SF is a pretty damn safe city as they go. I lived on Lexington alley and 20th street in the middle of a gang war one summer. Saw a drive-by on 20th and Valencia, heard about kids "running through the park with machetes" saw more car windows smashed on Cathedral Hill than anywhere else. Heard the myths about the Marina gunmen. And now i live off Cortland and thats apparently the center of a new crime spree.

None of those things were leading indicators of anything.

And it's still less dangerous than commuting over the bridge.

Posted by: Andrew at May 1, 2008 10:04 AM

." And SF is a pretty damn safe city as they go."

The violent crime per capita is higher than LA and NYC. Once you are victimized, you begin to think differently about neighborhoods.

Posted by: Spencer at May 1, 2008 10:51 AM

"Once you are victimized, you begin to think differently about neighborhoods."

Spencer: Didn't you say your mugging took place in one of the northern neighborhoods? I've only been mugged in "good" neighborhoods.

"let the hate and ignorance continue."

I don't hate anyone. We all have preconceived notions about people. It's best when we can understand and acknowledge those-- not hate.

Posted by: Dan at May 1, 2008 11:45 AM

Andrew - Good point about risk assessment. For some reason people are much more frightened about being shot or stabbed versus other much more common causes.

The shooting and stabbing victims are quite often "players" in gang warfare. So one way to avoid being shot or stabbed is to not be in a gang. I encourage all SocketSite readers to abandon their gang colors :-).

On the other hand over 600 bay area residents are killed in car collisions every year. Thats about two deaths daily, every day, day after day. We don't hear nearly as much alarm about road safety as we hear about murders even though you're far more likely to die due to poor driving skills than due to homicidal tendencies.

And there are a lot other preventable causes of death that claim even more bay area lives : heart disease for example.

Posted by: The Milkshake of Despair at May 1, 2008 12:14 PM

Yes, commuting suburbanites have a higher risk of cardiac death, studies show. And a higher risk of automobile death. On the other hand, it's relatively rare to be killed by a stranger, especially if one is not a gang target or engaged in criminal activity oneself. Overall, it's hard to make the case that city living is more dangerous than the 'burbs.

Posted by: Dan at May 1, 2008 4:14 PM

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