Looking to move to south Berkeley - neighborhood safety?

Hi - I current live in San Francisco and am considering moving to Berkeley. I am specifically looking at the area surrounded by the following streets: Ward, San Pablo, Ashby, and Sacramento. I wanted to get an idea from this community on how safe this area is. I appreciate your feedback!

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Hi, we live one block outside the area you described (on Mathews between Ward and Derby) and we are very comfortable in this neighborhood.  We have two kids under 5 who play out on the block and in San Pablo park regularly, we ride our bikes everywhere and we feel safe doing so.  There are a ton a families with young kids in the neighborhood and it feels like a pretty cohesive community.  Having said that, there there are some property crimes in the neighborhood and the two murders that occurred in Berkeley this year happened in this part of the city--San Pablo park seems to be a magnet for these incidents.  We love living here, get together regularly with our neighbors, and do not feel unsafe in any way in our daily lives.  But your feelings of safety will depend on your personal comfort level living in and dealing with a gentrifying neighborhood.  



We also moved from SF to South Berkeley (66th and Sacramento).  So many of these streets have such strong communities. I was blown away how friendly my new neighbors were. After years of exchanging nods with people above and below my apartment in SF, suddenly people were dropping lemon bars at my door. What is different than SF is that the streets are empty at night. That said, people are so friendly you don't feel unsafe, especially after a few months. Yes, there has been some violence around San Pablo Park recently, but I wouldn't let that detract from this strong and tight-knit area.

I don't think that this area is very safe. i would suggest going there at night and taking a walk around. There's a lot of crime in south Berkeley. If you're planning on walking to BART, it's a lot farther than it seems. I would do the walk to BART from the location that you're considering in the dark and see how it feels. We looked to buy there and decided not to. There are several notorious drug houses in that neighborhood as well. The most famous one has been sold and remodeled but it took the neighbors years to get to that point. You can read about it here: http://www.berkeleyside.com/2010/11/16/notorious-berkeley-drug-house-so…

I live in Berkeley but not in the neighborhood you're looking at. Ten or fifteen years ago, that area was considered iffy in terms of safety, although there have always been adventurous souls and pockets of stability there -- most long-term Berkeley families like me have friends who've lived around there for a long time, and our kids played baseball in San Pablo Park or went to birthday parties there. But in the last 10 years that neighborhood has really begun to change, now that the other parts of Berkeley have become so expensive, and many young families are buying houses in South Berkeley. It is still undergoing change, so it still might have more crime than other neighborhoods in Berkeley, but the balance is tipping toward families and children. If I were making that decision, I would go for it!