I've been a realtor in Oak Park for 30 years, and I've lived on Lombard Ave, just three blocks from Austin for 32 years. I had many opportunities to move, but never have because East Oak Park is a quiet, safe and lovely place to live. Ask anyone who actually lives between Austin and Ridgeland, and you will find that they are very happy there.
Oak Park is 3 miles X 1 1/2 miles. North & south streets are Austin Blvd, Ridgeland Ave, Oak Park Ave and Harlem Ave. The art district is by Austin. The downtown area is close to Harlem. I lived here almost 50 years. If you would like to hear more about Oak Park and the surrounding areas, please contact me.
Oak Park publishes crime maps at http://www.oak-park.us/police/crime.cfm . Taking a look at the Oct 2012 map, crime doesn't seem to be particularly high near Austin. I have lived both near Harlem and near Austin. I haven't noticed a discrepancy.