East Palo Alto has had some recent very public crimes which are bringing renewed efforts to make the city safer. I would expect the efforts to have at least temporary affect.
Public gathering places often have more crime in part because there are more people.
You can actually make a pretty good judgement yourself. Look around the area you are thinking about. Are there families out and about? Are there individuals loitering around with no apparent purpose? Are there stores or other commercial activities which attract people? Compare your feelings with the feelings you have in other areas you are considering. Your own judgement will probably be quite good.
East Palo Alto real estate statistics at http://julianalee.com/east-palo-alto/east-palo-alto-statistics.htm
There are many good people in East Palo Alto who like living there. As in any city there are problems that need to be worked on.
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Megan, "safe" is a very difficult term to quantify. From my law enforcement background - previous posts have mentioned contacting Palo Alto PD - great advice. I'd actually go there, and talk with the "desk officer" on a personal side, versus calling. Most agencies also provide their crime stats on their websites (google PAPD). The FBI also has each city broken down with crime stats (called Part 1 crimes) I also agree with the HUD post. Do your due diligence - it's really easy.... more