I don't live on Redding Pl but know it. Much of Maxwell Park is considered safer than a lot of places. I would be more concerned about noise and crime at the Foothill end of the area than MacArthur, but I understand your very valid concerns.
I've lived in Oakland for thirty five years, all east of the lake. Oakland neighborhoods are somewhat block by block as you suggested .. You may well have a really great stretch or area, such as the heart of Maxwell Park..but then you hit the busy streets, or problem areas. It is easy to make generalities about some areas, but we have to be careful, and there are often great pockets unknown to many people.
I find over and over that what works best for prospective home buyers to get the info to feel comfortable are these basic steps;
1. Check out the city of Oakland crime map, www.oaklandnet.com.. (will have to link on after getting to that site, but the city site is very useful for related.. while on that site, check out the neighborhood watch and block groups, such as the NCPCs.
2. I strongly suggest going to the local crimewatch meetings.. these are often the NCPCs, or block clubs..(the city site will have links to these). Weekly meetings are held and the local beat cop or Problem Solving Officer is there. You can find everything out about the crime and safety issues in that "beat" and neighborhood, and meet concerned and involved neighbors. You can learn a lot about your prospective neighbors and how they feel about where they live. Maxwell Park has a strong NCPC and yahoo group presence. Most neighborhoods in Oakland have yahoo group listserves where crime issues are talked about as well as school info, positive community info..events, potlucks etc..
3. If you are interested in a particular house, talk to the neighbors on that block and around there. I find neighbors to be overall very helpful..they will often tell you how they really feel about a block, for better and for worse! Don't be shy..go talk to them! You can't beat hearing about a neighborhood from the people who actually live there.
Good luck!... more