Neighborhood Safety–NOMA (O NW and North Capitol NE)

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Topic: Neighborhood Safety–NOMA (O NW and North Capitol NE)

Real Estate February 4, 2014 at 10:22 am

Neighborhood Safety–NOMA (O NW and North Capitol NE)

I would like some input on safety in the NOMA area. My roommate and I (two females, mid/late twenties) are looking into an apartment on O Street NW and North Capitol NE. To gauge some perspective, we currently live near Euclid and 14th and feel safe walking home at night alone. What is the general level of safeness for a female to be walking home from Mt vernon metro, NY Ave or H street at night? I checked the crime reports but would like to get a general awareness and other perspectives. Thanks!

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So here is my experience with the area: I am a 30 yr old male that used to live on 5th and N, for two years, three years ago (i.e. on your way from Mt Vernon metro). I also work on First Street NE, just south of NY Avenue. Also, when I first moved here (5 years ago), I turned down an apartment on Quincy St NE because of safety concerns.

Now, the area is OK – but I would keep my guard up walking around there at night. Frankly, the McMillan House on O and North Cap NW made me apprehensive. Likewise, Sursum Corda and Tyler House are no picnics on North Capitol. All that being said, I would say that it appears to me only marginally more dangerous than Euclid Street east of 11th. If you’re careful, and well adjusted to city living, you could do worse – but it would definitely factor into my price concerns. Walking from NoMa should be fine, just a chore with the North Cap / NY Ave intersection.

I’ve lived on the Unit Block of O St NW closer to First St for nearly three years (woman, early 30s). I feel very safe walking home from Mt Vernon Ave in the evenings. If I come home by way of NY Ave metro after dark, I don’t walk the most direct route to O St but swing over to Florida and P Sts NE because the Unit Block of N NE and the intersection of North Capitol and NY Ave right there are both pretty unappealing after dark. If I’m coming home from either direction anywhere after 9:30 or 10:00 at night, I just take a cab. It’s a very central location and a very reasonable cab rate from most places in the city. When I take my dog out right before bed, I go to First St.

That block has changed a lot in the last three years, and it will change a lot more in the next several years. There’s a big difference between the First St end of the block and the North Cap end. I think that’s because the North Cap end has been empty for years. The new condos and new House of Lebanon apartments on that end are going to make a big difference there just by decreasing the number of vacant buildings.

Overall, I agree with albany above. If you’re used to the city and savvy about it, it’s a good place, convenient to a lot of things.

Editing my note to add a couple things:
First, do take into account the noise factor of living on North Capitol. It’s a very busy road, and no matter what the relative safety of the neighborhood, that’s a detractor.

Second, I’m surprised no one has mentioned it yet, but be aware of the soup kitchen at 71 O St and other social services from SOME on the block. That increases the foot traffic in the area in the mornings and at lunch time, and not always in the most pleasant way. It’s worth checking out at all times of day, not just after dark, before making that decision.

Neither of these are really the safety issues you asked about, but they are definitely quality of life concerns.

A few thoughts on this:
Personally as a young woman myself, I would stay away from North Capitol and O St. Anywhere on North Capitol between M St and Florida is unpleasant, frankly. The traffic, noise, pollution and debris from North Capitol are pretty rough in their own right. Expect to hear nearly constant sirens, honking, and buses. I lived on No Capitol and W for a few years and it was brutal.

I would absolutely not walk home from the NoMa metro to North Capitol and O St at night – I now live 2 blocks from NoMa station myself and narrowly escaped being mugged about a month ago by running as fast as I could into the Wendy’s on New York Ave.

Unfortunately, Tyler House and the areas around New York Ave and Truxton Circle park are absolutely a liability for a woman traveling alone. If you read crime alerts for those areas you will be quickly discouraged – crime ranges from petty crime to shootings and stabbings. Others can speak to this better than I, but in the years I’ve lived in DC there has probably been at least one violent crime a week in that 5 block stretch.

Other areas of NoMa are great – you still need to be aware at night of course – but I truly do recommend you stay away from that intersection unless it’s literally the world’s greatest apartment. I live in Eckington (just a few blocks away) and I love it – just get a little ways from the major streets like FL, NY, and No Capitol and the situation improves dramatically!

Hope this is helpful (and not too horribly discouraging)!

Late 20’s lady here. Until last February, I lived alone in a ground floor apartment right on the unit block of New York Ave towards N Capitol, right next to the intersection of N St NW and NY Ave (I moved away for reasons unrelated to safety). For the most part, I didn’t really feel too unsafe living there. Of course, I’d be a bit on alert if I noticed someone walking behind me as I would walk home/unlock my door and I was always very aware of anyone loitering on N street while taking out my trash cans late at night for pick up the next morning.

As far as taking the metro, I would always take the red line to the NY Ave metro, and walk down N St NE, and cross N Capitol then NY Ave to get home. At night, it was definitely pretty deserted, which wasn’t very scary, but there would always be men loitering about the intersection of N St NE and N Capitol Ave, right next to Covenant House, so that could get quite uncomfortable at times (cue earbuds in, but pausing my music to be able to hear things around me). Also, when I’d get home really late, it was inevitable running into the drunk club crowd going to/from Ibiza.

As elizaka said, the sound is really a huge issue around that area, but the further away from the main streets, the quieter it gets. July 4th is also super noisy and a bit dangerous with all the fireworks. People just don’t care if they hit you/nearly hit you with all the fireworks they and their kids set off in their neighborhood, if you’re walking by. Granted, this happens in other neighborhoods as well, but I was pleasantly surprised when I moved to Trinidad and it was incredibly quiet compared to Truxton Circle.

In hindsight, I was a bit naive and probably fairly lucky by not having any real issues (other than package thieves!) when I lived in the area. If you do move over there, good luck and just be aware!

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