More People Feel Secure Visiting Downtown Indy. What About St. Louis?

Indiana University-Purdue University, Indianapolis (IUPUI) has released their annual survey of downtown safety perception. What they found was that people feel more safe visiting downtown Indianapolis at night. A total of 59.4% of the 387 respondents stated that downtown Indy was "safe or very safe" at night (2009 was 54.7%). Any guesses as to what the response would be in St. Louis?

Crime and safety, and the perception of both certainly continue to be negatives for the City of St. Louis. It's a long story that has become conventional wisdom. Indy recently ranked 8th on the Forbes most dangerous city in the nation list, behind St. Louis, but high enough to affect a city's reputation. My assumption is that local perceptions of downtown safety would be drastically different in St. Louis and Indianapolis.

St. Louis has had its share of high profile crimes downtown this year (most recently this past weekend), but so has Indy. Ten people were shot during this past July's Black Expo event downtown. The raw numbers aren't all that different. Is St. Louis paying for years of crime and the perception by many that the city simply isn't what it used to be? What can be done and what should the goal be in the short and long terms? It would seem that if St. Louis could get to where Indy is now that it would be a big step forward.

In addition, the survey found that 85.2 percent of residents felt safe or very safe in their homes after dark; 76.5 percent said the same of their neighborhoods