3.2 out of 10


37.7684221651848 -122.211504540479
Great for
  • Cost of Living
  • Internet Access
  • Medical Facilities
  • Parking
  • Lack of Traffic
Not great for
  • Childcare
  • Clean & Green
  • Gym & Fitness
  • Safe & Sound
  • Nightlife
Who lives here?
  • No ratings yet


2/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 1/5
  • Clean & Green 1/5
  • Pest Free 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 2/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 1/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 5/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 1/5
  • Public Transport 2/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 1/5

"Oakland's Most Dangerous Neighborhood?"

On the northern end, Melrose is the province of the industrial detritus from the nearby port. Stone quarries and flat, one-story warehouse buildings make up the landscape. Businesses that make their homes here: U Save Redimix, a concrete mixing company; Carillo Ironworks; East Bay Saw and Knife Works (next door to Carillo); and Protex Wax Manufacturing are just a few.

There is a run down looking residential area to the south. Fenced in pre-1950 homes stare out over dead lawns onto cracked pavement. For sale signs dot the streets along the street next to older model cars. (There is little sign of any construction here since the Carter Administration.) Occasionally you will come across a home that has been maintained and find a lawn filled with colorful flowering bushes, but these are few and far between.

On its western end the neighborhood gives way to a flat marshy area where the UP trains come to and fro carrying imports and exports, and where the elevated freeway stands, lifting commuters safely over this little visited area of Oakland.

Melrose is right at the heart of the Fruitvale District and unfortunately bares all of the negative hallmarks associated with this district. Despite being home to only about 1500 residents, this neighborhood averages 3 murders per year. There are war zones that are less dangerous than this neighborhood. I have looked over hundreds of neighborhoods and this is literally the most dangerous neighborhood I have ever come across.

If there is one bright spot in this neighborhood, it is Bridges Academy, the local elementary school. It is not that Bridges is an outstanding school—it certainly is not by any objective standard. Objectively, the school is actually just middle of the road or maybe even slightly below average. It’s Academic Performance Index (API) ranks it at about 750. 500 is pretty terrible 900 and above is about as high as it ever gets. If you look at the statewide tests, you find that about 40% of students are testing proficient.

But if you consider Bridges Academy in the context of nearby schools, you begin to see why I see it as a sign of hope. Most schools in this section of Oakland rank at the lowest levels of API and are lucky when more 10% of any group tests proficient on standardized tests.

In addition, Bridges Academy is on an upward trajectory. Before 2009, Bridges scored just as poorly as most local schools. Then, I don’t know if there was some kind of change in the administration or teaching staff, but across the board test scores started to improve—and not only improve, but improve dramatically. Scores jumped up 20 or 30 points in many instances and continued to improve into 2010. Whatever they are doing there, it is clearly working.

Despite this positive sign, I still can’t recommend this neighborhood even to those who cannot afford any better. It is simply too dangerous.
  • Okay Elementary School
  • Good Businesses
  • Affordable Rents
  • Violent Crime
  • Dirty
  • Run Down

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