I decided to try some kind of 'objective' search to see what I could find and this was it. Since Chicago doesn't appear in either column of any category, it seems that 'due caution' as used anywhere in the world is warranted, the same as it is anywhere in the world. What I located was "America's Safest (and Most Dangerous) Cities [with Overall of 350 cities, Top and Bottom 25 Cities Overall]" and then broken down as Rankings by Population Group [500,000+ | 100,000 to 499,999 | 75,000 to 99,999 ], and Top and Bottom 25 Metro Areas Overall ~ Chicago never shows up on the lists. Perhaps, Chicago wasn't even considered? If not, why not? I have a friend who goes there, driving/riding with someone, approx. twice a month and loves it.
In 1976, I was waitressing and had just enough money to cover my train ride [round-trip... purchased ahead of time, to ensure my return]; the cost of seeing Leonard two nights in a row in downtown Chicago, I believe it may have been in "The Loop" but know it was a club called the Quiet Knight... and seeing him was very inexpensive I might add; and some extra money for something to drink at the club and food the rest of the time; and not enough money for a hotel. So, I rode the el-trains and subway all night the first night... met a delightful young man and we got off and walked around The Loop amidst the huge buildings. The second night, I rode again [my train leaving the next day] and met two Jewish young men who were friends. One didn't like the idea of me riding all night alone and he had to go home, so suggested he take me to his mother's for the rest of the night. We found a phone, so he could get permission from her first and I could speak with her, as well; he and I both talked with her and he took me to her house, I spent the night in my own room, she gave me breakfast in the morning; and he and she tried to talk me into spending the next night with her, so I could go with him to see Arlo Guthrie the next night. I said no, that I had to get back to my job, and have regretted it ever since. So, my experience many years ago in Chicago was delightful and safe. Not that I'd recommend this to anyone [or myself
] now, but young and invincible... you know how that can be... even so, the el-trains and subway were very safe. No matter... traveling not alone in a large, strange city is always well advised, no matter where you are. It simply is.
Here's some other info worth consideration:
Why Rank at All?
1. What does "danger" ranking accomplish? Crime is not a contest, and branding an entire city with a single number gives a misimpression of uniformity that makes crime harder to understand. Crime is not randomly distributed. The vast majority of crime takes place in a small subset of places and situations within a city. Most perpetrators know their victims. The non-residents most likely to be surprised or scared away by a crime ranking are also among those least likely to be victims of the crime they fear.
Problems with the Ranking Methodology
2. To compare crime in different cities, CQ Press only adjusts for population. Doing so gives the false impression that population size is the only independent factor that interferes with a valid comparison. In reality, historical, budgetary, and geographical differences (among many others) also determine local crime rates.
3. The rankings depend on a formula that gives equal weight to six categories of crime: murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, and motor vehicle theft. In essence, CQ Press counts murder and shoplifting the same way.
4. The federal Uniform Crime Reporting data used to generate the rankings rely on local police departments to accurately classify and report crime. In cities all over the country, intense performance pressure and high political stakes have at times led some departments to underreport their data, preventing a fair comparison even among single categories of crime in similar cities.
5. By the time the ranking is published, the data are almost a year out of date. The delay could make a cityâ€™s standing appear inaccurately high or low. When the 2009 rankings were published in November 2009 using year-end 2008 data, Camdenâ€™s crime rate in most categories had decreased dramatically from the previous year, yet Camdenâ€™s ranking increased, obscuring recent improvements.
Other Organizations' Warnings Against the Crime Rankings
* The American Society of Criminologists
* The FBI
* The United States Conference of Mayors
I hope everyone will come and enjoy their time in both Madison and Chicago! I trust Joe's judgment on where he'll be taking us and when in The Windy City
"Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken."
~ Oscar Wilde