New Jersey : Safety by CityUnited States - safety as a country New Jersey - state review
Located in the heart of the New York Metropolitan Region, Jersey City is the second most populated city in New Jersey following Newark.
According to the 2020 U.S. Census, Jersey City’s population was 292,449, which is an 18.1% increase from the 2010 Census.
The increase is mainly due to many residents looking to escape the high rents and properties from Manhattan, but while maintaining a relatively easy commute to work, especially Wall Street.
Jersey City is bounded on the west by the Hackensack River, and the east by the Upper New York Bay and Hudson River.
The city boasts 30.7 miles of waterfront and extensive rail infrastructure, primarily supported by the PATH which runs from Newark and Hoboken (two lines) into Wall Street and 33rd Street in Midtown Manhattan.
As a result, the city has become an important manufacturing and distribution center, as well as a transportation terminus.
Additionally, the redevelopment of the Jersey City waterfront, known as the Gold Coast, has made it one of the largest finance and banking centers in the United States, thus giving the neighborhood the nickname Wall Street West.
Warnings & Dangers in Jersey City
OVERALL RISK : MEDIUM
Jersey City is a place that has undergone massive gentrification and transformation in the past decade. That means there are many expensive, safe, and beautiful areas, but neighborhoods turn over by simply crossing the street. That means you must always take increased security measures regardless of where you are now.
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK : MEDIUM
Depending on where you are headed, public transit is generally safe, especially when heading into Manhattan or Hoboken. However, some of the outlying areas when taking the light rail can be extremely dangerous, especially when riding at night. Taxis are generally safe, but you still want to only call licensed services through your hotel or use plentiful ridesharing apps.
PICKPOCKETS RISK : LOW
Pickpockets are not a major problem in Jersey City, but you should always be cautious on public transportation and in crowded areas as purses can sometimes be snatched with more cunning pickpockets attempting your wallet. Generally, this will not be a problem but be always aware of your surroundings.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK : LOW
In Jersey City and the surrounding area, the likelihood of natural disasters is low. However, lower-lying areas are subject to flooding during heavy rainstorms due to outdated pumping infrastructure. Also, given the area’s proximity to the ocean, hurricanes occasionally hit the New York Area and sometimes tornadoes.
MUGGING RISK : HIGH
The risk of an attack or robbery can range from low to high, depending on which neighborhood you are visiting. Tourists must avoid certain sections of the city and don’t walk in dimly lit areas late at night. If you are attacked, give the criminals whatever they ask and contact the police immediately.
TERRORISM RISK : MEDIUM
New York City is always on high alert for terrorists because of the number of people in Manhattan at any given time. In recent years, there have been reports of automobiles trying to bomb the Holland Tunnel, which runs through Jersey City. However, walking around Jersey City is generally safe from terrorist attacks.
SCAMS RISK : LOW
Fraud in Jersey City is uncommon, but email, phone, and internet scams occur against residents. This is usually to exact personal or sensitive financial information. Like with anywhere, don’t share your credit card, social security, or other pertinent documentation with anyone.
WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK : MEDIUM
Women traveling to Jersey City alone on business or for pleasure are advised to take caution. The nicer areas of the city are perfectly safe for solo female travelers but several neighborhoods must be avoided, especially at night. If you are returning from a location that ventures through a bad neighborhood, opt for a taxi, or rideshare.
TAP WATER RISK : LOW
Although outdated piping infrastructure exists throughout the city, the water is up to all federal and state codes, so it’s perfectly safe to drink out of the tap.
Safest Places to Visit in Jersey City
The safest destinations in Jersey City are downtown, including Grove Street, Newport, and Exchange Place.
Grove Street is an excellent place for nightlife with bars and restaurants populating the area.
It’s certainly the most active area of Jersey City with easy access via the PATH train to Manhattan.
Newport and Exchange Place are the built-up skyrise waterfront areas of the city, which are more residential than Grove Street.
However, everywhere in Jersey City is easily accessible by train, car, bus, light rail, or foot, so it’s incredibly easy to get around.
Transitioning neighborhoods like Communipaw, Hamilton Park, and The Heights are fairly safe to walk around in at night, with the occasional incident.
Each of these neighborhoods is mostly residential so most crimes occur against other residents.
Due to the increase in construction within these areas, an elevated level of police presence has been issued to patrol the streets.
Places to Avoid in Jersey City
The main places to avoid in Jersey City are the Greenville section, especially near Ocean Ave and the West Side along MLK Blvd.
These areas mostly have not undergone any neighborhood transition so there are major poor sections.
Also, the infrastructure is lacking in these areas.
As a tourist, these are mainly residential areas so you would never need to visit them.
The high crime areas are usually around parks and designated recreational areas, especially at night.
Liberty State Park is one such example of a place where you shouldn’t venture after the sun goes down.
According to Crime Grade, most crimes occur in the eastern areas of Jersey City at around 5,149 per year.
The northwest section only experiences an average of 84 crimes per year, so it’s significantly different.
Safety Tips for Traveling to Jersey City
Use the following safety travel tips when visiting Jersey City so you can explore the area without worry!
- Always be aware of your surroundings. Regardless of the time of day, you want to be always aware of your surroundings, especially on mass transit. You don’t want to take the train in the wrong direction and end up in an undesirable neighborhood. If unsure about which direction to head in, then ask one of the conductors how to get to your stop.
- Avoid verbal exchanges with aggressive riders. While riding the train, don’t engage with aggressive riders who accuse passengers of consuming too much space or pushing others. If a passenger is making you nervous, simply change cars and stick with the crowd until you get to the street.
- Be aware of bad neighborhoods. Before traveling to Jersey City, identify which neighborhoods are do not visit and which neighborhoods are acceptable for you to explore. As mentioned, due to rapid gentrification, the neighborhoods flip fairly quickly, so pay attention to where you are. Google Maps is an excellent resource to help keep you in safe areas.
- Leave valuables at home. Always keep expensive items like jewelry out of sight while wandering around. It may even be best to leave the jewelry at home while out for the day or night. Also, never flash cash in public, especially after exiting an ATM, this is just asking for trouble.
- Men should put their wallets in the front pocket. While pickpocketing is not a major issue, it can be in Manhattan, which any traveler would most likely also be visiting. Therefore, get in the habit of putting your wallet in the front pocket while exploring Jersey City.
- Never enter an unmarked taxi. All Jersey City taxis are identified as such with a light on the roof and the driver’s medallion number in the window. Many also boast an ID number on the hood of the car so if you don’t see these elements then you might want to consider a ridesharing app or taking mass transit.
- Never walk into dimly-lit areas. While this goes for any major city, dimly-lit areas can host a variety of people you don’t want to meet. If you see a street or walkway that looks or feels unsafe, then find another route. Even if it takes you five minutes to walk another way, your safety is the top priority.
- Only buy transit cards from approved vendors. All stations have transit card machines, and you can even download the New Jersey Transit app to ride on most modes of transportation. However, if you want a physical ticket then only purchase from the station attendant or one of the machines.
- Stay away from panhandlers. There will be countless panhandlers on the street, many of whom have incredibly sad stories. If you feel compelled to give back, provide them with a MetroCard of food instead of straight cash, then move on quickly.
- Stay away from the edge of the subway platform. When trains are entering or leaving the station, you want to remain far behind the yellow line. There have been instances of individuals being pushed on the tracks by strangers so stay back.
So... How Safe Is Jersey City Really?
Jersey City has experienced an explosion of growth over the years resulting in good neighborhoods and bad neighborhoods.
Your location in Jersey City will dictate your safety.
The nicer areas will offer excellent bars, restaurants, shopping, and attractions, while the poorer neighborhoods tend to be more dangerous.
Generally, if you keep your wits about you and follow the safety tips in this article, you will have an enjoyable and amazing trip to the area.
How Does Jersey City Compare?
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- Visas - Since Jersey City, New Jersey is in the U.S., only government-issued identification cards are required to pass through different states. That means a passport or visa is not required for U.S. citizens. For those visiting from other countries, some visas may be required based on the origin of the passenger, so always check with your local embassy on the requirements for travel to the U.S.
- Currency - The U.S. dollar is the currency used in Jersey City and the entire New York Metropolitan Area. ATMs are plentiful around the city and most locations accept Visa, Mastercard, AMEX, and Discover. Many places are moving toward cashless payments, so Apple and Android Pay are also becoming more widely accepted.
- Weather - You will find the summers in Jersey City to be wet, humid, and warm with snowy, cold, and windy winters, all due to the proximity of the river, bay, and ocean. Throughout the year, the area is partly cloudy, and temperatures vary from 27 F in the colder months to 85 F in the warmer months. The temperature rarely drifts below 15 F or greater than 93 F.
- Airports - Jersey City is serviced by three major international airports: Newark International Airport, JFK International Airport, and LaGuardia. Newark is the closest and easiest to access via car or train, JFK is further across New York Bay but still accessible and LaGuardia is the furthest option. Newark and JFK function as international and domestic airports and LaGuardia focuses more on domestic flights.
- Travel Insurance - When traveling anywhere these days, it is important to have some type of travel insurance. Although it is never required for travel within the United States for citizens, there are so many unknowns in the modern world that you are only providing an extra layer of protection by signing up for travel insurance, so don’t skip over it!
Jersey City Weather Averages (Temperatures)
Average High/Low Temperature
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