California : Safety by City
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Let’s get you ready for Rialto, California.
This city touches four main thoroughfares to and from Los Angeles, making it a great location for easy access on and off the highways.
The city is home to some major distribution centers for necessities and luxury items, like Staples, Target, Kelloggs, and Monster.
While it’s not built for tourists with an abundance of attractions, you’ve got all the basic stores and restaurants you’ll need as you go to and from other tourist locations.
There are only four hotels in the city boundaries of Rialto, but there are plenty in the surrounding cities of San Bernardino and Redlands.
Rialto housing prices lured many people away from Los Angeles.
Now, the Rialto is growing and housing prices are going back up.
That flood of new residents can help crime rates, and looking at some of the numbers, it’s shocking how much change has happened in just a decade.
The crime rate here has always been a sticking point, but improvements have been made and are underway for the future.
Of the 1,360 cities in California, Rialto ranks in the 100 most dangerous.
Warnings & Dangers in Rialto
OVERALL RISK: MEDIUM
There's a medium overall risk here. Rialto's violent and property crime rates are higher than the national and California averages. It's a city with the benefits of freeways nearby, but once on those freeways, you're sitting in gridlock most of the day. There are just several points of frustration for someone who might be on vacation looking to unwind.
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK: MEDIUM
You can take the OmniTrans bus or the Metrolink here to get to any part of the Los Angeles metro area you'd like. Taxis and rideshares are also an option. There's a medium risk while waiting at the stops and riding due to a high robbery rate.
PICKPOCKETS RISK: LOW
There were just three pickpockets or purse snatching reported in 2020. There's a low risk, but always be on guard when you're in public.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK: MEDIUM
Rialto is right in the path of the late fall/winter Santa Ana winds. It's almost like a wind tunnel as the gusts come down the mountains, through the valley, and to the coast. This can cause powerline damage, spread wildfires, and be generally annoying. There's also an earthquake risk here. Oh, there's a risk of flooding too. All that adds up to medium risk.
MUGGING RISK: MEDIUM
The robbery rate is four times higher than the national average. 66 of the 291 robberies were in public places. There's a medium risk here. If you are approached by someone, don't risk your life keeping your stuff. Just remember to get as much information as you can about the suspect so you can be a good witness.
TERRORISM RISK: MEDIUM
There's a medium risk in Rialto because it's part of the greater Los Angeles area which is loaded with stuff terrorists hate about America — military bases, Disneyland, a large population of people living in a Democracy, etc.
SCAMS RISK: LOW
After reviewing local news reports and the Better Business Bureau website with scam warnings in Rialto, there's a low risk a tourist will get scammed. Most scams target locals.
WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK: MEDIUM
There's as much risk here for a woman as a man, and I think both should proceed with medium risk.
TAP WATER RISK: LOW
There's a low risk now, but it's important to know the history here. There was perchlorate contamination of the water for many decades and there was a long legal and safety battle to fix the problem and assign blame. In addition to Rialto Water's water quality report, they have this message at the bottom of their website. "To ensure the ongoing safety and quality of the water resource, neighboring local public agency West Valley Water District is in direct partnership with the City of Rialto to lead all perchlorate remediation activities. It is important to know that Rialto Water Services does not pump water into its system that contained detectable levels of Perchlorate contaminate. We currently have wellhead treatment on two of our wells for the removal of perchlorate. This wellhead treatment removes the perchlorate to a Non-Detection Level. The other two wells affected by perchlorate contamination have been shut down, are out of service and have not been used since detection occurred. These wells are targeted for wellhead treatment in the near future."
Safest Places to Visit in Rialto
I’m not going to lie to you, there aren’t a lot of attractions in Rialto.
There is some interesting history, like three miles of what is now known as Foothill Road were part of the original Route 66.
Connect with the Rialto Historical Society and see the church at 205 N. Riverside.
This church was built in 1907 and still stands with stunning stained glass inside.
Frisbie Park is a great place to spend the day playing sports, throwing a Frisbie, or letting the dog run off some energy.
If you want to stop, eat, or catch a movie, then the Rennaisance Marketplace is perfect for you.
There are more than 20 restaurants here and just as many stores to shop.
The kids will love Kid Empire, where they can climb rock walls or play in the ball pit.
Big Bear Lake is just an hour east of Rialto and it’s a great place to ski in the winter and hike in the summer.
The traffic can get very congested, so leave early for a day at the lake.
It’s one of my favorite places in California.
If you want to climb the tallest peak on the Los Angeles skyline, head north to the San Gabriel Mountains and look for Mt San Antonio or Old Baldy, as the locals call it.
Places to Avoid in Rialto
The city of Rialto is shaped oddly and has jagged boundaries.
The northern end touches I-15 and the southern end hits I-10, so you’re not going to be able to avoid those as they are major interstates.
Stay on the main roads in Rialto.
Don’t try to cut through neighborhoods or just drive around to “see the area”.
Looking at the crime maps, south of Baseline Road and east of Riverside are the highest crime areas.
I even looked at the crime map through the police department’s portal for the past six months (as of early 2022) and just two crimes happened west of Riverside in the past six months.
Even looking at the updated crime map near the Renaissance Marketplace, no crimes were reported on that property in six months.
The benefit of Rialto is how close it is to the freeways, but there’s also going to be freeway noise, so avoid staying near a major interstate if you can.
Although you don’t have many choices of places to stay here.
Also, avoid getting filled with road rage in Los Angeles traffic.
Newcomers have a tough time adjusting to traffic all the time.
It’s just a way of life here.
Hop on the Metrolink and don’t worry about traffic if you’re prone to road rage.
Safety Tips for Traveling to Rialto
- You can use the same crime map I did to track crime before your visit. The crime mapping software allowed you to choose by city, specific address, and then select the kinds of crimes you want to see.
- Sign up for crime alerts through the Rialto Police Department. You can get text messages if there’s an emergency or a suspect on the loose.
- Download the WeTip app if you see a crime and want to report it anonymously. You can help keep the crime rate down by reporting anything you see going down in Rialto.
- PulsePoint is another great app to have. It’s from the fire department and lists emergency calls that go out. I use this in the community where I live, and it’s great — when I hear an ambulance driving around my neighborhood, I just open PulsePoint and see what’s going on. It’s a very valuable tool.
- The city has a page where you can report things like graffiti, potholes, dumped trash, traffic signal issues, and the like. This helps keep the community safe for you and future visitors.
- If you are going hiking in the nearby mountains (you have several options), there might be areas closed due to wildfires from the past few years. It’s a delicate balance of nature and human nurture to restore the forests, so don’t go into an area marked off for wildfire restoration. Even a little unplanned human contact can delay the process. Check your preferred mountain area before you go for closures.
- There is a group called SWAG (Social Work Action Group) in Rialto that helps get homeless people off the streets. 90 people have been saved from the streets since the program first started and 47 people are in permanent housing. So if you see homeless people around, know the city is working with organizations to help them. Don’t give money to homeless people, but you can donate to SWAG if you’d like.
- People in Los Angeles have their own way of referring to major roads. It is helpful to know if you need directions so you don’t get confused. Generally, a highway or interstate is referred to as its number, not its full name. For example, the Foothill Freeway would be referred to as “the 210”. Interstates are also referred to by the word “the” and then its number. For example, it’s not Interstate 15 here, it’s “The 15.”
- Through all my research, there is one thing certain about people in Southern California. They love their fireworks. There are strict laws about the kinds of fireworks that can be set off and those that are illegal. Recently, Rialto police busted an underground fireworks group. Research the laws or call the fire department and ask before buying any fireworks. One illegal firework can spark a massive wildfire easily.
- Rialto Police were the first in the nation to use body cameras during the course of their jobs. Just know that any interaction with an officer could result in you being on camera.
So... How Safe Is Rialto Really?
The violent crime rate is 20% higher than the national average.
It’s just slightly higher than the California average.
Robberies are an astonishing four times the national average.
Thefts rank about 15% higher than the national average.
The city recently restarted the Neighborhood Watch program, bringing police and community members together to lower the crime rates.
“It’s all about being proactive and getting community members to want to get ahead of crime as a community.
It’s also such a great way for residents to meet neighbors.
Maybe somewhere down the line, these neighbors could be the ones watching over your home while you’re away and check on you if they see anything suspicious.
We need our neighbors.
The more community we have, the better off we all are,” said RPD Community Services Officer Amanda DeLeon, as reported in the Inland Empire Community News.
When I travel, I look at the pros and cons.
Higher crime numbers might be reported in a really cool area.
I weigh the risk of crime versus the appeal of the attractions there.
Here’s the rub on Rialto.
There isn’t much to do here.
It’s close to things to do, but nobody is going to travel just to visit Rialto, barring a family gathering of some kind.
You only have four hotels to choose from here, and they aren’t even fancy hotels.
You have better options in San Bernardino County that are closer to attractions.
How Does Rialto Compare?
|La Paz (Bolivia)||52|
|Sao Paulo (Brazil)||45|
|Rio de Janeiro (Brazil)||43|
|Siem Reap (Cambodia)||63|
|Phnom Penh (Cambodia)||61|
You don't need a special ID to get into Rialto. The Visa requirements are handled at the airport or port of entry.
You'll use the U.S. Dollar here for all purchases. There's no reason to carry cash here and a credit card is a safer option for shopping, dining, and souvenirs.
December through February you'll get highs in the upper 60s and lows in the 40s. Bring a jacket and plenty of layers. November, March, and April have highs in the 70s with lows still in the 40s or 50s. Summer brings the heat with temperatures in the upper 90s and lows in the 60s. Layers, layers, layers. Oh, and don't forget those Santa Ana winds in the final month of the year.
Your closest option is the San Bernardino airport just 8 miles east. You'll need to plan about two hours to get to Los Angeles International or John Wayne Airport in Orange County.
It's a good idea to get travel insurance. As an example, a wildfire burned in 2021 near Rialto, causing delays and shutdowns of roads. You don't want to visit if there's a wildfire emergency happening.
Rialto Weather Averages (Temperatures)
Average High/Low Temperature
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