Michigan : Safety by City
- Ann Arbor
- Battle Creek
- Farmington Hills
- Flat Rock
- Glen Arbor
- Grand Rapids
- Mackinac Island
- Mackinaw City
- Port Huron
- Sault Ste. Marie
- Sterling Heights
- Traverse City
Taylor, Michigan, sits just east of Detroit’s Wayne County Airport, but far too many travelers drive right past it to get to Detroit.
Here I’ll give you some reasons to stop and explore this area known as Downriver.
To talk about Taylor and other Downriver communities, we must address a faux pause in the popular Journey song, “Don’t Stop Believin’.”
Steve Perry crooned about a small-town boy born and raised in South Detroit.
If you look south of Detroit, you see Canada.
If you look southwest, you’ll see what is known as Downriver.
There is no South Detroit, at least not by the people from Detroit, though some claim that Downriver IS South Detroit. It’s not.
Even Steve Perry admitted the error in 2012.
“I ran the phonetics of east, west, and north, but nothing sounded as good or emotionally true to me as South Detroit,” Perry told New York Magazine.
“It’s only been in the last few years that I’ve learned that there is no South Detroit. But it doesn’t matter.”
What you will find Downriver is a place where you can hold onto that feeling, as a working-class section of the city known for its pride, work ethic, and love of the outdoors.
The name Downriver comes from it being “down the river” from Detroit.
The heart of Downtown Detroit is less than 20 miles away.
Taylor is also just 15 minutes from Dearborn, the home base of the Ford family of cars, and many attractions that celebrate the history and life of the Ford family and brand.
However, Taylor holds its own based on what’s inside the city boundaries and along the river.
Warnings & Dangers in Taylor
OVERALL RISK : LOW
Taylor has a low overall risk, but the violent crime rates push it close to medium risk. It's a mixed bag of crime numbers, but the violent crime rate has been consistent for the past decade. However, it's definitely nowhere near the most dangerous among Detroit cities.
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK : LOW
You won't find a midnight train going anywhere in Taylor, but you can use the SMART bus system to get around the Detroit suburbs. There isn't a stop on DDOT, which is the public transportation system around Detroit, but you can get a connecting stop to DDOT using a bus. However, getting a taxi or rideshare is much faster and is easy to find, being this close to the airport. Rental cars are also abundant in this part of the county.
PICKPOCKETS RISK : LOW
This is another low risk, with just six pickpockets reported in 2021, but vehicles being burgled is a different story. 35% of all thefts were related to car break-ins, so lock your car here and don't leave anything valuable in plain sight.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK : LOW
Everybody wants a thrill, but the weather in Detroit can be downright dangerous at times. From winter storms to spring tornadoes to summer flooding risks, you should know the risk of each season and study the safety guide from the emergency management department at the city and state levels.
MUGGING RISK : LOW
There is one crime category showing great improvement since 2016 - and that's robbery. The number of robberies is three times lower in 2021 than it was five years prior. On top of that, the risk is low for a visitor since just 11% of robberies happen on public streets or sidewalks.
TERRORISM RISK : LOW
Taylor has a low risk itself, but being tucked between the airport and Detroit leaves it between two potential targets. You can sign up for Terrorism Advisory Alerts through the Department of Homeland Security simply to be aware of the latest terror potential like Lone Wolf acts or hate crimes.
SCAMS RISK : LOW
Some will win, some will lose, but you'll be safer if you know the most common scams in the area by checking the police department and Better Business Bureau websites. People know how to hustle in Detroit and the surrounding areas, so don't fall for any "get rich quick" schemes.
WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK : LOW
You should always be aware of shadows searchin' in the night, but common sense and standard personal safety go a long way here. Once you get east of Dearborn, the risk changes dramatically.
TAP WATER RISK : LOW
The 2021 Water Quality Report shows full compliance in most categories, with one violation due to a missed monitoring benchmark. Full compliance was reached in August 2021. The water does come to the water treatment plant from the historically polluted Detroit River. Still, several water purification steps happen before it gets to the tap.
Safest Places to Visit in Taylor
DiscoverDownriver.com isn’t the most modern website, but it does offer details about all the communities, including Taylor.
ExploreTaylor.com is a better website to learn about the specifics of the city.
The Downriver Arts Council website offers more updated events and hyper-local options.
Southland Center is the shopping mall in Taylor, serving the entire Downriver region.
You can also find a great list of restaurants in this part of the city, with a few hotels scattered around it.
Heritage Park is the Central Park of Taylor, offering a botanical garden and conservatory, petting zoo, Coan Lake, and several historical buildings with markers explaining how they hold an important part of history within their walls.
Check the city events schedule, especially if you’re there during a warmer month.
A field for concerts and festivals is busy most summer weekends.
Taylor is also known for several annual events, including:
- Junior League World Series
- Summer Festival
- Family Fun Days
Taylor is also a great pivot point for exploring other Downriver communities.
Wyandotte is a waterfront town just 15 minutes from Taylor along the Detroit River.
The downtown area has various restaurants, from pubs to riverside dining.
You’ll find more shopping here and unique options like local boutiques.
Check out Riverside Kayak Connection for guided tours and watercraft rentals.
Just past there, you can cross the toll bridge to Grosse Ile (French for “Big Island”), which is, in fact, the biggest island on the Detroit River.
You can explore the history, charming small town main streets, and nature in this township, regularly named as one of the safest in the state.
Within 15 minutes southwest of Taylor, you can visit one of three Metroparks:
- Lower Huron Metropark
- Willow Metropark
- Oakwoods Metropark
While they are all nearly the same size, each brings various activities, like a nature center, golf course, paved trails, etc.
You can select the one best suited for your needs at metroparks.org.
Places to Avoid in Taylor
Up and down the boulevard that is Eureka Road is where you’ll find the Southland Mall, which will bring more crime in the form of petty thefts and car break-ins if you’re not vigilant.
However, since Taylor doesn’t have a separate downtown, you won’t really find any other crime clusters.
It’s wise to stay on the main roads and near the mall or Heritage Park when you’re visiting here, just to stay out of the neighborhoods.
Avoid the industrial areas because those parts of town are dark and creepy at night.
That’s mostly south of the shopping mall.
For those wanting to see a singer in a smokey room, you might be out of luck.
Michigan has very strict smoking, vaping, and marijuana laws.
Vaping and smoking products are only sold to those 21 and older.
Safety Tips for Traveling to Taylor
- Taylor does have its own police department with an alternative crime map on its website that’s updated daily. You can search back as far as six months, meaning you’ll get more updated crime information than I can officially give, as that information is shared with the FBI annually.
- Sign up for CodeRED notifications through the city’s website to stay on top of the severe weather. Since this region is so popular with outdoor lovers, you don’t want to risk being outside as a tornado warning is issued or plan for a day of snowshoeing if a blizzard is imminent.
- The city has a broader emergency notification system under the website section called “Notify Me.” All the alert categories are important, as they can cover water quality issues, parking bans, or event cancelations.
- It’s very helpful when visitors call to report suspicious activity, as they might see something a resident has become numb to within the community. The Taylor Police Department offers an anonymous tipline by calling (734)374-8737.
- The department also has an extensive list of safety tips for residents and guests. It covers everything from ATM safety to outdoor safety. The tips aren’t all obvious ones like “don’t walk around at night.” It includes things like asking the mall security office for an escort to your car if you’re shopping alone.
- There are a lot of fish waiting to be caught in the lakes and rivers of this region, but you’ll need a fishing license to do so. You can purchase it at stores like Menards or online through the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.
- The industrial boom in Detroit and surrounding suburbs leads to some dangerous water and potentially contaminated fish in those waters. The Detroit and Huron rivers are regularly monitored for PFAS (the “forever chemical”) and bacteria/algae. It’s best not to swim in these waters, but you can catch and release fishing and go boating or kayaking. Check the Department of Environmental Quality reports before you choose a body of water to explore.
- Potholes are a big problem in Taylor, and you can report one to the city or county through forms on different websites. If you are unclear about where a certain road is located, you can use the maps provided on the website or search the city boundaries on Google Maps.
- Since Taylor is such a common name, it’s helpful to know the exact handle for the police and city on Facebook. The police are @taylorpolicedepartmentmi, and the city is @CityofTaylor. Each site is regularly updated with events, safety information, and weather details.
- If airport or highway noise will bother you, it might be smart to choose a Downriver community closer to the river (but not north of Taylor). Southgate or Lincoln Park would be good options. Otherwise, a white noise machine or app should help drown out the noise. You can also call DTW’s Noise Compatibility Program Hotline 24 hours a day at (734) 942-3222.
So... How Safe Is Taylor Really?
I could go on and on and on and on about crime rates, but let’s keep it simple.
The violent crime rate in 2021 was 23% higher than the national average.
In 2022, one of the biggest incidents was at Southgate Mall when two people got into a fight, and a shooting followed.
The incident was contained quickly, and the mall was never locked down.
Here is more of a breakdown of the 2021 numbers:
- 36% of violent crimes were against strangers
- 50% of violent crimes happened in homes
- 11% of robberies were highway robberies
- 37% of thefts were car burglaries or stolen accessories, like a catalytic converter
Another problem in Taylor that I’ve seen in several other Detroit suburbs is road rage.
From the start of the pandemic through the next 2.5 years, Taylor saw 108 road rage incidents – and those are just the ones that got reported.
The Taylor Police chief offers a warning to all visitors – always assume other drivers on the road have a gun.
“We are seeing so many of these freeway shootings and road rage shootings, in general.
It seems to be very common right now,” Taylor police Chief John Blair said.
“It’s not just someone cutting you off, and screaming at you, and hurling insults.
This is actual, physical contact between people.
These people are very angry, very on the edge, and very desperate.”
You can avoid road rage by:
- Giving yourself plenty of time to get to your destination
- Don’t drive while distracted
- Don’t tailgate or become agitated by those tailgating you
- Keeping your hands (and middle finger) on the steering wheel
- Leave two car lengths between you and the car in front of you at a stoplight, so you can escape if necessary.
Detroit is one of the toughest and most dangerous cities in America.
Some suburbs can be just as tough, but even the safest suburbs see crime spillover from the city.
Your pride isn’t worth facing a gang member or gun-wielding assailant.
We have an extensive list of Detroit suburbs, and the city of Detroit, on this website for you to review before choosing your Detroit metro area destination.
We take a lot of time to report facts, advice, and safety information without being sensational or funded by a tourism bureau.
We want everyone to have a safe trip to a great city that just happens to be facing a dangerous time in its history.
How Does Taylor Compare?
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- Visas - International guests must have a passport and visa issued by the U.S. State Department. That goes for Canadian residents too. Please mind the shared waterways between the U.S. and Canada, as you can get busted for illegally entering the country if you so much as drop anchor in Canadian waters without going through Customs. Downriver doesn't have an entry point to Canada, so you'll have to go through downtown Detroit to get there.
- Currency - You'll want to use credit cards as much as possible here, but you'll be making purchases in U.S. Dollar currency. Not even the Canadian Dollar is accepted on this side of the border.
- Weather - Bring extra layers of cold-weather clothing if you'll be enjoying the outdoor aspects of Downriver. The winters get blustery and cold, but it doesn't stop Michiganders from enjoying the outdoors. Spring and fall can still be brisk, especially in the morning and at night. Summers will be hot and humid. Don't forget the bug spray since the woods are filled with mosquitos, ticks, and poisonous plants.
- Airports - You'll be right next door to the major DTW airport, so you don't need to worry about exploring other options.
- Travel Insurance - Don't risk losing a lot of money by traveling without proper insurance to protect against weather delays or cancelations. You could also get stuck in the Detroit area by a winter storm, so always know if your rescheduling of the flight, extra hotel rooms, and additional personal items are covered.
Taylor Weather Averages (Temperatures)
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