Safety First: Is Bed-Stuy Safe In 2024?

Bedford-Stuyvesant, more commonly known as Bed-Stuy, has undergone a fundamental transformation that has reshaped its image and safety perceptions. Once a neighborhood that might have been approached with caution, Bed-Stuy now presents itself with a newfound vibrancy and safety that rivals many similarly sized neighborhoods in New York City​. This Brooklyn locale, steeped in rich history and community spirit, offers an array of real estate options, schools, and local attractions, contributing to its unique character and appeal​.

Recent evaluations suggest that Bed-Stuy has shed its outdated “do or die” stereotype and is continually building a reputation as a close-knit community where the past’s challenges have given way to a promising present. The area is cherished for its memories and communal warmth, as echoed in the sentiments of residents who recall fond childhood experiences amidst the neighborhood’s streets.

Safety, of course, remains a complex issue, with variances across different parts of the neighborhood. The southern parts of Bed-Stuy have been noted to experience higher crime rates compared to the north, and while the streets are generally considered safe to traverse at night, vigilance is advised, especially when walking alone or in certain areas after dark​.

In summary, Bedford-Stuyvesant stands today as a testament to Brooklyn’s evolving landscape—a neighborhood where safety is taken seriously, community ties are strong, and the echoes of a tumultuous past give way to the harmonious rhythms of daily life.

Bed-Stuy Safety Statistics And Data Interpretation

The crime rates in Bedford-Stuyvesant are a significant factor when discussing the safety of the neighborhood. The latest data indicates that the total crime rate in Bed-Stuy is approximately 24% higher than the national average. Specifically, violent crimes are reported to be 175% higher than the national average, which is a sobering statistic for residents and potential visitors. The likelihood of becoming a victim of any crime in the area is estimated to be 1 in 35. While these figures are concerning, it’s also noted that Bed-Stuy is considered safer than 29% of the cities in New York. Moreover, the total number of crimes reported reflects an increase in year-over-year crime in New York by 5%.

When breaking down the types of crimes, the estimates per 100,000 people in the neighborhood include higher instances of robbery and assault compared to both the New York and national averages. Property crimes, such as burglary, theft, and vehicle theft, also surpass the national average, but to a lesser extent when compared to violent crimes​.

bed stuy traffic light
Traffic light at Lafayette Street, Manhattan, New York City

Interpreting these statistics requires context; while the numbers may appear daunting, they are part of a larger narrative that includes initiatives for community safety, local law enforcement efforts, and the active engagement of residents in neighborhood watch programs. It’s also important to consider the impact of socioeconomic factors and urban development on these statistics. These factors contribute to an understanding of both the challenges and the strides made in improving safety in Bed-Stuy.

A Brief History of Bed-Stuy

Bedford-Stuyvesant, locally known as Bed-Stuy, is a combination of what used to be the Stuyvesant Heights neighborhoods and the Village of Bedford. In the 17th century, Stuyvesant Heights was farmland and named after the colony of New Netherland’s last governor, Peter Stuyvesant.

Peter Stuyvesant, last Dutch director-general of the colony of New Netherland from 1647. He was a major figure in the early history of New York City and his name has been given to various landmarks and points of interest throughout the city (e.g. Stuyvesant High School, Stuyvesant Town, Bedford–Stuyvesant neighborhood, etc.).

Bedford land belonged to the three Dutch settlers: ferryboat operator Dirck Janse Hooghland and farmers Leffert Pietersen van Haughwout and Jan Hansen. It was designated as one of Brooklyn’s seven districts in 1800 and incorporated into Brooklyn City in 1834.

Throughout the 20th century, Bed-Stuy was a hub for African-American culture, facing challenges during the 1960s and 1970s with socio-economic struggles and a reputation for crime. Over the last few decades, Bed-Stuy has undergone substantial gentrification, leading to a mix of cultural revitalization and community displacement. This neighborhood’s story is one of resilience and transformation, reflecting the broader historical currents of New York City.

Today, Bed-Stuy is the borough of Brooklyn’s northern section. It is just south of Williamsburg and borders Bushwick in the east, Clinton Hill in the west, and Brownsville in the south.

A Close-Knit Community

You will commonly see the residents of Bed-Stuy greeting their neighbors and dressing up to attend Sunday mass. The community was predominantly African-Americans, but gentrification has increased the diversity of residents. Still, the rich culture and heritage of the Black community remain.

As of the 2019 census, the population of Bed-Stuy is 187,404 people, with the following racial breakdown:

  • 50.8% Black or African American
  • 20.1% White
  • 16.9% Hispanic or Latino
  • 4.4% Asian
  • 2.1% American Indian
  • 3.1% Two or more races
  • 2.1% Other races
  • 0.5% Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander

Known for its strong community spirit, Bed-Stuy boasts a variety of cuisines that reflect its multicultural makeup, with Latin American and Caribbean flavors being particularly prominent. Esteemed establishments like A&A Bake and Doubles and Pilar Cuban Eatery are neighborhood gems that celebrate their heritage through their food, bringing the community together and preserving their cultural pride.

The entrepreneurial spirit in Bed-Stuy is another testament to its cultural vitality. The neighborhood has one of the highest concentrations of minority-owned businesses in New York City. These businesses often bridge community service gaps, especially in health, wellness, and fitness, providing essential services to a diverse clientele and reinforcing neighborhood pride.

The community also rallies together to address issues such as food scarcity. Bed-Stuy’s camaraderie is showcased through initiatives that ensure access to fresh and healthy food, demonstrating how the community comes together to support each other in areas where the city’s provisions might be lacking.

Block associations play a pivotal role in fostering Bed-Stuy’s community strength. These organizations are the glue that holds the neighborhood together, offering housing, financial, and educational advice. They also animate the streets with block parties and festivals, adding vibrancy and promoting a rich cultural scene.

The cultural significance of Bed-Stuy is further immortalized by figures such as Biggie Smalls, whose lyrics have put the neighborhood on the global map. Murals and tributes to such icons stand as beacons of Bed-Stuy’s African-American history, despite the demographic changes over the years.

Real Estate in Bed-Stuy

The real estate market in Bedford-Stuyvesant reflects the neighborhood’s growing popularity and the broader trends affecting Brooklyn. As of May 2024, the median sale price for homes in Bed-Stuy was $988,000, which represents a 9.2% increase year over year. Despite the rise in sale prices, the median price per square foot actually saw a decrease of 13.5% from the previous year, settling at $813. This could indicate that while property values remain high, there is a slight adjustment in the market favoring buyers. The number of transactions has also decreased by 10% year over year, which might suggest a cooling period in the market

is bed stuy safe
Looking down a row of historic houses in Brooklyn

In terms of property types, listings in Bed-Stuy vary, including new constructions with modern amenities. For example, a unit on Madison Street was listed at $995,000, featuring two bedrooms and one and a half bathrooms within a 1,318 square foot space. Another listing on Monroe Street boasted a more spacious dwelling with seven bedrooms, indicative of the variety available to potential buyers.

Bed-Stuy is known for having the largest amount of intact Victorian architecture, including historic brownstones. Around 8,800 buildings in Bed-Stuy were built before 1900. Since 2018, gentrification has introduced new real estate developments, wine bars, and coffee shops into the neighborhood.

The real estate landscape in Bedford-Stuyvesant is diverse, providing opportunities for various buyers, from those seeking the classic architecture of brownstones to those interested in modernized living spaces. The neighborhood’s cultural allure, coupled with a strong sense of community, continues to make it an attractive option for real estate investment and homeownership.

Where to Get Educated

Several public schools serve Bed-Stuy and many are named after notable African-Americans. There are also magnet and charter schools in the area, with the Success Academy Charter School-BED Stuy 2 among the highest-rated. There are several colleges in Bed-Stuy, including Mercy College, the College of New Rochelle, and S. Joshef College Brooklyn.

Self-education is also accessible by visiting one of the four Brooklyn Public Library (BPL) branches in Bed-Stuy. Bed-Stuy’s median household income is $57,130, and 58% of residents have an associate degree or higher.

Political Representation

Bed-Stuy is mainly in Brooklyn Community District 3. However, a small section is in Community District 8. The neighborhood is also represented by the:

  • New York’s 8th congressional district
  • The 18th and 25th State Senate districts
  • The 54th, 55th, and 56th State Assembly districts
  • New York City Council’s 36th and 41st districts

Is Bed-Stuy Safe? Resident Perspectives

Crime is higher in the south of Bed-Stuy than in the north. However, overall, Bed-Stuy is much safer than it used to be, and you can walk the streets at night without worry. The 81st and 79th police precincts patrol the neighborhoods east and west of Marcus Garvey Boulevard. There are also seven fire stations in Bed-Stuy.

Resident perspectives on safety in Bedford-Stuyvesant, or Bed-Stuy, reveal a neighborhood actively engaging with its own well-being and improvement. According to local reviews and NYPD statistics, while there has been a general decrease in crime overall, there’s an acknowledgment of increased incidents of violent crimes such as homicides and robberies over the last decade.

However, it’s emphasized that Bed-Stuy is comparably safe to other similarly sized neighborhoods in New York City. Residents understand the importance of staying vigilant, especially when navigating the neighborhood after dark or alone. Moreover, there’s a strong community recommendation to get involved with local block associations or community organizations, which are seen as vital to maintaining safety and enhancing the quality of life for everyone in Bed-Stuy.

Where Can I Eat There?

Bed-Stuy has a growing restaurant scene with delicious options such as authentic Mexican food at Oaxaca and soul food at Peaches Hothouse. Of course, a trip to Brooklyn requires a pizza stop. Visit Saraghina for homemade, wood-fired pizza and grab something to-go at their bakery next door.

You can find 100% vegan and soy-free meals at the Kung Fu themed restaurant Toad Style or grab a Southern-style peach cobbler at Doc’s Cake Shop. More coffee shops are also opening in Bed-Stuy, including a kid-friendly spot with French pastries called Georges-Andre Vintage Cafe.

Getting Around Bed-Stuy

The Bed-Stuy neighborhood is accessible by several bus lines as well as the A, C, and G trains. However, it is walker-friendly and you can easily explore it on foot. The area also has a bike-share system so you can cycle on its numerous bike lanes. You can even ride your bike across the Brooklyn bridge to work in Manhattan.

The heart of Bed-Stuy sees fewer public transportation options with most subway stations located along the neighborhood’s perimeter. This layout means that subway access can be less convenient for those in the central areas, with stations being more spread out than in other parts of Brooklyn.

Nevertheless, residents have a range of subway lines at their disposal, including the A, C, G, and S shuttles, providing connections to broader New York City. A variety of local and Select Bus Services, such as the B7, B15, B20, B25, B26, B38, B43, B46, B47, B52, B54, and Q24, enhance connectivity within the neighborhood and beyond.

Amidst these public transport dynamics, biking has emerged as a popular alternative, with increased CitiBike membership and more bike lanes being added to major avenues to accommodate the growing number of cyclists. Bedford Avenue, Franklin Avenue, Marcy Avenue, and Tompkins Avenue are some of the key thoroughfares with dedicated bike lanes, reflecting the city’s efforts to support this eco-friendly mode of transportation​.

Are There Fun Things to Do?

Bed-Stuy’s history of jazz music lives on in the various music venues in the neighborhood. For example, C’mon Everybody features a large dance floor where you can dance to live bands. Each year there is also a BedStuy Film Festival (BSFF) showcasing films from diverse perspectives.

bedford stuyvesant
Scott ‘Zimer’ Zimmerman and Naoufal ‘Rocko’ Alaoui’s mural of late rapper Christopher ‘Notorious B.I.G.’ Wallace in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York on April 15, 2016. (Photo By Raymond Boyd/Getty Images)

The black community’s heritage is rich in Bed-Stuy, and there are attractions such as the Bedford-Stuyvesant Museum of African Art that celebrates their contributions to American Art. For cooking demonstrations and educational events, visit the community-based farmer’s market called Hattie Carthan Community Market. You can also run, stroll, or enjoy a free concert at one of Brooklyn’s first parks, Herbert Von King Park.

Is Bed Stuy Safe for The Children?

Many young families have settled in Bed-Stuy due to its close-knit community, culture, and kid-friendly activities. Take your kids to a performance at Shadowbox Theatre for multi-media puppet shows geared towards pre-K through grade 3 kids. Or you can visit locations such as Pipsqueak Shoppe to browse toys and books, attend music classes, or meet others during free playtime.

Bed-Stuy also has several playgrounds, including Potomac Playground and St. Andrew’s Playground. It is also nearby Brower Park that is next to the Brooklyn Children’s Museum.

What to Look Out For

  • With only one major park, Bed-Stuy is not considered to have many green spaces compared to other neighborhoods. However, it does have playgrounds, and community gardens have increased in recent years.
  • Some of the living options can be cramped without soundproof walls. So, if the residents in your neighboring brownstone have late-night drumming sessions, they may keep you up.
  • Street parking is free in Brooklyn neighborhoods. While finding available parking is fine, be sure not to leave valuables in plain sight to be safe.
  • Now you should have the information you need to understand what it’s like to live in Bed-Stuy.

Things To Do In Bedford-Stuyvesant

Whether you’re a local, or just visiting, there’s plenty to do and see in this iconic neighborhood. Here’s a list of some of the best things to do in Bed-Stuy:

Visit the Bedford-Stuyvesant Historic District. This is one of the largest and most well-preserved Historic Districts in New York City. It is full of beautiful 19th-century brownstones, churches, and other architectural gems. Take a stroll through the streets and admire the beautiful buildings, or take a self-guided tour to learn more about the history of the area.

Spend a day at Herbert Von King Park. This park is the perfect spot to relax, take a stroll, and enjoy the great outdoors. There’s plenty of open space for activities, a playground for kids, and several cultural attractions, including galleries, a theater and a library.

NEW YORK, NY – JULY 20: Children cool off in water fountains at Herbert Von King Park on July 20, 2019 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. (Photo by Yana Paskova/Getty Images)

Check out the Bed-Stuy Farmer’s Market. This market is held every Sunday from May to November, and it’s the perfect place to pick up some fresh produce, artisanal goods, and other local items. It’s a great way to support local businesses and get to know the neighborhood.

Take a tour of the Brooklyn Brewing Company. This local brewery is one of the most popular in the city. Take a tour to learn more about their brewing process, or simply grab a beer and relax in their taproom.

Have a meal at the Peaches Hothouse. This soul food restaurant is one of the most popular in the area. It’s a great place to enjoy a meal, a drink, and live music.

Shop at the Brooklyn Flea. This flea market is held every Saturday and Sunday, and it’s a great place to find vintage items and unique gifts. These are just some of the many great things to do in Bed-Stuy.


Bedford-Stuyvesant stands as a vibrant and multifaceted community, reflective of Brooklyn’s rich history and contemporary dynamism. From its complex safety landscape to the warmth of its community spirit, Bed-Stuy encapsulates the essence of urban resurgence. Despite facing transportation challenges, residents embrace both the traditional and the innovative, fostering a neighborhood that is connected, culturally enriched, and resilient. Bed-Stuy is not merely a backdrop to New York’s story but a forward-moving protagonist, inviting both its dwellers and visitors to partake in its ongoing narrative of growth and community solidarity.