Safety First: Is Woodside Safe?

Woodside, located in the borough of Queens in New York City, has a long-established history as a thriving, vibrant community. However, like any urban area, prospective residents or visitors often wonder about safety levels. This article will delve into the safety profile of Woodside, NY, analyzing various metrics, anecdotal evidence, and comparing it to broader New York City and national averages.

Woodside is a neighborhood located in the western portion of the borough of Queens in New York City. Its boundaries can vary slightly depending on the source, but they are generally recognized as follows:

  • To the north, Woodside is bordered by Astoria and Jackson Heights, typically along Northern Boulevard.
  • To the east, it borders Elmhurst and Maspeth, generally along 69th Street.
  • To the south, it’s bounded by Maspeth and Sunnyside, often marked by Queens Boulevard and the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) tracks.
  • To the west, it adjoins Sunnyside, with the boundary typically running along 50th Street or the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway.

These boundaries encompass an area that is rich in cultural diversity, with a mix of residential, commercial, and industrial zones. It’s important to note that neighborhood boundaries in New York City can be fluid and somewhat subjective, and the limits outlined here represent a commonly accepted delineation.

Woodside History

Woodside’s roots trace back to the mid-17th century, evolving from a settlement into a bustling, diverse neighborhood. Over centuries, it has seen periods of economic growth and downturn, leading to fluctuating crime rates. However, since the 1990s, as New York City embarked on aggressive anti-crime measures, Woodside experienced a steady decrease in crime, mirroring the broader trends across the city.

Present Day Woodside Crime Statistics

As of the early 2020s, NYC crime statistics highlight that Woodside is safer than many perceive. According to the NYPD’s crime data, the 108th precinct, which covers Woodside, consistently has crime rates lower than the city’s average. These statistics include both violent crimes such as robberies and assaults, and non-violent offenses like thefts and burglaries.

Comparatively, the crime rate per 100,000 residents in Woodside is lower than both the New York City and national averages. This data, when taken into account with the falling crime trends city-wide, suggests that Woodside is indeed a safe place to live and work.

Public Perception & Anecdotal Evidence

Hard data alone doesn’t provide a comprehensive picture of an area’s safety; residents’ feelings of safety are also essential. In a 2022 survey conducted by a local Queens newspaper, a majority of Woodside residents reported feeling safe in their neighborhood. Participants cited a strong sense of community, effective policing, and the area’s walkability as key contributors to their perception of safety.

Many residents noted they felt comfortable walking around Woodside, even in the evenings. Locals also lauded the NYPD for maintaining a visible and responsive presence. However, like any urban environment, there were those who expressed concerns about safety at night, with some isolated incidents of crime mentioned.

Comparative Safety to Other NYC Boroughs

When comparing Woodside to other NYC boroughs, it stands out favorably. While Manhattan, the Bronx, and parts of Brooklyn have higher crime rates, Woodside maintains a relatively low and steady rate. Staten Island and certain areas in Queens and Brooklyn with lower crime rates are comparable to Woodside.

Is Woodside Safe?: Community Policing and Crime Prevention

The NYPD’s 108th precinct, responsible for policing Woodside, employs community policing strategies to enhance safety. The Neighborhood Coordination Officers (NCO) program is a cornerstone of this approach. NCO officers familiarize themselves with the local community, building relationships with residents and addressing their concerns.

Woodside’s community is also active in crime prevention, with neighborhood watch programs and regular meetings with police officials. Several non-profit organizations in the area are focused on addressing social issues that often contribute to crime, such as homelessness and substance abuse. Their efforts are instrumental in fostering a safer community environment.

Other Safety Concerns

Safety is not just about crime; it’s also about infrastructure and emergency preparedness. Woodside boasts well-maintained infrastructure, including reliable public transportation and good lighting in public areas, factors that contribute to safety.

In terms of emergency response, Woodside has excellent coverage from police, fire, and medical services. The Fire Department of New York (FDNY) and numerous hospitals and clinics service the area, ensuring rapid response times for emergencies.

Woodside Schools

Woodside, NY, is a neighborhood filled with a rich array of educational institutions, offering opportunities for a diverse and multicultural student body. Here’s a brief overview of some of the key schools in the Woodside area, including public, private, and charter institutions, each offering unique programs and approaches to education.

  1. P.S. 11 Kathryn Phelan: Serving grades PK-6, P.S. 11 Kathryn Phelan is a part of the NYC Department of Education’s District 30. The school offers an enriching academic environment focusing on literacy, mathematics, science, and social studies. The curriculum also includes art, music, physical education, and technology.
  2. P.S. 152 Gwendoline N. Alleyne School: This school serves grades PK-5 and provides a variety of academic programs, including gifted and talented programs. The school emphasizes community engagement and parent involvement.
  3. I.S. 125 Thom J. McCann Woodside: This public middle school serves grades 6-8. I.S. 125 provides rigorous instruction in core academic subjects while also offering programs in performing arts, sports, and technology.
  4. Razi School: A private Islamic school serving grades PK-12. The Razi School offers an integrated curriculum focusing on academic excellence, Islamic values, and fostering a sense of community.
  5. St. Sebastian Roman Catholic School: This private Catholic school serves grades PK-8 and provides a values-based education. The curriculum integrates faith and knowledge, offering classes in religion, language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies.
  6. Greater New York Academy: A Seventh-day Adventist high school that serves grades 9-12. The school aims to provide an academically challenging, Christ-centered education.
  7. New York City Academy for Discovery: A public elementary school that serves grades PK-5. The school’s curriculum is designed to foster intellectual curiosity and discovery.
  8. Woodside Community School: A public school serving grades PK-5. This school focuses on creating a supportive and challenging learning environment that encourages students to succeed acadically and socially.

In addition to these schools, Woodside also hosts various after-school programs and extracurricular activities that supplement formal education. These include art clubs, sports programs, music programs, and more.

The diverse array of educational institutions in Woodside reflect its multicultural population. Each school brings a unique approach to education, providing numerous opportunities for students to learn, grow, and excel.


However, it is important to remember that safety can often be subjective, varying from person to person based on their experiences and perceptions. Residents are encouraged to remain vigilant and play an active role in maintaining the safety of their neighborhood.

While no urban area is immune to crime, the data suggests that Woodside is a safe, welcoming community. It is a neighborhood that has seen a significant decrease in crime over the past few decades, thanks to dedicated law enforcement and a community committed to preserving its safety.

Woodside is a testament to how collaboration between law enforcement, community organizations, and residents can create a safer living environment. It serves as a benchmark for other communities striving to improve their safety profile and offers a blueprint for how cities can effectively reduce crime rates and improve public safety.