Oh, sweet irony. It was Chris Rock who joked that Martin Luther King Boulevards are typically found in the worst neighborhoods in every city. Even more alarming (or perfectly American) is that in many of the most dangerous neighborhoods in America you'll find plenty of streets named after the most revered Americans—our former presidents. So in honor of Presidents Day, we take a look at the Most Dangerous Streets Named After Presidents. If you're planning to visit, put the Grants over there in the safe, spend your Jacksons before you leave, and in your will, make sure the Washingtons go to wifey...-Julian Kimble @JRK316
Adams Blvd., Los Angeles (University of Southern California)
With a lot of young people unfamiliar with an area living on their own for the first time, college campuses and their bordering neighborhoods are often a hotbed for theft. This block has the same name as John Adams, the second President and one of the founding fathers of the United States. It was also No. 13 on a 2010 list of the 15 Worst College Neighborhoods for Property Crime in America, with an estimated 401 thefts per 1,000 residents.
Harrison St., Springfield, Mo. (Southwest Missouri State University)
This street, which shares its name with our ninth President William Henry Harrison (who died on his 32nd day in office), was No. 12 on that 2010 list of the 15 Worst College Neighborhoods for Property Crime in America. With estimated property crime rates of 419 per 1,000 residents, we understand why.
Jefferson St., Philadelphia
Thomas Jefferson was the third president of the United States, and the primary scribe of the Declaration of Independence, which was written in Philadelphia. So yes, Philly’s rich with U.S. history, but it's also got its share of nabes rich with crime and the North Philly corner at 17th and Jefferson streets is infamous for the codeine-based cough medicine and Xanax treat we all know as syrup. The violence on this block is actually pretty low, but that’s because it’s a place of business, and the dealers here are considerably older than their counterparts in other neighborhoods. Does that make the purple drank the gentlemen’s drug of choice?
Roosevelt Rd., Little Rock, Ark.
This Arkansas neighborhood sports the name of two presidents, sharing the cowboy attitude of Teddy Roosevelt, but lacking the optimism of FDR. Ranking 15th on the most recent list of the 25 Most Dangerous Neighborhoods, this area has 242 predicted annual violent crimes, and you face a 1 in 8 chance of becoming a statistic if you visit. Around these parts, they bring gats to fireside chats.
Washington Ave., St. Louis
How lovely is it that the 1st President shares his name with one of the most the worst neighborhoods in St. Louis? Washington Avenue is near the neighborhood of 14th Street and Dr. Martin Luther King Drive (insert joke here), ranked 14th on the list of Most Dangerous Neighborhoods, and home to 262 predicted annual crimes and a 1 in 8 chance of becoming a victim.
Carter St., Atlanta
Jimmy Carter is the lone U.S. President to receive the Nobel Peace Prize after leaving office, winning the award in 2002. Ironically enough, this Atlanta street of the same name ranked No. 5 on a 2010 list of the 25 Most Dangerous Neighborhoods. With an estimated 118 annual violent crimes and a 1 in 8 chance of getting bodied, this street might need the former Governor of Georgia to conduct peace negotiations. That’s not likely though.
Adams Ave. & Monroe Ave., Kansas City
John Adams shows up once again and this time he’s joined by James Monroe, the fifth President. The avenues of Adams and Monroe are near the neighborhood of Bales Ave. and 30th St., which ranks No. 6 on the list of the 25 Most Dangerous Neighborhoods. This area proudly boasts 220 annual violent crimes and you have a 1 in 7 chance of becoming a victim there. Anyone feel lucky?
W. Adams St. & W. Monroe St., Jacksonville, Fla.
Adams and Monroe once more. These streets are right by the Jacksonville neighborhood of Beaver and Broad (aside: hahahahahahahaha!). This place was fourth on the list of Most Dangerous Neighborhoods, with just 47 projected violent crimes annually, but a 1 in 5 chance of getting murked out. Memo to all city planners: refrain from naming streets after these two gentlemen. That is all.
Garfield Blvd., Chicago
Sadly, our 20th President James A. Garfield survived a mere 200 days in office before he was assassinated in 1881. His presidency was the second shortest in history, behind only…*drumroll*…William Henry Harrison. Coincidentally, this Chicago block which features his name was the runner-up for the Most Dangerous Neighborhood, with 275 estimated violent crimes for the year. When you have a 1 in 4 chance in becoming a victim, it’s probably best to just stay away. No matter how you spin it, the odds are not in your favor.