ABQ offers so much and many great neighborhoods!
I've lived here, moved away from here, and moved back, and couldn't be happier that I did. Am I careful where I choose to live here? Absolutely, as I have been when I've lived elsewhere.
Just like all cities or metro areas with nearly 1 million people, there are good areas and there are bad. Nobody forces you to live in the bad, and the great part about ABQ is that there are affordable housing options in many safe neighborhoods. ABQ is largely comprised of suburban style neighborhoods, most of which have quiet streets and rarely experience what you've described. Is it perfect? No, far from it, but move away from the Central Avenue corridor, and your experience will be different. Problems like homelessness, poverty, education, transportation, immigration, quality employment, and access to healthcare are not unique to Albuquerque. When combined, they breed crime. That's why there are 22 other cities listed as having worse crime than Albuquerque, including Myrtle Beach, St. Louis, Detroit, Stockton, San Bernardino, Baltimore, Wilmington, Kansas City and 14 others.
This happens to be one of the most naturally beautiful landscapes in the country, with clear blue skies, colorful sunsets, 320+ days with sunshine, an abundance of outdoor activities, fairly mild desert climate, well regarded medical facilities, fairly affordable housing market, minimal traffic jams and reasonable commute times. It's an area that is rich in culture, that welcomes artists and creative talent, that has high tech engineering jobs, that is a comfortable place to retire, that younger families can afford to buy a home, and is a short distance from tons of fun daytrips or weekend getaways.
The metro area includes about 55 square miles, with neighborhoods and communities within areas that are urban, historic, suburban, rural, wooded, agricultural, high density, low density, traditional, gated, planned, unincorporated, mountainside, on the bluff, along the river banks, in villages, small towns, and small cities. From Sandia Park to Rio Rancho, or Corrales to Four Hills, and Sandia Heights to Volcano Cliffs, Ventana Ranch & Bosque Farms, you'll find very low crime rates, quiet nights, several school districts with very favorable ratings, and wide variety of residents with diverse backgrounds.
Debbi | Albuquerque, NM