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Alexandria/Springfield area - safe?

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Milwaukee
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Alexandria/Springfield area - safe?

I noticed the Holiday Inn Express has gotten good reviews since it's been renovated but is that a safe area?

ALEXANDRIA va
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1. Re: Alexandria/Springfield area - safe?

At first I was confused since in the Alexandria Forum of TA, there are no reviews of the Holiday Inn Express on route 1 near Fort Belvoir, and it is not accepting reservations until after April 4th of this year. Then I realized you were posting about a hotel that is NOT in the City of Alexandria at all, but in Fairfax county. Curiously, Trip Advisor lists it first as being in the Southwest area of Washington DC. It's outside of the Beltway and its list of distances to DC and area attractions is very very misleading since they are not the real distances you have to use on a car or subway but as the hotel admits:

"Distances are calculated in a straight line from the property’s location to the point of interest or airport and may not reflect actual travel distance."

In my mind that is not a good sign.

As to the safety of the area, it is near Springfield Mall and Franconia Road so there is nowhere interesting or unique to stroll around at night (unless you count a Talbot's outlet, a Radio Shack, or Chinese restaurant. ) Still, if you are driving and just park in the Hotel parking lot and take the Metro back and forth in the daytime, it should be safe enough. Sorry I can not be more helpful but this hotel is not part of the City of Alexandria forum since it is in Springfield in Fairfax County .I do know however from personal experience that traffic is very heavy driving from there to DC as well as driving back during rush hour and just congested and slow all through the day .

ALEXANDRIA va
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2. Re: Alexandria/Springfield area - safe?

Oops, my wife just reminded me that the our local papers have had sporadic reports of "gang activity" in and around Springfield Mall (a shooting, assault, robbery etc) as well as the Franconia road area where this hotel is located. So if you are planning on being out in the evening, I can't vouch for safety. I did notice on our last visit to Springfield Mall that many stores fronts were closed and boarded up and one entire wing of the Mall looked abandoned. Looks like a classic case of you get what you pay for. Old Town Alexandria is so much nicer and you may be able to find a cheap hotel in Arlington closer in on the metro subway anyway. Last but not least, the Springfield forum on TA may be more familiar with the area and know what is what.

Charm

Milwaukee
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3. Re: Alexandria/Springfield area - safe?

Thank you for your very quick response! Your info on the closed store fronts, etc. is exactly what I was looking for. We'll aim for closer to Old Town. Thanks so much!

ALEXANDRIA va
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4. Re: Alexandria/Springfield area - safe?

Glad to be of help. Interestingly enough, the day after I posted my replies there was a flurry of Washington Post e-comments on this same subject with some very heated remarks. Basically one Springfield resident was upset over the negative picture painted by respondents who feared to have her daughter park at Springfield Mall. Others replied with crime statistics and personal observations similar to mine. Everyone agreed on the sad state of that Mall though. Plus the Yelp site paints a much more dire picture of the safety issue than I did on its posts.

I should have added in my original reply that we have stayed in the suburbs of cities or in less pleasant areas to save money, we have also splurged and stayed right where the fun is, and the pleasure of being able to walk around safely at night after dinner before heading back to the hotel room always trumped the savings. Especially in Rome, Italy

Charm

Milwaukee
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5. Re: Alexandria/Springfield area - safe?

Thanks so much for all your help. We found a good rate at the Residence Inn at Carlyle in Alexandria so decided to stay there. This forum is soooo helpful - thanks again!

6. Re: Alexandria/Springfield area - safe?

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ALEXANDRIA va
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7. Re: Alexandria/Springfield area - safe?

Facts remain facts. Old Town costs more than Springfield because it actually has interesting & historical things to do and see. I've lived in this area for over thirty years and Old Town is much much safer than Springfield for Tourists and visitors. Traffic is a factor also, the B&B in Fairfax county referenced here is two miles from the nearest subway station along a very busy road with no sidewalks. Old Town sidewalks in contrast are full of people and with the spring outdoor tables. When you factor in a place's price, don't forget to consider whether you can take a nice evening stroll along the waterfront after dinner and can really walk to a subway stop.

charm

alexandria,va
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8. Re: Alexandria/Springfield area - safe?

Springfield/alexandria/Franconia is very safe. Old town Alexandria, has some really rough spots also. They have numerous "housing projects" which you do not find in Alexandria, Springfiled, Franconia.

Alexandria, Virginia
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9. Re: Alexandria/Springfield area - safe?

Interesting thread. I was just curious of what the locals thought of the safety of various areas. I just wanted to chime in that the "housing projects" in Old Town are actually being demolished and high price condos are being built in their place. One big example is right by the new community center (cant remember the name) but one side of madison st is already torn down and there is a notice for the residents of the other side.

Alexandria, Virginia
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10. Re: Alexandria/Springfield area - safe?

I can weigh in here as a resident of Old Town. I receive email alerts every morning of all police reports and actions from the previous day. Since I live in the historic "core" I make it my business to know when and where it is safe, as best as can be known.

Most break ins involve the generic kind involving automobiles, stolen property, drunk and disorderly and store thefts along the King Street area. No different than visiting your local Shopping Mall in any town USA. We have had a few high visibility instances of assault with a deadly weapon, mostly late at night...but incredibly too...in broad daylight. Not much you can do in that instance.

The kind of random physical violence does appear to be relegated to the areas surrounding projects and the homeless shelter near Montgomery St. The police reports always site..."known to victim" which is police speak for domestic violence.

Let me repeat, the kinds of issues our town faces are no different than anytown USA. As all occurrences, be aware of your surroundings. Stay to the main area along King Street. Some of our streets are not well lite, so if you need to walk from the core to the hotels north of the historic district, I recommend the hotel shuttles, or a cheap cab (which are plentiful).

I have lived here in the core for 10 years, and 38 in the city. I ain't moving soon!

Come, stay, fall in love with our quaint little village.

Just be aware, as you always should in any unfamiliar town/city!