Rhinecliff wrote:The Rochester, NY station is located on the fringe of one of the most crime-infested areas of America. It is not a safe place hang out. Any doubts should be resolved by contacting the local police for their insight.
I think it comes down to each individual's comfort level, where they live, and what sort of environment they find familiar. On this and other forums, I've noticed that people who tend to be most ill-at-ease about stepping from a train in an unfamiliar city, especially after dark, tend to live in the suburbs or in small towns.
On the flip side, people (such as yours truly) who have always
lived in the middle of huge, dark cities tend to be far less leery of urban areas. It's a matter of what you're accustomed to, which is why many non-city dwellers seem to find even fairly benign (if deserted) downtown areas foreign and vaguely threatening.
That doesn't mean I don't use caution (and when in extreme doubt, I always take a taxi from the station). But I've often received dire warnings on this and other forums about venturing into new areas ("steer clear of the east side of Buffalo!" "watch out in Memphis!" "don't set foot in East L.A.!" "never walk around on the outskirts of the Chicago Loop late at night!"). Frankly, I found the areas quite tame compared to my own home town and some of the neighborhoods I've lived in -- although I admit I'd think twice before taking a casual stroll through Camden, NJ or Gary, IN.
I guess the moral is to go with your intuition. Use your brain. Stick to the main thoroughfares and avoid smaller side streets. And if the mere thought of walking along under-populated city byways after dark gives you the willies, always ride instead of walk.