Floods, fires, poxes, and vermin appear to be popular right now for many residents of New York City. As a result, buyers and renters are increasingly concerned about their safety when it comes time to move.
“Home has never been more important, and we’re seeing safety ranking as one of the top factors in rent renewals,” Lily Liu, CEO at Piñata, a rental membership and rewards platform, told New York Post.
On Oct. 7, the City Council, prompted by the destruction caused by Hurricane Ida, moved to pressure the city government to remake the city to survive higher temperatures and rising seas. The council enacted legislation that mandates City Hall to develop a comprehensive plan to protect every city community from the threats of climate change, The New York Times reported.
Under the bill, the mayor must develop a plan to address a wide range of threats, including rising seas, extreme heat, and floods from hurricanes and downpours, as well as a list of solutions to ensure that all agencies work together to solve the problem.
The New York Post recently compiled and compared area data on everything from flood zones to crime rates, proximity to hospitals, 911 response times, evacuation routes, average temperature, green space, and even rats per capita to find the safest neighborhood in New York City.
While several neighborhoods stood out, one unexpected area took the cake. Fresh Meadows is the name of the neighborhood.
In terms of safety and quality of life, the data shows that a small slice of Queens, located between the Long Island Expressway, Union Turnpike, Cunningham Park, and 164th Street, surpasses every other part of the city.
For example, New York City experienced its second-wettest summer on record, with 24.25 inches of rain, which created enormous flooding that cost billions and turned subway stations into rat aquariums. Yet, fresh Meadows remained relatively dry because the neighborhood is outside the major flood zones.
The flood risk caused by global warming is also increasing slower rate there than the national average. Fresh Meadows was less damaged by the storm than Woodside, Hollis Hills, and Flushing, all nearby.
In addition, according to the city’s crime map, for 2021, Fresh Meadows records zero murders (compared to six on the Upper East Side and 19 in Cypress Hills, Brooklyn). With a response time of only 1.9 minutes, it is also among the top three fastest 911 response times.
One more thing is due to more green space per capita than most other city neighborhoods, and the temperature in the northeast corner of “the world’s boro” is notably lower.
Today, the area has two parks: Cunningham Park, which is 358 acres, and Alley Pond Park, which is 655.3 acres, the second largest park in Queens.
Queens Medical Center in nearby Flushing is the nearest hospital to Fresh Meadows. In addition, it is conveniently located between two major highways, the Long Island Expressway and the Grand Central Parkway.
Those highways are also, theoretically, important evacuation routes if the worst happens to New York City.
The neighborhood also has the lowest rat reports per square mile, with only three.
“Fresh Meadows has historically been a very sought-after neighborhood because it has lots of green space and low crime,” said Ali Rashid, broker and owner of Kingsland Properties in Fresh Meadows.
According to RedFin, the average sales price of a property in Fresh Meadows is $915,000.