Urban Legend or Conventional Wisdom

There's some common lore prevalent in South City: avoid state streets. I've heard this enough times from various people throughout the region for it to stick.

I think the perception is that the state streets are ghetto. Is this true or not? How did this start? All I know is that this is either urban legend, conventional wisdom, or purely outdated logic.

I am leaning toward the latter. We are searching for a home in South City and are considering Benton Park West, Tower Grove South, Tower Grove East, Shaw and Fox Park. Some of these have "state streets" and most are not bad. However there are a few state streets near Gravois Park, particularly Texas, that does seem rather menacing at times. Example: I ride a scooter through the city, searching for streets that I like, businesses, cool buildings, etc. When I encounter large groups of people hanging out in the middle of the street, who don't move out of the way, for whatever reason, that bothers me. That's one of my definitions of "a bad street/neighborhood". I can't deal with that bullshit.

But those are the rare occurrences, the exception and not the rule when it comes to my experience with state streets. It's quite possible that the only way to determine whether there is any truth to the lore on the state streets is in the definition of what is commonly considered a good or bad street/neighborhood. I'll give that some thought for an upcoming post.
I have a feeling my opinions differ from the hoi polloi.