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Old 10-23-2009, 11:06 AM
Location: Roswell, GA
676 posts, read 1,606,626 times
Reputation: 415
I've lived in Roswell for almost four years now, and for the first three of those I was flying out of ATL on Sunday or Monday and returning Thursday night or Friday most weeks. Parking at North Springs and taking MARTA to the airport works pretty well if you're leaving mid-morning or later and your return flight arrives late afternoon early evening. Unfortunately, for a lot of my trips, I was on outbound flights between 6 and 8 am, and my return flight very often arrived after 8 or 9 pm. This makes taking MARTA much more of a hassle for a few reasons.

One is that if your flight is very early in the morning, it may not be possible to get there in time on MARTA. The first train from North Springs station is at 4:49 am on weekdays, and arrives at the Airport station at 5:36. Given the recommendation that you arrive at the airport no less than one hour before your flight (and that Delta requires you to check bags no less than 45 minutes before departure, if you're checking bags), that's unworkable for any flight before about 6:45. For most of last summer and fall, I was catching either the 6 am or 6:45 am Delta ATL-LGA flights every Monday morning, so taking MARTA was out for me. Another factor in this is that even if you're taking a slightly later flight, the security lines get longer pretty quickly between 7 am and 9 am (particularly on Monday mornings), so that even if you arrive an hour before your flight time, you may not make it through security in time.

Another problem is that for later flights, the worst of the traffic was actually between me and the MARTA station -- getting on 400 at Holcomb Bridge Road and driving to the exit for the North Springs station would often take longer than the rest of the drive from there to the airport, even factoring in the slow traffic from the end of 400 at I-85 through downtown. So you're going to be fighting traffic even if you do take MARTA.

Another is the shuffle you have to do on the North Line to North Springs after 9 pm -- MARTA single-tracks the trains north of Lindbergh after 9 pm, so if you're traveling from the Airport to North Springs, you have to get off the train at Lindbergh and change to the North Line train. It doesn't sound like a big deal, but when it's 11:45 at night on a Thursday and you're returning from being on the road since 4 am Monday (and possibly have been sitting in an airplane on the tarmac at LGA or Newark and then in the air since mid-afternoon) it's just one more soul-grinding inconvenience, particularly with luggage.

Given all that, and considering that my parking charges were generally a reimbursable expense, I typically drove to the airport and parked unless I was leaving and returning in the middle of the day. For flights before 7 am, I had things down to the point where I could be at any gate on the A or B concourses almost exactly one hour from the time I pulled out of my driveway in East Roswell. For a flight later in the morning, however, I'd have to factor in the time to get through traffic and through the longer security lines.

All things considered, I'd still look at Alpharetta, Roswell, and Dunwoody, though. When we bought our house, I also had an office in Buckhead and was traveling to the airport most weeks. Dunwoody was our first choice and Roswell second, but we had to move quickly and there were more options in our price range in Roswell than Dunwoody, so we ended up here and have never regretted it.
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Old 10-23-2009, 11:56 AM
Location: Marietta, GA
7,652 posts, read 9,287,861 times
Reputation: 3168
I have an office (and spend time) in Alpharetta and live near Kennesaw. Personally we made the choice for Cobb and an additional commute when necessary. The school system, the tax structure, the management of the county in General is much better in Cobb in my opinion.

As for commute to the airport, I did it from Alpharetta last night, and go there from home in Cobb many times. The ride down 75 or 400 is about the same, with the Cobb ride being just a bit shorter. The big difference though is that if GA 400 is backed up, then you're stuck. From my house, I can take back roads or I-285 to get the airport. With no significant traffic, it's no more than 45 min. Commuting anywhere from Alpharetta really puts you on GA400 and that can be tough.

Alpharetta is very nice, but it's really 6 of one and a half dozen of the other. We prefer Cobb.
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Old 10-23-2009, 11:58 AM
Location: East Cobb
2,205 posts, read 4,030,220 times
Reputation: 855
I agree with Rackensack and would add a couple of extra points:

(1) My employer gets a discount rate at some of the airport offsite parking lots, which makes the parking cost the same or cheaper than parking at North Springs.

(2) As a woman, I'm reluctant to risk taking MARTA alone late at night. I'm fine with it during busy times, but not comfortable with idea of taking it when there aren't many people around. This concern would be compounded by having to change trains at Lindbergh, and then get to my car at North Springs.

I was once returning from a business trip to the midwest and had my flight delayed for hours due to weather. I was happy that when I eventually arrived at Hartsfield-Jackson after 1am, the offsite parking vendor had a bus waiting and delivered me directly to my car, in their secured lot.
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Old 10-23-2009, 12:03 PM
Location: East Cobb
2,205 posts, read 4,030,220 times
Reputation: 855
Originally Posted by neil0311 View Post
Alpharetta is very nice, but it's really 6 of one and a half dozen of the other. We prefer Cobb.
Worth considering. I live in north-east Cobb and find it convenient to drive to MARTA's North Springs station at times (as per my previous post). Depending on the time of day and the traffic, we take either 400 or 75/285 to the airport. Admittedly, we're a few miles from 400 and 75 - not really close to either. So there are trade-offs.
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Old 10-23-2009, 12:31 PM
28 posts, read 52,724 times
Reputation: 24
Just visited the Sandy Springs and Dunwoody area and will probably settle for that area given the ease to get to Lenox Rd. All those areas were really nice, although we did have some really dicey traffic driving throughout Dunwoody. As goes life... Thanks for all the feedback. Really appreciate the attention everyone has given to my thread.
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Old 02-21-2010, 07:51 PM
3 posts, read 5,886 times
Reputation: 10
agree with all replies....alpharetta is far better
as far as finding a teaching job....the only thing going in her favor is that she is math certified! With 20 years experience, I was one of the teacher budget cuts last year in Fulton County because I worked part time as a gifted ed teacher. However, Fulton seems to have canceled their teacher fair for math/science teachers.
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