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Old 02-07-2010, 09:31 PM
 
Location: San Antonio
63 posts, read 213,350 times
Reputation: 38

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Hey there! I have an interesting situation. I am currently living in my hometown, San Antonio. My husband, after having spent the last 2 years in Madrid, Spain, was transferred to the Dallas area this past week. I am a high school teacher, so will be moving up there in the summer. I am not familiar with the region at all so need some advice regarding commute.

My husband is an engineer working with Ferrovial/Cintra on the NTE ducks head Having spent the last couple of years in Madrid, he is now used to an urban environment and the suburbia I live in here in SA is NOT what he is looking for. His office is in Hurst, so closer to Arlington. Some of his colleagues have mentioned that the commute to Hurst is not bad from Uptown Dallas since most of the traffic is heading INTO the city as opposed to out. He has been focusing his apartment search in the downtown region because he also likes having proximity to shops and dining. Madrid had an excellent subway system, so he is very used to being on foot now, although he would obviously be driving to work. I am concerned that the traffic will be worse then he is being told. I guess, in a nutshell, he is looking for urban living with a 30 minute or so commute to work. He checked out some of the suburbs around DFW and still feels drawn to city life instead.

In your opinion, is living in Uptown feasible with working in Hurst? Would downtown Fort Worth be a better choice?

Thanks!
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Old 02-08-2010, 06:05 AM
 
Location: Grapevine, Texas
10,561 posts, read 22,476,137 times
Reputation: 8384
Yes, downtown FW would be much better. Dallas to Hurst is a LONG drive! I would allow at least 45 minutes a day to make that trip. Since you aren't used to driving in Dallas traffic, do keep in mind that whenever it rains, or if there is a large accident, the freeways will be VERY slow and it will only add to your commute time. In bad weather, he could be looking at well over an hour each way!

Also factor in the cot of gas (currently $2.35 a gallon) and the additional wear and tear on your car. (You will have to have it serviced more often, buy tires, and the value will depreciate more quickly because it will be higher mileage.) Your car insurance may also go up since you are driving such a long way each day.

Plus, there is the TIME element. What is losing time at home worth to you? IMHO, it is NOT worth it to spend an hour each morning and each afternoon sitting in your car just to commute back and forth to a "cool" place. I would much rather live somewhere fairly close to my work that has some of what I am looking for and visit the "cool" place on weekends.
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Old 02-08-2010, 09:22 AM
 
32,588 posts, read 51,171,562 times
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the downtown area of FTW has upgraded significantly in past 10+ years due to the construction of Sundance Square, the Trinity River project and associated TCCC site and a large condo construction project...
the area right across the river along Seventh St has also started to regenerate the area by Will Rogers Coliseum--the Montgomery Ward warehouse bldg has been turned into lofts with restaurants/retail on first floor...
FTW also has pretty active museum section close to there--the MoMA of FTW, the Amon Carter Western Art museum, the Kimbell and the newly revamped Museum of Science are all fairly close and in that area housing is starting to see increase desireability
TCU has a viable presence inside the loop and there are several theater groups not to mention the Bass Hall itself

it would be MUCH easier to get to Hurst from downtown FTW or some other FTW neighborhoods than from Dallas

that being said--FTW is not as urban as Dallas--but that is a postive attribute in that traffic and other downsides are also reduced...
Dallas itself is fairly easy commute on freeway from FTW on weekends or during the week for shopping if you are going off-hours so to speak...
there is the FTW rail system that goes from downtown FTW into the American Airlines center area where you can make connection to other Dallas public transport but the hours of useage are not that convenient and most people making the trek choose to drive for whatever they are doing
however there are some people who DO use the Trinity Rail to commute to work in either Dallas or FTW
there is talk to add link to DFW airport but that probably won't happen within next 5 yrs if ever

check out the FTW board itself for some information or just Google
Sundance Square, Ft Worth museums, Bass Hall

does this mean you would be looking for teaching job when you make the move?

if so--understand this is one of the most competitive areas for finding a teaching job--
lots of universities graduating new teachers each year and plenty of alt-cert people looking for teaching job
Region XI and X--FTW and Dallas area for TEA respectively I think--have web sites with info as to ISDs in area and job search
some of the better regarded/paying districts in FTW area would be Birdville ISD, HEB ISD, Grapevine-Colleyville ISD, Southlake-Carroll ISD, Lewisville ISD, Northwest ISD (although that is well north of the 820 Loop), Keller ISD
Coppell ISD,
Arlington, Fort Worth, Grand Prairie ISDs are all larger, urban and while people are usually pretty glad to have a job teaching there the districts themselves are not ranked top tier

In Dallas side--Dallas ISD has several well-ranked magnet schools but the high schools vary a great deal depending on location and catchment students--management in DISD always presents poorly for the most part--
Richardson, Plano, Garland., Irving. Farmer's Branch-Carrollton are area ISDs

Last edited by loves2read; 02-08-2010 at 09:32 AM..
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Old 02-08-2010, 07:46 PM
 
Location: San Antonio
63 posts, read 213,350 times
Reputation: 38
Thank you both for such awesome, detailed responses! I agree that the commute would be insane. Traffic can get very bad here, so I know it can only be worse in Dallas considering the massive change in city size/population.

For me, my time is much more valuable than making a long commute. Even here I made it a point to live within 20 minutes of my job, so I am very close. Husband is a little different though! For him, being downtown is worth the drive--granted, he may feel vastly different after doing it for a couple of months. Essentially, I told him to do whatever he wants since I won't even be there until the summer. I think he will shoot for a 6-month lease in an apartment and then we can take it from there. He's a man, so unfortunately he will have to learn it the hard way!

I will be looking for a teaching job. Obviously where we are living will play a significant role since I am not interested in a long commute to/from work. I am indeed concerned about finding a job since it was difficult to find one here. My field--high school social studies--is not exactly the in-demand area. I have no experience coaching, which seems to go hand in hand almost with Social Studies teachers, at least here in SA. Other options for me will be to continue my education as I have been interested in returning to school to get a nursing degree. The plus about the DFW area is that there will be more nursing school options as opposed to here in SA where only 2 places will either get you an ASN or a BSN.

He also mentioned Las Colinas, so maybe I can talk him into suburbia after all. I will be making a trip to Dallas this weekend, so I look forward to checking things out.

Thanks again,
Liz
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Old 02-08-2010, 10:00 PM
 
Location: Grapevine, Texas
10,561 posts, read 22,476,137 times
Reputation: 8384
DEFINITELY check out Las Colinas! The area right down by the canal is pretty neat, and maybe DH would be happy with that and he wouldn't have to put up with the horrible commute back and forth to Dallas.

I live 12 miles from my job. It usually takes me 15 minutes to drive to work. In today's rain, it took almost 40 minutes! So, remind your husband that a long commute can get REALLY long when the weather is awful!
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Old 02-08-2010, 10:15 PM
 
32,588 posts, read 51,171,562 times
Reputation: 18450
article in FTW paper past week or so about the coming impact of having more than enough nurses--
the shortage existed and salaries were increased to draw quality candidates but now the economy and the increased # of men and women entering the profession have just about caused a flood vs dearth of applicants
so people basically should not count on going to nursing school and having an easy time finding a job
story suggested that many people might be better off become PA--physician's assistants

the nursing program at UT Arlington is one of the best in the country from what I understand and difficult admission


social studies in TX is mainly the preserve of men/coaches--at least in my area...there have been women who were ONLY SS instructors in my high school--one was head of dept for years and years...
but it is difficult
you might consider offering to coach the Academic Decathelon team--or head another student activity like NHS or StuCo--

remember that around here (maybe like SA) hiring starts early--contracts go out in March--but many times the principal knows ahead of time people who are not coming back...
this year I think districts may very well be hiring later--waiting to see how their numbers are going to go--at least one district around FTW -- the Crowley ISD--is having some significant budget shortfalls--it built two new middle schools that it could not open this year because it could not afford to staff them...
tax revenues are falling and the state is going to have budget shortfall as well so it will not be ponying up any extra funds--
the govenor made sure TX schools did not get any extra Obama money too

IMO--you and your husband need to have serious discussion about whether or not you should try for teaching job and where--you don't want to be offered a job in one district and wind up living a hour's drive away--
teaching is difficult enough without having to make that kind of commute...
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Old 02-08-2010, 11:03 PM
 
2,231 posts, read 5,615,909 times
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Libra1018, I did a map route using google maps. I charted a route from 2500 McKinney in Uptown to the center of Hurst, Texas. Total mileage was 23.5 miles, and estimated travel time was 30 minutes, assuming fairly moderate freeway conditions.

Since your husband would be driving against the normal commute flow, and would still be somewhat remote from the approaches to Fort Worth, this seems like a reasonable assumption.

Personally, I'd do it if I were in his situation. Driving 45 miles per day, round trip, is not that extreme in the larger scope of things. Especially if someone finds suburban, low density living unbearable. The gasoline consumption would be 2 gallons per day, maybe about $5 per day, a little over $100 per month.

There's another factor... family harmony. It's him that will have to drive, so he must balance the impact of a 30 minute one way commute against the immpact of living in an environment that is not where he wants to be. After living in a large European city for 2 years with a dense urban network of buildings and transit, downtown Fort Worth would probably not cut it. Uptown/Downtown Dallas may not cut it either, but it may be the closest he can come to a true urban environment.
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Old 02-08-2010, 11:17 PM
 
2,231 posts, read 5,615,909 times
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Actually, it's even better. My previous route of 24 miles and 30 minutes assumes he will have to drive thru the local Hurst streets to approximately the center of Hurst. I had to assume that, because I don't know where the Ferrovia/Centra office is.

Since the project he is being hired for is in fact remedial work on highway 183 itself, I might reasonably assume his office is on or near the freeway itself. Mapping a route using that assumption, I get a much better travel time.

The route from the center of Uptown to a location on US 183 now reduces to 20.8 miles and 21 minutes, or 45 minutes in heavy traffic conditions.

If I couldn't stand living in a low density area, and wanted a true urban lifestyle, I would gladly accept the prospect of a 21 minute commute. I would gladly live in Uptown and commute to Hurst, under that scenario.
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Old 02-08-2010, 11:24 PM
 
2,231 posts, read 5,615,909 times
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I recalculated the route under the assumption that he would be living in downtown Fort Worth and driving to an office on US183 halfway across Hurst. The travel time is pretty much the same as the Uptown/Hurst route.

The distance is 16.2 miles. The time is 20 minutes, or 35 minutes in traffic.

Thus, the Fort Worth option is really not any better than the Uptown option in terms of commute time, or just 4 miles better in terms of mileage.

The Uptown/Downtown option is a much more extensive and diverse option than the downtown Fort Worth option.
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Old 02-08-2010, 11:32 PM
 
2,231 posts, read 5,615,909 times
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What if he were living in downtown Dallas, say in Victory Park?

Then the commute time goes down to 19 minutes... golly, he saves a whole 60 seconds. The relative advantage speaks for itself.
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