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Old 04-23-2012, 07:57 PM
 
342 posts, read 906,923 times
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I know I have been asking a lot of questions...but if anyone is willing to help...

I will be working in commerce city next year. I've already established I don't want to live there. I am looking for a nice place within a reasonable commute. It seems that there are tons of places that are within a 15-25 minute drive according to mapquest, but how is that affected by traffic? I don't mind a longer commute if I'm actually driving at a reasonable pace the whole time- I've done that before and wasn't bothered by it. However, I think the constant stop-and-go traffic of Denver would make a longer commute less tolerable to me. For example, mapquest says my work is 16 minutes from city park. How much would it be in rush hour traffic though? I was driving around the area yesterday and couldn't believe how packed it was on a Sunday afternoon, so I can't imagine what it's like during rush hour.

Ideally, I'd like a neighborhood more outside the city with access to the light rail. I want access to the city, but I don't know if I'm really cut out to live right in the city, if that makes sense. I've lived in "car neighborhoods" my whole life so "walkability" isn't as important to me. Really I just want to be able to get to nightlife downtown without having to worry about a DD. That's one of the things that drives me nuts about where I live now- no available public transportation.

My ideal place would be:
-Not right in the city, but with access to light rail
-Somewhere with many other young professionals, not as family-oriented (does this exist outside of downtown?)
-Within 25 minutes of actual driving time, with traffic included, of work
-Rent 800 a month or less, with total expenses including utilities being under 1,000
-Does not have to be fancy, but clean, well kept, and safe is a must

Does any such place exist? Neighborhoods to look in? Apartment complexes? I really like the greenwood village area, but it seems it's too far from work.
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Old 04-23-2012, 08:12 PM
 
Location: The Berk in Denver, CO USA
14,022 posts, read 20,330,583 times
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Default Forget the train

Light rail does not go anywhere near Commerce City.
Forget the train.

Greenwood Village is not in the running. Location and price are out.

I would advocate for Arvada, Thornton.
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Old 04-23-2012, 08:15 PM
 
342 posts, read 906,923 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davebarnes View Post
Light rail does not go anywhere near Commerce City.
Forget the train.
I am not looking to take the light rail to work, as I said in the post I am looking to take it from my apartment to downtown for nightlife.
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Old 04-23-2012, 08:19 PM
 
Location: The Berk in Denver, CO USA
14,022 posts, read 20,330,583 times
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Default Not the train

Quote:
Originally Posted by harrison21 View Post
I am not looking to take the light rail to work, as I said in the post I am looking to take it from my apartment to downtown for nightlife.
You will spend the most time driving to/from work.
Live as close to work as practical.

Start with work to begin your search. Move outward.
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Old 04-23-2012, 09:17 PM
 
132 posts, read 285,916 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harrison21 View Post
I am looking to take it from my apartment to downtown for nightlife.
lol!

what is this!?
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Old 04-23-2012, 09:43 PM
 
Location: Denver, CO
5,608 posts, read 20,712,630 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harrison21 View Post
Ideally, I'd like a neighborhood more outside the city with access to the light rail. I want access to the city, but I don't know if I'm really cut out to live right in the city, if that makes sense. I've lived in "car neighborhoods" my whole life so "walkability" isn't as important to me. Really I just want to be able to get to nightlife downtown without having to worry about a DD. That's one of the things that drives me nuts about where I live now- no available public transportation.
A lot of people think this is a great idea (taking the light rail back home when drunk from the bars), but when push comes to shove hardly anyone does it. Realistically, cabs are your best bet.

Take a look at the RTD light rail system map. The direction of the lines go in the clear opposite direction of where you need to commute to work-- the further out along the lines, the further you'll be from Commerce City. That's why I think you're better off sticking to east Denver neighborhoods and possibly Aurora, if you want more suburban & cheaper.

While there are some options, there really aren't a whole lot of apartments that are walking distance from light rail. Most of the light rail stations are set up around park and ride garages, so either driving or a connecting bus is necessary to get from your home to the station.

In some of the stations, such as the Hampden station in Englewood, there are apartments that are physically close to the station, like within 200 yards... but getting there is tedious and dangereous due to no sidewalks while crossing the Santa Fe Dr onramps/ underpass.

There are apartments near the Broadway station, and while the buildings themselves are nice, it's in an ugly, grimey area.

There are a bunch of high rise apartment buildings near the Colorado Blvd station, but they're old, overpriced, and they're on the other (wrong) side of the freeway, requiring crossing over major freeway on/off-ramps.

At the Hampden & I-25 station there are the "District" apartments which are conveniently located right next to the station. They are some of the most overpriced apartments in Denver-- we're talking about $1000/mo rent-- and it's not even a trendy downtown neighborhood.

At the Dayton station there are some apartments in easy walking distance. However, now you're talking about a 30 minute ride to get to downtown.

Belleview station has some apartments right next to the light rail, also very overpriced.

The Lincoln station (in Lone Tree) has a bunch of apartments right next to the station. But now you're on the clear opposite end of town from Commerce City.

Quote:
-Rent 800 a month or less, with total expenses including utilities being under 1,000
-Does not have to be fancy, but clean, well kept, and safe is a must

Does any such place exist? Neighborhoods to look in? Apartment complexes? I really like the greenwood village area, but it seems it's too far from work.
If you want to stay under $800/mo, I would forget Greenwood Village (it's also way too far from Commerce City). I think your best choices are east Denver, southeast Denver, and central Aurora. I know of a number of nice apartments in the central Aurora area in your price range that would meet all of your requirements, except for the light rail part.
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Old 04-23-2012, 10:27 PM
 
342 posts, read 906,923 times
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That is disappointing to hear! I currently live right in front of a bus station which used to provide late night services. Due to budget cuts they no longer do that. It is about a 30 minute ride to get anywhere, but that didn't really bother anyone. When they stopped there were no other options. How are the taxi rates? Here it's just not even an option because a cab is well over 100 dollars for just one way to get from our neighborhood to the area with all of the bars. None of my friends and I have that kind of money to blow on just getting somewhere.
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Old 04-23-2012, 11:19 PM
 
459 posts, read 674,637 times
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It's going to be tough to find a compromise between urban nightlife and suburban living. Contrary to what people on this forum have said plenty of people take the light rail to go downtown for the nightlife. However, if you move to somewhere with light rail you are going to kill yourself on the commute as you will be forcing yourself to drive through the most congested corridors during rush hour.

Since it sounds like you are renting if I was in your shoes I would consider either Stapleton (if suburban living was most important) or the area south of City Park (if nightlife access was most important).

Stapleton is much more suburban even though it is technically Denver. If you want suburban and want to be close to downtown while still being close to work I see no reason to go further than Stapleton. Stapleton has apartments, but like most of suburban Denver it is family oriented with no decent nearby nightlife. Stapleton is very close to Commerce City, and has a lot of newer/nicer apartments so you get a lot of bang for your buck. The cab fare from Stapleton is about $20-25 to downtown one way.

The area south of City Park is urban or urban edge. In spite of it being urban it is right by city park so you have lots of open space, and it is a mix of single and multi-family. You also have some pretty good nightlife nearby if you do not want to go far for it. South city park has some great bus connections at all hours. To get to work driving on Colorado Blvd north of Colfax is not really congested at any time unless you have construction or an accident. So your drive to Commerce City from that part of the city should be easy. The cab fare to downtown is $10-15 from south of City Park .

Both areas have bus connections to downtown. With Stapleton you could bus to downtown (28, 38, and 43). But you would be cabbing it home to Stapleton as the after bar hours direct bus connections shut down which forces you to transfer. South of City Park you have the 15/15L, 20, and 10 that go downtown, but I think the 15 is the only one that runs late. Buses late at night in Denver while generally safe do have some weird characters on them so you may not want to move somewhere under the assumption that you will take those buses home all the time.
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Old 04-24-2012, 09:22 AM
 
342 posts, read 906,923 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robertgoodman View Post
It's going to be tough to find a compromise between urban nightlife and suburban living. Contrary to what people on this forum have said plenty of people take the light rail to go downtown for the nightlife. However, if you move to somewhere with light rail you are going to kill yourself on the commute as you will be forcing yourself to drive through the most congested corridors during rush hour.

Since it sounds like you are renting if I was in your shoes I would consider either Stapleton (if suburban living was most important) or the area south of City Park (if nightlife access was most important).

Stapleton is much more suburban even though it is technically Denver. If you want suburban and want to be close to downtown while still being close to work I see no reason to go further than Stapleton. Stapleton has apartments, but like most of suburban Denver it is family oriented with no decent nearby nightlife. Stapleton is very close to Commerce City, and has a lot of newer/nicer apartments so you get a lot of bang for your buck. The cab fare from Stapleton is about $20-25 to downtown one way.

The area south of City Park is urban or urban edge. In spite of it being urban it is right by city park so you have lots of open space, and it is a mix of single and multi-family. You also have some pretty good nightlife nearby if you do not want to go far for it. South city park has some great bus connections at all hours. To get to work driving on Colorado Blvd north of Colfax is not really congested at any time unless you have construction or an accident. So your drive to Commerce City from that part of the city should be easy. The cab fare to downtown is $10-15 from south of City Park .

Both areas have bus connections to downtown. With Stapleton you could bus to downtown (28, 38, and 43). But you would be cabbing it home to Stapleton as the after bar hours direct bus connections shut down which forces you to transfer. South of City Park you have the 15/15L, 20, and 10 that go downtown, but I think the 15 is the only one that runs late. Buses late at night in Denver while generally safe do have some weird characters on them so you may not want to move somewhere under the assumption that you will take those buses home all the time.
Thanks for the info! Of the places that have been suggested to me City Park seemed like the best, but after driving around there the other day I started to wonder if all that constant traffic, stop-and-go and spending 20 minutes to drive 5 miles (on a sunday afternoon!) would start to get to me. I also was looking at apartment reviews and although I know to take them with a grain of salt, I saw A LOT of posts about car thefts- it seemed to be an extremely common problem. I've just never lived anywhere that unsafe, and as a young woman living alone that is important to me. I don't want to be somewhere where I feel uncomfortable walking around alone or like I can't go out at night. I also want available parking (preferably covered).

Can anyone answer my question about the mapquest times? I have been typing in my work address and then various neighborhoods and it gives you a commute time, but how accurate is this for rush hour traffic? I'm just afraid I'm going to get something that I think is going to be 20 minutes away and then find myself sitting there in traffic for 2 or 3 times that due to rush hour.

Last edited by harrison21; 04-24-2012 at 09:38 AM..
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Old 04-24-2012, 11:46 AM
 
459 posts, read 674,637 times
Reputation: 726
Quote:
Originally Posted by harrison21 View Post
Thanks for the info! Of the places that have been suggested to me City Park seemed like the best, but after driving around there the other day I started to wonder if all that constant traffic, stop-and-go and spending 20 minutes to drive 5 miles (on a sunday afternoon!) would start to get to me. I also was looking at apartment reviews and although I know to take them with a grain of salt, I saw A LOT of posts about car thefts- it seemed to be an extremely common problem. I've just never lived anywhere that unsafe, and as a young woman living alone that is important to me. I don't want to be somewhere where I feel uncomfortable walking around alone or like I can't go out at night. I also want available parking (preferably covered).

Can anyone answer my question about the mapquest times? I have been typing in my work address and then various neighborhoods and it gives you a commute time, but how accurate is this for rush hour traffic? I'm just afraid I'm going to get something that I think is going to be 20 minutes away and then find myself sitting there in traffic for 2 or 3 times that due to rush hour.
Generally speaking you are going to see a lot more variance on your commute times on freeways than you will on the other roads. I do not see a commute from City Park doubling without extraordinary circumstances. I could easily see a commute from Englewood, Southern Aurora or Greenwood Village doubling almost every commute.

Of course throughout the metro we have some exceptions to this rule like the southern part of Colorado Blvd (between Cherry Creek mall and I-25) can get very backed up during rush hour, and I25 north of downtown usually does not have reverse commute traffic.
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