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Old 06-17-2015, 01:34 PM
5 posts, read 6,549 times
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So I am looking to relocate to a medium-sized city, and the following criteria are important to me in order of most to least importance: bikeable, affordable, young professionals, tree-dense, and liberal
Medium-sized to me is population around 200,000.
Affordable to me is houses for sale between $150,000 - $250,000
Young Professionals to me are people between 25 and 35 with a college education working in a salaried field.
I'd prefer a moderate climate (like Seattle), but if nothing else, nothing as cold as Chicago. Heat is okay as long as there are trees.
Jobs aren't a big deal because I can work remotely.

I've lived and visited a fair number that meet some or all of those criteria, so here's why they didn't work out:
Eugene, OR - Perfect except very few young professionals who are permanent residents
Seattle, WA - too expensive and population dense and too hilly to bike/lack of separate bike lanes
Madison, WI - too cold
Sacramento, CA - no good parks near downtown and lacking the vibe I was looking for
Atlanta, GA area - sprawling metropolitan area makes your life car dependent for visiting friends/family/commute/etc
Athens, GA - too college-oriented
Chapel Hill, NC - not so bikeable due to hills and lack of separate bike lanes, didn't really like the vibe here either
Asheville, NC - Loved the culture, arts, and outdoors here, but too small
Charleston, SC - Loved the culture, vegan food, and bikeability here, but too small and no trees
Chattanooga, TN - too small & family oriented, not a lot going on

Thanks so much for any help!

Last edited by behindblueyes97; 06-17-2015 at 02:05 PM..
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Old 06-17-2015, 02:23 PM
Location: Los Angeles, CA
506 posts, read 339,226 times
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What about just north of Eugene in Portland? Fair sized metro, bike and ped friendly, lots of greenery, and still relatively affordable.
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Old 06-17-2015, 03:25 PM
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I forgot to mention, I also visited Portland quite a few times while I was living in Eugene and really didn't find it bike or pedestrian friendly like Eugene was. I also found it lacking in hiking areas within the city and the road system was poorly planned.

I appreciate the suggestion though!!!
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Old 06-17-2015, 03:44 PM
Location: TOVCCA
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Oxnard/Ventura, CA. But the trees are often palm trees!
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Old 06-17-2015, 05:56 PM
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I'm not sure if any city fits all your criteria, but I'd check out Denver and Philly.
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Old 06-17-2015, 07:00 PM
Location: Asheville, NC
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I am curious to hear the responses on this one. What about Denver, CO, Nashville, TN or Austin, TX or New Orleans? Since you liked Asheville, I wonder what would compare to it in a bigger size?

Last edited by beckycat; 06-17-2015 at 07:44 PM..
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Old 06-17-2015, 09:23 PM
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Portland and Eugene are consistently on the top or near the top of bike friendly cities' lists:

Bike Friendly Cities: America's Best Bike Cities | Bicycling

The Most Bike-Friendly Cities In The U.S., Ranked

Top 10 Cycling Cities in the US : Best Bike Cities in the United States : Travel Channel

No other place on the West Coast is going to match on bike-friendliness mixed with affordability. Particularly in the wake of the water crisis in CA and people leaving there, I can't imagine the West Coast is getting cheaper anytime soon.

I also can't imagine that anyplace in the Southeast will fit the bill, either. They are catching up and only just now beginning to put bicycle infrastructure into place to a sizable degree. I can think of some cities that will be more bike-friendly in another 20 years given the proper development (Louisville KY, Asheville NC, Nashville TN, Richmond VA), but no place will fit your high standards NOW.

Also, with the exception of Asheville NC, Athens GA, and Chapel Hill NC, I don't think the kind of vibe exists on the East Coast that can be even remotely comparable to Eugene. Eugene is how it is in part because it is rather set apart from other metros and is rather self-contained. By contrast, the East Coast is quickly developing into one almost-unbroken megalopolis stretching down the lengths of I-95 and I-85. There is almost no place on the East Coast as remote as Eugene is.

With the exception of Richmond VA (which is about even in COL to Eugene), the aforementioned cities of Louisville, Asheville, and Nashville will generally be cheaper.

It's simple, really: if you value affordability primarily, you have more options. If bikeability is still the primary focus, then your options are simply a lot narrower by definition.
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Old 06-17-2015, 09:26 PM
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Outside of maybe weather, perhaps the Southeastern Quarter of Rochester NY would fit most, if not all of the other criteria. Southeast Quadrant - Rochester Wiki
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Old 06-17-2015, 09:29 PM
Location: Miami-Jax
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Asheville is >400k population, Chattanooga >500k and Charleston >700k. If these are too small then I'm thinking you'll want metros at 1 million or more.

I don't know much about the biking side but Richmond and Louisville seem like they might fit. Gainesville, FL has a similar vibe but it's smaller than all the above. Jacksonville, FL is not great for bikers but there's definitely a fervent community and if you don't need to commute by bike it can be ok. Also I wouldn't classify the weather as moderate...it's definitely on the hot and humid side.

Portland obviously is a good choice but too pricey.
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Old 06-18-2015, 01:42 PM
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Thank you all for the great suggestions!
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