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Old 06-19-2008, 10:42 PM
 
Location: Southern California
119 posts, read 787,874 times
Reputation: 117

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I am 41 single guy with no kids in Lakewood Ca area. I am looking at 4 major cities to lives with a out a car; that I can afford Chicago, Dallas, Denver and Atlanta. I checked out some of the posts here on City Data about transportation, and I am looking for rent between $450 and $600. I have checked out the CTA's web site; DART Website, the RTD site and MARTA site. Looking at studios or the occasional 1 bed room that show up in that price range. I have rental books for these cities. I am trying to live near rail lines. I have been to Chicago 2 years ago visiting a old friend from High School. I have family 2 hours from Dallas in Henderson in East Texas and And an uncle 1 hour away from Fort Worth in Mineral Wells. I know a former church member who moved to Decatur in the Atlanta area from Southern California. But I don't have friends or acquaintances in Denver. Are these cities doable without a car? Thanks!

Last edited by hgclyde; 06-19-2008 at 10:52 PM..
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Old 06-19-2008, 11:01 PM
 
Location: Road Warrior
2,015 posts, read 4,898,363 times
Reputation: 797
I wouldn't suggest Denver or Dallas. Though Denver does have great public transport downtown Denver, most people do not live downtown but the suburbs and secondly the rent is cheap here say $600 for a 1bedroom in the burbs but your looking at $1200 right downtown. Dallas-FortWorth I can't be precise but it's a HUGE place and quite spread out, I can't imagine living without a car. I know public transport is great in Atlanta, Chicago, New York, Boston, Washington D.C., though out of all those Atlanta and Chicago may be your best bet in cost of living, wage of work and public transportation, you may have to choose between the weather and lifestyle of the two as they are drastically different. Good luck!
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Old 06-19-2008, 11:02 PM
 
Location: West Hollywood
2,201 posts, read 4,001,025 times
Reputation: 1704
Quote:
Originally Posted by hgclyde View Post
I am 41 single guy with no kids in Lakewood Ca area. I am looking at 4 major cities to lives with a out a car; that I can afford Chicago, Dallas, Denver and Atlanta. I checked out some of the posts here on City Data about transportation, and I am looking for rent between $450 and $600. I have checked out the CTA's web site; DART Website, the RTD site and MARTA site. Looking at studios or the occasional 1 bed room that show up in that price range. I have rental books for these cities. I am trying to live near rail lines. I have been to Chicago 2 years ago visiting a old friend from High School. I have family 2 hours from Dallas in Henderson in East Texas and And an uncle 1 hour away from Fort Worth in Mineral Wells. I know a former church member who moved to Decatur in the Atlanta area from Southern California. But I don't have friends or acquaintances in Denver. Are these cities doable without a car? Thanks!
Chicago was most recently named the best city to get around without a car (by bike, anyway), and it has a great El system (in my opinion anyways).

Atlanta is NOT the "nightmare" that everyone says it is. It's PT system lags behind most major cities, but the steps it's taking to improve it's systems are impressive. Check out this website:

cr_www | Commuter Rewards -- Clean up your commute. Log your commuter. Earn cash. Win prizes. Check out the "cash for public transportation" campaign they have!
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Old 06-19-2008, 11:16 PM
 
2,502 posts, read 7,884,343 times
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Honestly, Dallas and Atlanta are probably the only two you'll be able to live comfortably in on your budget.

In Denver and Chicago, $450-$600 a month probably won't get you a desirable neighborhood. They're more expensive cities.
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Old 02-18-2009, 08:25 PM
 
Location: Washington, DC
657 posts, read 1,280,171 times
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Chicago is an amazing city -- by all means go for it...
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Old 02-18-2009, 09:09 PM
 
44 posts, read 92,380 times
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I'd look into Chicago. The city has been really "happening" this decade, similar to Seattle in the 90s. There's alot of history, culture, class, and it has become a model for green urbanism and renewal.

The EL system and the CTA in general is not without problems, but its still better than 95% of other mass transportation systems (I'd say only New York and Washington DC are better than Chicago).

Chicago probably has one of the most diversified economies in the country too, and while its not immune to recessions and economic downturns, it never suffers nearly as bad as some places do, like boom areas in the Sun Belt or Rust Belt cities like Detroit, Cleveland, etc.
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Old 02-18-2009, 09:35 PM
 
Location: Underneath the Pecan Tree
15,989 posts, read 29,784,428 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by radraja View Post
Honestly, Dallas and Atlanta are probably the only two you'll be able to live comfortably in on your budget.

In Denver and Chicago, $450-$600 a month probably won't get you a desirable neighborhood. They're more expensive cities.
450-600 won't get you in a desirabe neighborhood in Dallas either.
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Old 02-19-2009, 03:49 AM
 
Location: Atlanta
291 posts, read 736,443 times
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Chicago ofcourse has the best public transport out the 4. Its just cold most the year. So I couldn't personally live there. Atlanta is a great city. Jobs, quality of life, 4 season weather (basically no snow though). Traffic is terrible. Public transport in the city is great but the suburbs not so great. Atlanta crime is a issue sometimes. So if you pick a area on the Marta line pick wisely Sandy Springs, Doraville, Dunwoody, Roswell, Buckhead, Midtown may be the nicest and safest areas to live. Areas south of downtown tend to have more crime. Dekalb County is hit or miss. Just like Decatur I here good and bad about the area. Denver to me has terrible weather, maybe it will be below 0 one day or 70, the weather rollercoasters too much. Weather in Dallas rollercoasters as well but its really only in the winter. Dallas is a large southern city. Traffic not as bad as Atl. Weather is wamer than ATL but I think its less humid. Jobs should be not be hard to get in none I believe, though I think GA unemployment is above the national average.
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Old 02-19-2009, 07:17 AM
 
6,046 posts, read 9,732,500 times
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Atlanta. Since you're from California, Chicago and Denver are out of the question weather-wise. I personally wouldn't want to live in Dallas.
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Old 02-19-2009, 07:59 AM
 
Location: West Cobb County, GA (Atlanta metro)
9,190 posts, read 29,573,979 times
Reputation: 5091
Dallas or Atlanta.

Chicago has a better transit system than any of the others, but your budget won't get you anything there except a plywood box on the corner (maybe). Denver is a beautiful city overall but it's definitely a car town.

Atlanta's MARTA system is "workable" if you don't have a car. It's not in the midst of any kind of expansion (building on it is basically stalled out), but it hits some of the major spots. You could in theory use it, taxis, and an occasional Flex Car and get around decently well. Atlanta might be in a slightly worse financial shape than the other cities, though. There was already an issue of money mismanagement with the city going on before the recession hit, then the bust on top of it, so it's in a somewhat bleak stage with police, city workers, and fire personnel being laid off left and right, currently. From conversations overseen online, the other cities you mention while still "tight" financially like all others right now, might be in slightly stronger shape than certain aspects of Atlanta.

Dallas is a similar city as Atlanta (with fewer trees) but their light rail transit system is in the middle of a pretty large expansion, so once done it'll be pretty darn extensive. From quick financial reads, they seem slightly less dire in the city finances than Atlanta is right now.

Your rent budget is low for ANY of the cities you mentioned, unless you're willing to get a small 2BR place in a "soso" area and have a roommate to split it with (Dallas or Atlanta). In Chicago, you might need a third roommate.
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