U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Illinois
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 1.5 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
Jump to a detailed profile or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Business Search - 14 Million verified businesses
Search for:  near: 
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 06-25-2010, 03:52 PM
 
14 posts, read 28,858 times
Reputation: 22

Advertisements

Well, after quite a bit of research, I have narrowed my choices down to the cities of Bloomington IL, Pittsburgh PA, and Columbia MO.

Bloomington has many transit options like Amtrak, Trailways, Megabus and Greyhound, which I found for a city it's size great! Not sure about the transit inside the city itself though. On compare cities, it was low in crime so was another plus. I did find on other sources though, that there were problems with Bloomington Public Schools. I am focusing on Bloomington more than Normal (which I understand schools are better), due to the college students.


Pittsburgh seems to have decent transit and safe for a city it's size, and alot of people seem to advocate for it. Education seems decent and medical facilities are A-1. It also has access to other larger cities and not so isolated in that regards. Minimal sunshine and air is not good though, and people say not as friendly or outgoing.

Columbia MO another one that seemed like a contender, as the schools were good and access to a good University. Good medical was also a plus. However, understood that crime an issue and transit was lacking. So what to do.

So wanted to see what others opinions are on these. That would help me to 'make a choice' based on a general opinion.

THX
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 06-25-2010, 10:49 PM
 
17 posts, read 39,257 times
Reputation: 18
You're really comparing apples and oranges with those cities. Bloomington-Normal is a small urban area, while Pittsburgh, at least, is a major metropolis. I'm not at all familiar with Columbia. I can comment on Bloomington-Normal, having lived here for eight years after twenty years in Boston.

Since I don't know from what sources you heard about problems in the the Bloomington schools, or what the problems were, it's hard to comment. I can only say that my daughter graduated from BHS last year and we were, in general, very happy with the school system. Like all schools, some teachers are better than others. The range of classes and student support is good.

Amtrak service in Bloomington-Normal is only so-so. There is a limited number of trains between Chicago and St. Louis daily. I wouldn't count on that as a major selling point for the city.

There are two universities in Bloomington-Normal: Illinois State is in Normal, while Illinois Wesleyan, a small liberal arts college, is in Bloomington. In reality the two campuses are within walking distance of each other. So there are college students in both cities.

Overall, B-N has very good educational and medical resources. People are friendly, as they are throughout the Midwest. Bloomington is the home base for State Farm Insurance, and so many people feel that the city has a slightly "corporate" feel. There are many restaurants, although most are chains. We've been happy here, although we will probably return to the northeast upon retirement.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-26-2010, 11:15 AM
 
14 posts, read 28,858 times
Reputation: 22
Thank you for your reply. The some of the resources that I have gotten my info from varies from Mclean Sheriff's office, police dept., ratings school website and even this forum of City-Data after a search. I was concerned at the amount of sexual offenders in the area of over 70,000 people, as well as, other crime issues. Also, according to some of the resources, the schools overall handling of student related issues were concerning. I know this varies from individual cases, but seems to be one thing I have heard more than just a few occasions.

Are you familiar with the bus transit of Bloomington at all? I don't expect it to be Boston, NY etc., but enough to get around. I live in the Midwest now, and I would call it more of being 'polite' but distant.
You said you were from Boston, I love that city probably with my Irish/Catholic roots help a bit, lol wish I could afford living there.

I may post in other forums of interest maybe I will get more feedback doing that.

Jo
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-26-2010, 08:47 PM
 
Location: Hawaii-Puna District
3,755 posts, read 5,881,341 times
Reputation: 2306
It would help if you told us what you are trying to do? How old? What type of job? Do you have children? Why are you so interested in mass transit or trains to other cities? Do you not have a driver's license? (I grew up in Peoria area and worked in both Peoria and Bloomington/Normal for years)
Don't be so cryptic.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-26-2010, 10:27 PM
 
14 posts, read 28,858 times
Reputation: 22
I didn't think I was being cryptic. What I am trying to do is obvious, relocate to a city that would suit our needs. I did mention that I was interested in bus transit, schools, good medical, and low crime, preferably. I didn't think I needed to get into specifics as to how old I was etc.
I do not drive and never did so transit is important to be able to get around without a vehicle. Since Bloomington is in Central IL and what seems to be isolated, other large transit options are important to get out of the area because the choices of the Megabus, Trailways etc., are a good bet to go to larger cities without the cost of an arm and a leg. With those many extensive options in a city like Bloomington was unique. I currently live in a place that is more than twice the size of B-N, and Greyhound is the only least expensive way out. Need to travel to another larger city (closest is over 3-4 hours away) in order to catch Amtrak, Trailways, Southwest etc. I mentioned schools because I do have a child so this was important.
I believe enough information was given in order to get some good feedback and keeping my privacy to a minimum.

Last edited by Joann62; 06-26-2010 at 11:31 PM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-27-2010, 02:51 AM
 
Location: Not where you ever lived
10,856 posts, read 15,200,844 times
Reputation: 5380
I am familiar with Columbia and B-N. If you live in Missouri and you want really great medical you go to St Louis and Barnes-Jewish Hospital. It is the only hospital in the Mid=West that is in the top 25 ranking. I've been to the UM Hospital. I was not impressed. I left and went to the cancer clinic in Peoria for a correct diagnosis.

The difference between Central Illinois and Central Missouri is like the dkfference between a cat and a boat. The weather, the topography, the soli, the exports, entertainment, population, etc.. are entirely different. JC and Columbia is where the Ozark Moujntain range begin. It is hard to grow a garden or flowers for the clay and hardpan soil.. It is isolated by comparison.

Il is a farming state; the #2 corn producer behind Iowa. Both states are in the heart of the Grain and Livestock belt. It is the 6th largest state with 102 counties. You'll find a community about every 7 miles. MO communities are spaced much farther apart. The metro area of B-N, Peoria and Springfield is about 700,000 withina 100 mile triangle. Missouri's largest towns are St. Louis Columbia and Springfield at 100-200 miles apart .

Normal is smaller than Bloomington and overlooked. Normal state is a 4- year state university that offers programs for the Masters and Doctoral candidates. The flagship university is at Urbana -Chamgaign. University High School is very well regarded as is the university. Shopping in Normal is designed for convenience. The Bllomington bus serves Noramal; goes to the school, shooping cemters and malls in both towns. B=N is about 40 miles from Peoria and 70 miles from Springfield, The Amtrac stops in Lincoln, Springfield, Chicago and St. Louis; you can also fly to B-N, too. Here are some links to newspaper, schools, hospitals and bus so you have a better idea of the area called Central Illinois.

Normalite Newspaper the human side of the news of the Normal Community
http://www.pantagraph.com/
Home - Peoria, IL - pjstar.com
Homepage - Pekin, IL - Pekin Daily Times
Home - Springfield, IL - The State Journal-Register

Town of Normal, Illinois
University High School
Illinois State University

Bloomington-Normal Public Transit System
The Shoppes at College Hills
Eastland Mall - 309.663.5361

Advocate BroMenn Medical Center
Home: Home | OSF St. Joseph Medical Center
Peoria: Children's Hospital of Illinois
Peoria: Midwest Affiliate - Peoria, Illinois

I found these Grocery stores in Normal:
Schnuk's
Aldi's
Kroger's
Meijer's
Jewel-Osco
Natural Yours (natural/organic/health foods)
Walmart Super Center

Last edited by linicx; 07-08-2011 at 12:18 AM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-27-2010, 08:45 AM
 
14 posts, read 28,858 times
Reputation: 22
I didn't know that Illinois was a 'farming state' either. Linicx you provided so much great information for me to look into. Cats and boats? LOL Yeah, I know they are all different choices, but it is the only ones I can come up with that sounds what I am looking for as far as COL, transit and safety. I did look at St. Louis as well, but the inner bus transit is not good at all.

THANK YOU LINICX!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-27-2010, 02:00 PM
 
Location: Not where you ever lived
10,856 posts, read 15,200,844 times
Reputation: 5380
First of all, the query is about is B-N not the state. Yes Bloomington is fueled by insurance companies and real estage agents. Nevertheless Bloomington and Normal are surrounded by farms, and thus our farms also fuel the economy of a large county that has one "service industry" town. Bloomington was a farm town first and I would be willing to bet a cup of joe the local banks still serve its farming communities in the county.

************************************************** ************************************************** ****

There are farms in Cook Ounty too Cook County Farm Bureau . I would venture a guess that there is a Farm Bureau in almost every county in Illinois - unless of course there is no farm. .



Quote:
Originally Posted by prideful1 View Post
Illinois is actually considered a "service industry state", though rural Illinois does obviously depend on farming as an economic engine.. Hard to call a state a farming state when only 1.4% of the families are farmers..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-27-2010, 05:10 PM
 
Location: Not where you ever lived
10,856 posts, read 15,200,844 times
Reputation: 5380
Default About rural living

Rural living is wonderful until the buses stop. AFter hours there is Checker Taxi in Bloomington and a limo service in Normal that offer door to door service in both communities as well as service to stores, airport, train and Grayhound bus. Generally speaking you must live in a larger community to have this kind of service available. .

The taxi is available 24/7.

Everything I heard about B-N bus service has been positive, I'm sure it is reasonably timely as it serves the University. It also offers some free services.

Il grocery tax is 1% except in Chicago. State Income Tax is still a flat 3%. The cost of utilities aren't any better or any worse than any other rural area I ever lived in. B-N electric rates may be lower due to the Wind Farm located there.

You can home school in Illinois too.






Quote:
Originally Posted by Joann62 View Post
I didn't know that Illinois was a 'farming state' either. Linicx you provided so much great information for me to look into. Cats and boats? LOL Yeah, I know they are all different choices, but it is the only ones I can come up with that sounds what I am looking for as far as COL, transit and safety. I did look at St. Louis as well, but the inner bus transit is not good at all.

THANK YOU LINICX!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-27-2010, 10:57 PM
 
17 posts, read 39,257 times
Reputation: 18
Joann,
I would recommend that you visit any of the cities you are thinking of moving to for several days. I haven't taken a city bus in Bloomington-Normal, although it goes right by my house. There are a decent number of routes, although the entire area is not served. I've checked the schedule, and it looks like I could from my house near State Farm Corporate South to my office at Illinois Wesleyan in just under an hour. The same trip takes me 10-15 minutes by car. This may be good enough for you, and it may not. But living here without a car would be a significant challenge for most B-N residents, and you should know what you're getting into before moving. I'd recommend the same for any other place as well. Good luck!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:


Options
X
Data:
Loading data...
Based on 2000-2011 data
Loading data...

123
Hide US histogram

Over $84,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Illinois
Similar Threads

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2014, Advameg, Inc.

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25 - Top