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Old 03-14-2011, 12:17 PM
 
2 posts, read 5,477 times
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Hey, folks. I just got a job in College Park. I've been living in north Arlington for a few years now, have roots in NoVa, and would like to stay on this side of the river. I have a couple of commuting ideas, and am hoping for advice. I'm considering 1) moving down to Crystal City, close to the yellow line; this looks like it would be around a forty-five minute commute via metro. Or 2) Moving to Old Town Alexandria and taking the eastern side of the Beltway every day. Anybody have any sense of how crowded that side of the Beltway is? Most of the complaints I've seen tend to be about the 270 to Tysons' Corner stretch.
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Old 03-14-2011, 12:41 PM
 
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My husband commuted from North Arlington, and then McLean, to College Park for 20 years. He never tried the counter-clockwise commute via the Wilson Bridge. But if you can get to the American Legion Bridge reasonably quickly (the GW Parkway moves pretty well in the mornings), then the rest of the commute isn't too awful in the morning, especially if you can leave early (before 7 am). Most of the traffic is heading in the other direction. Afternoons and evenings were a different story, but if you have some flexibility in your schedule, and know some of the routes through DC, it's not too bad, especially because you are getting off the Beltway before the perennial congestion around Tyson's Corner.
The biggest headaches for him were the various construction projects over the years, and accidents/bad weather. It's definitely worth giving the commute a fair try before you throw in the towel and move across the river. My husband regularly got to the office faster than some colleagues who lived in the far reaches of Potomac, or Rockville, because it took them so long to travel down River Road or 270 to the Beltway.
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Old 03-14-2011, 12:46 PM
 
Location: Metro Washington DC
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Why move? The drive from where you are is no worse than the drives you mentioned. If you move to Old Town, use 295 tO the BW Parkway. That's a better way than the Beltway.
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Old 03-15-2011, 08:49 AM
 
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Thanks, folks - the GW Parkway's a good idea. dkf - right now I'm in Falls Church, so my options are either going east to the Parkway or the 495 going right through Tyson's. Closer in in any case is a good idea, I think.
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Old 03-15-2011, 09:00 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by callistor View Post
Thanks, folks - the GW Parkway's a good idea. dkf - right now I'm in Falls Church, so my options are either going east to the Parkway or the 495 going right through Tyson's. Closer in in any case is a good idea, I think.
If you're in Falls Church you don't have to go through Tysons. Pick up 66 west at route 29/east falls church exit, and you're only on 66 about a mile before taking the tollroad exit(exit #267). That shoots you up to the beltway bypassing all the Tysons crap. You get off before toll plaza so don't worry about that. That works great in the morning. My morning commute is 30-45 minutes going to Silver Spring. In the evening I would not suggest that because 66 gets so backed up, even being on it briefly will kill you. I get off at Georgetown Pike exit right after the Legion Bridge and cut through McLean to Falls Church. If you're living in Falls Church I would highly suggest that route.

An alternative route if the beltway is really bad due to an accident or something is going westmoreland to glebe over the chain bridge and cutting through DC. This is kind of annoying due to the lights and traffic circles so I only do it if I'm desperate.
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Old 03-15-2011, 07:06 PM
 
Location: Metro Washington DC
13,026 posts, read 19,850,532 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by callistor View Post
Thanks, folks - the GW Parkway's a good idea. dkf - right now I'm in Falls Church, so my options are either going east to the Parkway or the 495 going right through Tyson's. Closer in in any case is a good idea, I think.
Falls Church? I thought you said North Arlington. In that case Old Town would be better. Cross the bridge, take 295 north to the BW Parkway. Get off at 410 Riverdale rd and turn left. Take it to Kenilworth and turn right. Left on Paint Branch Pkwy to Rt. 1 and wherever you're headed in College Park. I used to live at Rt. 1 and King's highway (in the Alexandria section of FFX County) and later lived in College Park. That's the route I would take over using the Beltway since the Beltway would take longer to get there.
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