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Old 04-25-2011, 12:55 PM
Location: leaving Charlotte, heading to McLean
68 posts, read 154,823 times
Reputation: 21


Originally Posted by Middlin View Post
I worked in Tyson's for 7 years, all prior to the new hot lanes, metro construction, etc and can tell you on a bad day (and there are many bad days)you can sit IN Tyson's for 30 minutes before you even make it to an artery that you need. I worked near the Hilton on Jones Branch (east side) and didn't need to get to the beltway, just over the bridge to Tysons I and around the mall to Gallows and that part alone could sometimes take 30 + minutes. I think that might be 4 miles.

Friday evening rush during certain times of the year are absolutely horrendous and Tysons' becomes total gridlock.

Don't underestimate the traffic here and the level of frustration of just sitting and not moving for a couple of miles.
This is why I'm concerned about living on the west side of Vienna (toward Reston) and him working on the East side of Tysons. He'd have to drive Lawyers Rd (or Beulah for another house we're considering), cut across 123 and then wind his way across 7 and 495.

If we're in Potomac he'd take Clara Barton Parkway to 495, get off at Georgetown Pike (1 exit) and then go down Balls Hill to probably Lewinsville. I'm sure 495 is no picnic, even if it's just over the Potomac, but when we drove it over the weekend we never actually got onto 495 we just stayed on the on/off ramp.

The absolute worst traffic we experienced last week was in Tysons itself. Getting through it at lunchtime stunk and then trying to get into one of the malls at 5:30pm on a weeknight was a chore.
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Old 04-25-2011, 01:14 PM
298 posts, read 596,048 times
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I was thinking River Road and Rte 7 or 123. If you can swing Clara Barton Pkwy and Gtown Pike instead, that will improve commute times because you are not on 495 quite as long. But beware that 495N often will be at a standstill for that one exit (it's just an off ramp going S but not N). It backs up from I-66 up to I-270 many evenings.

Hmmm... that may not be too bad. You should try it some rainy night to see if it is tolerable. Those tend to be the worst.
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Old 04-25-2011, 01:26 PM
Location: Manassas, VA
1,559 posts, read 3,173,355 times
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The traffic in Tysons can be nuts right now. The good news is that it will eventually get better...well, at least it should!
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Old 04-25-2011, 01:47 PM
Location: Chapel Hill, NC, formerly DC and Phila
8,555 posts, read 12,632,846 times
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Is the job inside the beltway or oustside the beltway? I'm a bit unclear. It does make it easier if you can get off on Georgetown Pike. I used to live in Falls Church and worked in Rockville, and I did that quite a bit, just to bail off 495.

Here are my thoughts and my perspective for what it's worth. I used to live in Bethesda and around there for 10 years so I am pretty familiar with that area. It's beautiful, and there are great schools and other good attributes. If I lived in the DC area and knew without a doubt that Potomac or Bethesda was where I wanted to put down roots, then I would do so, regardless of where the job is (within reason, of course). And a job in Tyson's would definitely fit the bill as being a reasonable commute for this area.

To me, where you live is most important. A job location may change, and if you are not happy where you are living, then you are close to a job that you no longer work at and are unhappy with your living situation. So if you think your job location may change in a few years or if a spouse will lilkely find a job somewhre in the region, then pick where you love and deal with the commute.

On the flip side, being close to a job can have huge implications on quality of life around here. If you are pretty certain a job location won't change and a spouse won't be looking for a job, living close to work can be downright luxurious. It will make life much more satisfying. Living 10 minutes from work versus an hour from work can be a huge difference in one's happiness.

Having said all that, did you only make one trip to this area to scout out neighborhoods? What is it about this Potomac neighborhood that you liked so much? On the western side of the beltway, there is very little difference in the suburbs. Potomac, Bethesda, Chevy Chase, Rockville are very similar to Great Falls, McLean, Vienna, and Falls Church. There are many, many neighborhoods in all of these towns, and if you like a neighborhood in one place, you are likely to find a similar one across the river. I wouldn't base a housing purchase on one visit. I would rent for a year wherever you like and then decide. You can get to know all the towns and neighborhoods better as well as the awful traffic we deal with around here.

When you said Potomac to Tysons, I was thinking River Road to Route 7 or 123. Clara Barton to Georgetown Pike is not bad at all. Afternoons are definitely worse than mornings. Just be warned that 10 miles can take 40 minutes around here. And be sure you know what you are getting into before you buy. Hope this helps.
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Old 04-25-2011, 02:10 PM
5,071 posts, read 8,621,144 times
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Originally Posted by riley1319 View Post
This is why I'm concerned about living on the west side of Vienna (toward Reston) and him working on the East side of Tysons. He'd have to drive Lawyers Rd (or Beulah for another house we're considering), cut across 123 and then wind his way across 7 and 495.
If you live off of Beulah, there's no need to travel on 123 or 7 unless and until one's in the middle of Tysons. You can take the Toll Road into Tysons or take Old Courthouse Road, which doesn't have nearly as much traffic as 123 or 7.

Sometimes you just fall in love with a particular neighborhood, but there's no way that a commute to Tysons from off of Beulah Road isn't considerably easier than a commute from Potomac or, for that matter, from a neighborhood off of Lawyers Rd.

People frequently commute from Virginia into DC and tolerate the tie-ups on the bridges, so a Potomac-to-Tysons commute isn't necessarily something to rule out. However, I would not under-estimate how draining long commutes in the DC area can become - even if not initially, over a longer period of time.

Last edited by JD984; 04-25-2011 at 02:22 PM..
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Old 04-25-2011, 04:20 PM
Location: Washington, DC & New York
10,830 posts, read 26,357,149 times
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Someone I know commutes daily from Potomac to the Merrifield area, while it's not around the corner, it fits their lifestyle as the area where they live is closer to the JCC that they like, etc. They do avoid the Beltway as much as possible and take back roads through McLean and Tysons. In the afternoon, there can be horrible traffic on the bridge, I agree (and have sat in it enough afternoons, too).

If you like Potomac, and can schedule your afternoons to get the kids where they need to go when they're older, I would definitely look there. The commute can be variable so an early baseball/soccer/etc. game or activity might necessitate your husband coming when he gets across the bridge.
All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players: they have their exits and their entrances; and one man in his time plays many parts, his acts being seven ages.
~William Shakespeare
(As You Like It Act II, Scene VII)

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