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Old 03-15-2006, 05:25 PM
 
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My family will be moving to Virginia in the next few months because my husband has taken a job in Reston. We've been looking at Gainesville and wondering about the commute. If anyone out there drives this (or something close to it) will you let me know how long it takes, the best routes to take, or whatever you can. Much thanks in advance.
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Old 03-19-2006, 01:17 PM
 
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Having lived in Chantilly, VA for almost 30 years, let me tell you all about it. Chantilly is close to Reston, VA, (we had a great dentist there, Dr Rye) and your husband will have to go thru/near Chantilly to get to Reston. All I can say is "woe is him." He will have at least an hour each way, or worse, even if he finds a back way to avoid I-66 and Rte 28 in Centreville, VA. Thousands of others are looking for and using the same "back ways" around the jams. Even if he goes up Rte 15 and takes Rte 50 east, it'll still be an hour each way. You are much better off if you can move to Ashburn and let him take the Dulles Toll Road (Rte 267) into Reston, then it's a 20-30 minute drive each way, and the area is a WHOLE lot nicer. I'm very familiar with Gainesville, Chantilly, Manassas, Centreville, Fairfax, Reston, Sterling and the surrounding areas. All I can say is that traffic there is an ungodly mess and woe to anyone who has to deal with it. Morning rush hour starts before 5AM and goes to 10AM or more. Evening rush hour actually starts just after 2PM and goes to 7PM or more. If anything happens (rain, snow, broken down car) then it's beyond being a zoo. Many drivers are rude, hateful, adversarial and will pull all sorts of dirty underhanded stunts to get ahead of one more car. Road rage is widespread. I drove in that crap for many years, and I kid you not about how bad it is. We use to get up at 4AM to beat the traffic into DC. As soon as we were able, we got the heck out of Northern Virginia and came here to Colorado Springs in 2005. If it's not too late to choose a place to live, see my posting in the "other" category on how to find homes in the Ashburn area. We called the style of driving there "combat commuting" as you really have to fend for yourself as you fend off aggressive lane changers and others that are hazardous to your safety.
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Old 03-24-2006, 12:50 PM
 
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Thank you Mike for the info! I think we're going to go for a house in Oak Hill/Herndon. It's only about 3 or 4 miles from his office and if traffic is bad, well...he's got a bike. I saw the post about the best pizza place, how about Cheesesteaks? Living close to Philly, that's something we will miss.
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Old 03-24-2006, 03:04 PM
 
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Wagsette: Hello and thanks for the feedback. Best place we ever found for Cheesesteaks in that whole area is in Chantilly, in a strip mall, at Centreville Rd and Rte 50. Name is Philadelphia Mike's or Mike's Philadelphia, I never can keep it straight. Besides having great cheesesteaks, he has the BEST french fries around. Gotta go! From the center of Herndon over to Mike's is a 5-10 minute drive down Centreville Rd. We once lived in Herndon (1974-75) but I've forgotten a lot. There are two places that were local legends, and may still be, and both are on the main drag through town: (1) The Tortilla Factory for Mexican food, and; (2) The Ice House Cafe, a bit of a jazz joint.

You mentioned hubby has a bicycle. There is a bicycle path in Herndon. It's one of the Rails to Trails paths and is based on the long-gone Washington & Old Dominion RR. The trail is known as the W&OD Park. Good for walking, running, biking and horseback riding. It runs thru the heart of town, by the old train station, a block from the Ice House Cafe, and it goes right by the high-rise downtown of Reston, and then on into DC. Overall it's 45 miles long. The area is a bit bicycle friendly, it may be a good option. Besides, there are some local roads he can take from Herndon over to Reston and avoid most of the traffic hassles, but all roads will be busy at normal rush hour times.

The main site is: http://www.railtrails.org/ and the site for this trail is at: http://www.wodfriends.org/map1.html and they can show you where the trail runs, right down to the street level. One of these days they'll push the DC Metro subway out thru Herndon and on to Dulles Airport. When that day comes, your house will go way up in value, and you'll be able to get around without so much hassle. That day couldn't come soon enough for us.

I just wish I could recall where Oak Hill is in town, it sounds familiar. You will like Herndon, it's has clung to it's small town atmosphere fairly well and is quite livable. They have some nice craft shows in the town meeting hall and other events that help to make it enjoyable.

A few years ago we took the Acela train from DC to Philly, to ride the new train (wonderful experience), visit Reading Market and get a cheesesteak from the masters. We had a great day, walked around, went to the big department store with the huge pipe organ, old city hall, etc. Philly is a great town that doesn't get the press that the big apple gets.

Let us know how you make out there in Herndon.
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